Monday, May 07, 2012

When Romney Came To Town

Thirty-two years ago, as a bright-eyed 18-year old, I walked into a farm home in Charleston, Illinois to meet in person the man I most admired. For an admission fee of $25, I got to hear a future president, Ronald Reagan, eloquently speak with that perpetual twinkle in his eyes, clinging to every word he uttered while standing just feet away. When he finished speaking, I slowly worked my way across the living room towards him, nervously introduced myself, shook his hand and offered him a gift as a small token of appreciation for his visit to rural east-central Illinois. He thanked me and posed for a quick picture that I still proudly display on my wall, along with a kind letter of thanks that I received a couple of weeks later. "You may be assured that the enthusiastic participation of your young Republicans helped to make my visit to Illinois a successful one," he wrote. "Such enthusiasm will indeed aid us towards our goal of achieving a great victory in November." An assistant no doubt penned the letter, but it bore his unmistakable signature and that's what mattered. That was and is one of the most memorable moments of my life.

Tonight on the eve of the inconsequential Indiana primary, another guy set to become the next nominee of my party spoke at a fundraiser in downtown Indianapolis at the J.W. Marriott for a starting admission price of $2,500. There was no meeting with the little people or even reporters to answer questions. Mitt Romney shook hands and took pictures with lobbyist/power broker types like Bob Grand and Dan Dumezich, along with a sprinkling of government contractors like Steven Chancellor. I never considered digging into my wallet to meet Romney. It's not about the money. I just have no desire to meet the man or have my picture taken with him, even if I had been offered a free ticket to meet him in person. He doesn't inspire me like Reagan, who I sincerely believed when he said that America's best days were ahead of us. I have no faith that his election will save our nation from the unhappy ending it seems more likely than not to meet. I honestly don't know what the man believes or plans to do if elected since his views on any number of issues change with the frequency of the seasons. It really is sad because our country needs a real leader now more than ever that neither party will offer the voters this year.

1 comment:

M Theory said...

What a great story, Gary. I never heard you tell that one before.

Ron Paul doesn't charge $2500 a head either. I love him probably as much as you loved Reagan back in the day.

Ron Paul is viable. His supporters are running as delegates and it looked like they have 11 states so far. And unlike Obama, Ron Paul can fill a stadium.