When he was running Bain Capital, Mitt Romney bought and sold companies the way the rest of us change socks. There's nothing wrong with that, mind, because it's the American way of business.
Romney's business acumen, initiative and hard work earned him a fortune and he deserves every dime he ever made.
Buying and selling companies has a human component. There are men and women who work in the factories, stores, and industries on the market. Each employee has a mortgage or rent, kids in school, car payments, pensions, and all the rest. Sometimes, in the course of the transactions engineered by Romney, those workers found themselves expendable.
It's a fact of life, part of our free enterprise system. I don't agree with how Romney treated those who found themselves out of work. Unfortunatley that's how he chose to do business and that's how it goes in business sometimes.
But the principles that guide business are not the same ones that govern the defense of America.
We have citizen soldiers here, men and women who volunteer to put their lives on the line to protect the rest of us. They and their families deserve our support and our recognition for doing what many of us wouldn't or couldn't do. They're heroes, not "employees."
So it was appalling and also very revealing that Mitt Romney, who enthusiastically supported the Vietnam War as a young man only to avoid it later, stood up to accept the nomination of the Republican Party and never, not once, acknowledged American troops in harm's way, the men and women fighting and dying in Afghanistan and those selflessly serving around the world.
You know why?
Because to Romney the troops are like the workers he once used and discarded during his days at Bain Capital. They're just "factors of production," small people unworthy of recognition or even mention, numbers to be added or subtracted depending on the profit and loss statement.
We already know Romney intends to follow the Bush failed model of trickle down economics. Why not invade a country too? Say, Iran, the prime beneficiaries of a war being Romney's big donors in the military-industrial complex, the same folks who did so well when we invaded Iraq.
Romney has rattled his Iran saber enough on the campaign trail for us to know what's coming if he manages to get elected.
Those "factors of production" - our sons and daughters and husbands and wives - would soon be coming home in stainless steel caskets while Halliburton's stock soared.
Do we really want to go there again?