Last week I mentioned Republican efforts to brew controversy out of President Obama's utterly uncontroversial recognition of the reliance of the modern economy on the social contract. Naturally, it doesn't take long to find an example of Mitt Romney expressing almost the same idea that he now, as a Presidential candidate, pretends to reject. NBC offers the following clip of Romney ten years ago telling Olympic athletes that they owe their great achievements to the communities that made them possible:
You Olympians, however, knowÂ you didnâ€™t get here solely on your own power. For most of you, loving parents, sisters or brothers, encouraged your hopes, coaches guided, communities built venues in order to organize competitions. All Olympians stand on the shoulders of those who lifted them. Weâ€™ve already cheered the Olympians, letâ€™s also cheer the parents, coaches, and communities [Mitt Romney, opening ceremonies, 2002 Winter Olympics, Salt Lake City, 2002.02.08, quoted in Domenico Montanaro, "Romney to Olympians: 'You Didn't Get Here Solely on Your Own'," NBC News: First Read, 2012.07.23].
Community... community!Â Romney also knows that it's hard to build a business without the people who teach your workers, build your roads, fight your fires, and enforce your laws. But I welcome my conservative friends to drop by and explain the difference between President Obama's communitarianism and Mitt Romney's communitarianism.