Ronald Reagan's presidential idol, Calvin Coolidge, would have been appalled that Mitt Romney, as Politico reports, "has some Republicans worried he lacks the 'vision thing.' "
"Excellent," the former vice president to steady-as-she-goes President Normalcy would have said. " 'Vision' implies not only big and boat-rocking ideas, but even utopian aspirations, and those are things that no conservative leader would care to abide, let alone peddle."
On the other hand Coolidge's apostate worshipper, President Reagan, would have joined the chorus of Republican hand-wringers about Romney. Reagan went to the White House not to modestly conserve, but to aggressively lay waste to the problem-solving bloat of big government (that he instead bloated it even further is a different subject). He was endowed with a "vision"--it's all rather a blur now, but to voters it essentially entailed manly and highly individualistic cowpokes (still packin' Social Security cards) singin' by the campfire as futuristic space guns protected the whole idyllic scene.
For conservatives, "Vision" had arrived and was planning a lengthy stay. If one requires confirmation of that revolutionary turn, just recall the conservative trouble into which H.W. got for lacking the damn thing.
Yet Bush's lack was congenital: he was born a conservative and raised with authentically conservative ideas--pragmatism and empiricism and all that. Reagan, however, came to conservatism later in life and through its increasingly whacky filters of an unstoppable socialist Frankenstein monster intent, for instance, on forcing humble villagers into the Stalinist gulag of Medicare.
Things got so out of hand that Poppy had to swear to the base that he would never as president do the empirically right and pragmatically smart thing--raise taxes when taxes needed raising--which of course he later did, which of course cost him his job, and which of course then set conservatism's permanent course of fiscal lunacy.
And just what is this venomous lunacy called? You got it. "Vision." And Mitt, you best get yourself some of it, of an additionally lunatic sort, because your base is on a kind of Robespierrean-Bolshevik-Cultural-Revolutionary rampage which demands constant feedings of fresh lunacy.