“The path we offer may be harder, but it leads to a better place.” Thus saith Barack.
Last night was the big night at the Democratic National Convention. President Obama gave his nomination-acceptance speech to a downsized audience, the speech being titled “Promises Kept.” The speech probably would have been twice as long if it had been titled “Promises Broken,” so thank goodness he didn’t make that speech.
One of the standout lines of his speech was the aforementioned one: “The path we offer may be harder, but it leads to a better place.”
I’ll leave to another writer with more time on his hands and more patience in his heart the argument that Obama’s path does not lead to a better place, not that that topic needs any further exploration. I want instead to address the first clause, the claim that the path Obama offers is the harder choice.
Now, Obama meant that his way of doing things is harder than Romney’s way of doing things.
This is completely, totally absurd.
Witness: A father and son are walking through a mall. They pass a toy store which has in its display window a foot-tall, toy robot, glittering with a bright-red sheen and wobbling around in circles on its own. The son stops in his tracks, pulls on his father’s hand, and points at the window. The boy is fascinated. He tells his dad he wants the robot.
Now here the father must make a choice. Their family is struggling with finances. His son does not need the robot, he just wants it. But he wants it badly, and the father doesn’t want to make the tough choice of denying his child this wonderful toy. If the father were Obama, he’d do the easy thing and give in to his boy’s desires, spending money that he can’t afford to spend on an item he does not need to buy. That’s the easy path to choose.
The tougher choice is to tell his kid, “I’m sorry, but we just do not have the money for that.” This is the point of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan’s campaign. They are the ones offering the tougher, more responsible path: We cannot, absolutely cannot, keep spending at current levels.
There is nothing “hard” about giving in to the trivial desires of the populace such as paying for contraception. Contraception is not something anybody needs.
Getting serious about cutting spending is the harder path, and that’s the path Obama is avoiding in order to coax more voters who want to take the easier path.