At eleven years old, it's the longest war in United States history. It's taken the lives of over 2000 American troops. It's cost U.S taxpayers $500 billion. But to Mitt Romney, Afghanistan is astonishingly just a "word."
Speaking with host David Gregory of NBC's Meet the Press, Romney, when asked if his omission of the war during his convention speech was a mistake, reiterated that he’d spoken about it the night before the convention to veterans at the American Legion. The Republican presidential nominee laughed and said it’s "interesting that people are curious about mentioning words in a speech as opposed to policy. I've been to Afghanistan and the members of our troops know of my commitment to Afghanistan and to the effort that's going on there. I have some differences on policy with the president. I happen to think those are more important than what word I mention in each speech."
Clearly for Romney, the man who's trying to convince voters he's worthy of being Commander in Chief, the war is an afterthought. It has such little significance to him that he limits discussion of it to an important yet small interest group like veterans rather than make it central to all Americans under the broader context of his foreign policy. Reserving his thoughts on the war exclusively for an American Legion audience is like talking abortion to evangelicals; energy and pollution to environmentalists; immigration to border states. Romney's reduced the war to a mere talking point.
It's unconscionable, and quite frankly unfathomable, that a candidate running for president when his nation's at war would fail to mention that war, and worse, the brave men and women who've sacrificed everything, including their lives, to fight it. Perhaps if one of Romney’s five sons had worn the uniform the war would have greater meaning and urgency to him.