The Mancunion

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The return of Mitt

Romney is a welcome shift back towards moderate and respectful Republicanism

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In the state of Utah, politics is usually quite boring. However, while the state will without doubt remain a Republican stronghold, what is different in this wave of upcoming 2018 mid-term elections is the man likely to be Utah’s next Senator: the one and only, Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney is famous for his failed attempt to win the presidency from Barack Obama in 2012.

However after years out of the political spotlight, Mitt Romney is back. While many will not welcome to return of Romney, his thrust back into US politics is significant. He is an anti-Trump Republican and, in a USA consumed by ‘Trumpism’, his return is important and will define Trump’s next two years in office before and if he seeks re-election.

Trump and Romney have a history and it isn’t pretty. During the 2016 presidential race, Romney condemned Trump and his use of offensive and racist language and even mocked him. Trump being Trump, he didn’t take to the mockery well and insulted Romney back during the course of his presidential campaign. Trump, much to Romney’s horror and displeasure, shockingly won the race for president. Trump then got his revenge and led many people to believe that Romney was to be his next Secretary of State, and however proceeded to drop him and gave Rex Tillerson the job instead. Therefore, it is fair to say there is beef between the two.

Romney’s return is important, without a doubt . In the era of Trumpism, many Republicans follow Trump out of fear of losing their positions and facing backlash from Trump’s voter base. However, Romney, in his first campaign video, openly attacked Trump’s rude, arrogant and abrupt way of doing politics. As more and more people see the Republicans moving in the direction of right-wing nationalist populism, Romney, though still socially conservative, shows us that not Republicans can take a stand against the alt-right.

While Trump has been in office for almost 2 years, it is fair to say despite the Republicans having control of the vast majority of the institutions in the federal government, Trump’s record in Congress isn’t too great. The only major bill he managed to pass were his huge reforms of the US tax system. These upcoming mid-terms are therefore important for Trump as he will try and get many of his own candidates elected to congress.

Pro-Trump candidates, such as Joe Arpaio, are looking to ride the wave of Trump’s anti-establishment and anti-immigrate message and with Trump’s backing it looks like they will make a big impact. Romney’s bid for a Senate seat shows us that not all is lost in the crazy land of Trump’s America. In a USA so divided between race, gender, and class, Romney, despite his political beliefs, is a man willing to compromise for the good of his nation unlike Trump, Paul Ryan, and Mitch McConnell who seem set on pushing and securing their own political agendas. This is best shown with the debate over gun control where the leadership of Congress seem unwilling to do anything to try and deal with the issue. It is true they may lose their seats or political influence, but it would be a decision worth taking for the good of American society.

If the Democrats somehow manage to take both the House and Senate in the 2018 midterms, it will be even more difficult for Trump to implement his policies. He will probably face more factual and politically correct criticism from his opposition and from within his own party. If the Republicans retain control of the Senate, and Romney is elected into it, it means Romney can deliver his message of compromise and respect, which is very important in today’s political climate. While I may disagree with many Republicans on a wide range of issues, it is not a bad thing that Romney is returning to the front of politics within the USA as he has shown he is not afraid to stand up to the likes of Trump and call him out in the appropriate manner, which is the correct way to beat the likes of Trump.

Romney, while not being everyone’s favourite candidate or politician, looks set to return to forefront of US politics. With Utah, being a safe Republican seat and Romney having a huge support base there, it is unlikely that he will not win the seat in the 2018 mid-term elections. Romney in his first campaign video promised to show respect and decency when conducting politics, something Trump doesn’t seem capable of doing on any level. We should be grateful for Romney’s return as it shows us that not all is lost in Trump’s divided America.