“The choice you make this November,” implored Governor Mitt Romney in a recent address in Iowa, “will shape great things, historic things, and those things will determine the most intimate and important aspects of every American life and every American family.”
To this we may respond as the kids would: “Really?”
Romney’s claim of the high—make that “limitless”—stakes in this election suggests one of two conclusions. Either it is preposterous or democracy is diseased. “Both” may be the likely answer, but in any event, if Romney believes his own statement, he ought to be waging a full-throated campaign against its premise. It cannot possibly be healthy for a political community for “the most intimate and important aspects” of everyone’s lives to be at stake in an election. Nor, for the record, are they in this one. That Romney accepts the premise with apparent satisfaction rather than sounding the alarm it justifies is evidence of what I recently described in this space as the institutional narcissism of the Presidency and its concomitant cause: power.
Romney is hardly alone here.