Romney sticking to his guns

中国日报网 2012-10-23 10:37



Romney sticking to his guns

Reader question:

In this headline – Governor Romney is courageous to stick to his guns about the 47% (, September 20, 2012) – what does “stick to his guns” mean exactly?

My comments:

Here, Mitt Romney the Republican Party presidential candidate is commended for not wavering in his opinion, that 47% of Americans are dependent on the government.

In face of stiff criticism.

That’s what Romney’s sticking to his guns is about. There are no real guns involved of course. “Stick to one’s guns” here is a metaphor. It is a good metaphor, too, considering that US presidential campaigns are a serious battlefield, where candidates can get really belligerent and bellicose, taking warlike stances and never budge, much like the way a soldier will not willingly lose an inch of ground in combat.

Again, battlefield and warlike stances are military metaphors and that is where the expression sticking to one’s guns originally comes from. In the heat of battle, when a soldier is seen sticking his guns, he is shooting at the enemy and keeps shooting, not minding superior enemy firepower or whether he and his fellow soldiers are heavily outnumbered.

What’s implied is that the soldier who sticks to his guns is single minded in his task, not wavering in face of danger.

That’s what’s implied in our headline example, where Romney is deemed courageous for sticking to his position in face of criticism over his famous, or infamous depending on your political leaning, 47% comment about his fellow Americans.

Romney’s 47% comment, in a nutshell, is that too many Americans are dependent on the government in order to sustain their style of living. They are dependent on government handouts for food and education, and now because of Barack Obama, sweeping health care.

To be fair, Romney was speaking of a fact when he made the 47% remark at a private fundraiser and his good meaning was that too big a government is not a good thing. After all, big government can become an interest group of its own and before you know, everyone will have a large contingent of civil servants who serve nobody but their own interests. In our country, too large a civil servant system will result in a lot of such people serving the people who serve the people, i.e. civil servants serving civil servants.

Anyways, Romney spoke of a fact, but pointing fingers at people, people who are poorer off than he, is not the way to go about garnering votes. People, middle class people (or working class people as a matter of fact) are offended by his 47% remark and I can understand why.

After all, Romney is rich and only pays 14% in taxes. The working class people, who are much poorer off than the Governor of Massachusetts pay a much higher tax rate. To my way of thinking, Romney is more dependent on the government than average Americans. Romney depends on the government to continue with policies that ensures greater riches for rich Americans and lower taxes, and he’s using his and contributor’s money to ensure that such a system of government remains unchanged. In other words, the likes of Romney are much more dependent on the federal government because the stakes are much higher.

Now, if you believe in social equality, it is not a system that you want to have, is it?

Besides, rich people paying lower rates of taxes is the root of many, if not all, social ills in America, or any society besides. It is a great part of why Obama Care comes about in the first place, isn’t it?

Anyways, that’s that on Romney. Now, let’s see a few media examples of other people sticking to their guns in face of adversity, of one kind or another:

1. One thing’s for sure — Kelly Clarkson isn’t afraid of a fight.

Though the singer says she’s butted heads with her record label over every album she’s done, the friction over her forthcoming My December is the one that's caught the public’s attention. Clarkson just sees it as a badge of honor.

“I’ve never once compromised myself, so I don’t think you should,” she told MTV News at Southern California radio festival Wango Tango on Saturday. “I think that’s when you start to lose fans and credibility.”

Reports started surfacing that label head Clive Davis was unhappy with Clarkson’s new rock-heavy direction after he spoke at Sony BMG meetings in Las Vegas in April. Posts on music-industry discussion site immediately afterward claimed that Davis said Clarkson had told him she no longer needed his help finding songs for her since she would write her own material. When Davis played her first single at the meetings, the posts claimed he asked the crowd, “Does this sound like a #1 single to you?”

Gossip sites then upgraded what would have been just a rumor about Davis’ unhappiness with the project by running items that the album would be shelved (which turned out not to be true). What was true, Clarkson confirmed to MTV News, is that there was some conflict over her choice of a first single as well as the album as a whole, but it’s since been resolved.

“This time, everybody made a big deal about the label and me disagreeing with the record, but that’s happened every record,” she said. “This is just the only one people know about, so there’s nothing new. It’s always the same thing, every song I come out with, every record. Everybody’s like ‘eh’ at first, and after it does well, then they’re behind it.”

In fact, her single “Never Again” recently debuted in the top 10 on Billboard’s Hot 100. And on Friday, Clarkson succeeded in getting the label to push up My December’s release from July 24 to June 26. According to label rep Lou Robinson, the singer “really wanted” her fans to be familiar with the songs when her tour starts July 11. “She wanted it, and we wanted to oblige,” Robinson said. So was any of the rescheduling related to the previous squabble with the label? “No, not at all,” he said.

“I always stick to my guns,” Clarkson said. “I think you definitely need to keep doing what you love, because I’m the one who needs to sing it every night.”

- Kelly Clarkson On Rumored Label Squabble: ‘I Always Stick To My Guns’,, May 14 2007.

2. JULIA Gillard says she will “stick to her guns” and not be deterred by poor opinion polls. Just days after winning the Melbourne state by-election, Labor has been deflated by its federal support falling back below 30 per cent.

After visiting the Fox Studios in Sydney with actor Hugh Jackman to inspect the construction of The Wolverine movie set, the Prime Minister said she would not be “obsessed” by opinion polls despite rumblings about her leadership with the latest Newspoll showing the ALP’s primary vote has dropped 3 points to 28 per cent….

Ms Gillard said the only poll that counts is the election and in the meantime, her Government was working on policies to improve Australia.

“Government is about governing, it’s about getting the big things done, the hard things done that set our nation up for the future that make sure were stronger and fairer in that future,” she said….

“If you want to make those big reforms you’ve got to stick to your guns - stick to your guns on those big reforms and you can’t afford to be obsessed by the opinion polls.”

- Julia Gillard says she’s ‘sticking to her guns’ despite negative poll results,, July 24, 2012.

3. What would happen if you wore the same pair of jeans every day for 15 months without washing them?

Well, there's no need to experiment because a Canadian college student has done the hard yards for you.

Josh Le spent more than a year in his raw denim Nudie Jeans.

“Raw denim . . . they’re a pair of jeans that are dyed but not chemically treated or distressed,” Le said.

“What that allows you is a blank canvas in front of you – you’ve got to paint on jeans with your life, essentially.

“So instead of buying designer denim that have all these dyed and crinkled parts, you have jeans that are designed essentially by you. So that’s one of the big draws for raw denim.”

Le said it all started as a fashion experiment, but soon turned into a science experiment.

“It turns out that it’s not that bad for you,” he said of his experiment, which included a bacteria analysis by a professor at his college who studies textiles and bacteria.

Le said he would regularly give his jeans the “sniff test” to ensure he wasn’t going out in public with seriously funky-smelling clothes.

“I’d try to control the odour. Some days it would be bad but I’d air it out,” he said.

“I persevered through insults, disgusted looks, inquisitions from friends and family, and other trials and tribulations every iconoclast faces when they stick to their guns.”

- Student wears same jeans for 15 months,, February 4, 2011.



About the author:

Zhang Xin is Trainer at He has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at:, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.


Cut from the same cloth?

That particular bridge?

Informed decision?

Moral fiber

(作者张欣 中国日报网英语点津 编辑:陈丹妮)



















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