This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Snake oil salesmen were icons of American history. They crisscrossed the country, selling cures for whatever ailed you. Ingredients were secret and usually the medicines did more harm than good.
Gov. Mitt Romney is a modern-day equivalent. For the past eight years, he has crisscrossed the nation selling his cure for everything that ails America. He gives no details of how his secret "cures" work just what the glorious results will be, such as increased take-home pay for all and 12 million new jobs (which leading economists forecast will occur regardless who becomes president).
Romney changes his pitch to whatever appeals to the current audience. He was for universal health care not now; for the "cap and trade" market-based approach to control pollution, and tougher automobile emissions standards unlike now. Romney was pro-choice unlike now. Tax cuts for the rich are still there.
Snake oil salesmen often had to run for their lives. In the case of Romney, it's we who should be running.