Mitt Romney gained the Republican nomination by saying everything conservatives and the tea party wanted to hear. Weak standing with women, older folks and independents made Romney modify his words to sound moderate.
But the man is only part of it. The other part is the electorate, as the Roman statesman Cicero explained in 44 B.C.
Most people, he believed, manage to judge the difference between the demagogue — that is, an unreliable politician who flatters the electorate — and a statesman.
Of course, flattery only harms those who fall for it. When such a person hears talk made up to suit himself, he takes this empty verbiage as evidence of his own high reputation. Whatever the victim thinks is important, the flatterer always magnifies it further.
Romney speaks. Some feel flattered, unable to recognize they are being fooled. It is the easiest ploy for a politician, one a true statesman doesn't need.
Richard Taylor, Bethel