And in his speeches, Romney quotes “America the Beautiful,” promises more and better jobs (11 million to be exact) and invokes what he sees as a pre-Obama heyday linked to Ronald Reagan.
“I’m asking each of you to remember how special it is to be an American,” Romney said in Davenport on Tuesday. “That America is still out there. We still believe in that America. We still believe in that shining city on a hill. We still believe in the America that brings out the best in all of us, that challenges each of us to be better and bigger than ourselves.”
The speech later became the basis for a Romney ad called “American Optimism.”
Paul offers little of this. His ads and rhetoric are filled with images of destruction and decline. There are shuttered stores, dark clouds, barking dogs, and federal department buildings lined up for destruction all set to to urgent music.
Paul says sanctions on Iran will lead to another useless and costly foreign war. Mounting debts and more bailouts will lead to the government printing more money, which will make the dollar worthless. The latest bill to fund the Defense Department is a slip into tyranny.
“If we continue to do what we do, if we have runaway inflation, everybody gets thrown out on the streets, because the whole thing comes down on our head,” he said last week at a town hall at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, in front of about 200 people.
At another stop, he said: “If we continue to [spend money overseas], we will have an economic calamity, we will have runaway inflation . . . we will have violence in the streets, and that will be very, very dangerous.”
Paul does offer a solution to avoid all the calamity he sees — lawmakers should just follow what’s laid out in the Constitution — but he makes no promises to directly improve people’s lives.
“All of a sudden, people are tired of the wars, they are tired of this economy, they are tired of the Federal Reserve, they are tired of Congress spending a lot of money, and they are looking for some change,” Paul said, summing up the state of mind of his audiences. “And I am suggesting one significant change. Why don’t we just follow the Constitution?”
There is one radical change Paul likes: the Internet.
“Fortunately we’re able to get some information out, and a lot of what we’ve done in our campaign makes use of the Internet,” Paul said at a rally in Des Moines.
As might be expected, however, Paul anticipates a problem or two on that front as well.
“But also,” he went on to say, “there’s an attack on the Internet now.”