The Republican leader of yesterday and incoming Utah Senator Mitt Romney is attracting rebuke from conservatives and praise from progressives for an op-ed in the Washington Post attacking President Donald Trump’s “character,” repeating a long line of attacks in Trump’s direction accusing him of being unfit for office.
Some may have hoped for Romney to change his tune as an incoming Senator facing the prospect of working with the Trump administration, but seeing him reiterate the same accusations made in regards to Trump’s perceived personality qualities doesn’t exactly come as anything new. Romney and other old-guard establishment Republicans have been repeating the same rhetoric about Donald Trump’s “character” since the beginning of the 2016 Republican primary, at many times at the expense of an actual conversation about policy that affects the lives of Americans.
Romney benefits from a large national platform in part from his failed 2012 Presidential campaign. However, when his personal record is revisited, it appears unlikely that he’d be able to escape scrutiny for his destructive and suspicious record as the CEO of Bain Capital from Republicans and conservatives in 2016, “character” questions aside.
Romney amassed a considerable personal fortune from his career at Bain, which on numerous occasions hollowed out American companies and cut costs by firing their domestic workforce, making up for the losses by creating jobs in extremely poor countries such as India and China.
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Romney’s prolific practice of destroying American jobs to get rich off of Indian and Chinese dirt-cheap labor was brought to light in the 2012 campaign, ironically by the same platform- The Washington Post– which Romney chose to publish his op-ed in.
The reports highlighted a recurring trend of opportunistic decisions in which the jobs of hard-working Americans were simply cast off as inconvenient to the millionaires like Romney who made them. Bain outsourced American jobs as part of its corporate restructuring of companies such as Chippac, Stream and electronics manufacturer SMTC Corp.
At the time, protecting American jobs had been much more of a potent concern for American progressives, with the political right being beholden to a great extent by corporate interests and billionaire donors. Romney’s political realignment seems to reflect a broader political trend since then, in which American working-class and national economic interests have found themselves better represented within the Trump movement of the Republican Party. Meanwhile, the Democratic Party finds itself increasingly influenced by the wealthy and corporate interests who benefit from the same outsourcing of American jobs practiced by Romney throughout his corporate career. National Democrats spent more money on the 2018 election than Republicans, for the first time in ten years.
Many Americans across demographic and social lines simply have no reason to care about Mitt Romney’s “character.” His record of destroying American jobs for his own personal enrichment, however, simply represents a red flag that many on the political right would be far less inclined to ignore or forgive than they were in 2018.