The United States is fortunate Barack Obama retained her presidency. His tone deaf, brain encased in amber opponent, Mitt Romney, would’ve been the perfect wooden Indian for Corporate America.
In Romney, the grandees and high-flyers lording throughout boardrooms had their soul mate. That is supposing they possessed souls. This horde gives form and substance to Balzac’s quote stating “behind every great fortune is a great crime.”
Certainly in America’s past hard work, pluck, luck, genocide and eploitation accrued a good deal of the wealth an idle society today idolizes. But who now counts as worthy of being designated a magnate? The kind whose weal derives from actually producing tangible goods?
No Fisks. No Hearsts. No Carnegies. No C.J. Walkers. No one to admire because he (or she) rose from dirt and provided our country an irresistible, vital or popular product which awarded them immensely. Instead financial idols (Really? Are there such people?) attain fame by obtaining gloried heights through skimming from the top, middle and bottom. They also managed to thicken their profits at the expense of client returns.
Should we lionize grifters who in turn followed the template from The Sting? Wouldn’t we prefer some pick and shovel miner who struck a mother lode, thereby earning honest calluses before becoming calloused, and then became a bastard? At least his reprehensibility could’ve been respected.
Innovating bloodlessly and thriving heartlessly in today’s soulless paper-shuffling corporate environment, a Romney presidency would’ve embodied the highest echelon’s goals of greed and selfishness. Then promoted them. His photo just wouldn’t have filled places of honor in corporate vitrines. His image might’ve been rendered in the style of Orthodox iconography. Gold raiment included.
Romney’s Oval Office wouldn’t have been for sale. Though its cut of deals would’ve bitten deep.
Mitt as Metropolitan. The Metropolitan of Money. Mitt Romney, the First Bagman.
Generally politicians with business backgrounds are lousy officeholders. They lack empathy. Concern. Coming from fields where bottom lines are sacrosanct, making a dollar is everything. Investing in areas which won’t yield returns? Helping the less fortunate (a k a, the weak and worthless) not only because it’s the good thing but a key demand put upon public servants? Thinking of themselves as “public servants”? Truly?
For corporate dogs who’ve reached Romney’s level of cur the above requires an unlearning tantamount to buying a new brain. Or the location of humanity.
Yes. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is an exception. Occasionally. Though really, surveying his 11 years in office, didn’t he become mayor more out of a rich-guy challenge to himself rather than any honest conviction to “serve people”? In an honest moment, Bloomberg should admit spent he generously for self-gratification. That he acquitted himself well more often than not was just New Yorkers’ luck.
That said, the mayor’s strained compassion falls short. It’s frequently painful to watch. (When he speaks Spanish, also tough on the ears.) Who fails getting the impression that when Bloomberg does mandated duties benefiting the populace, he delivers with the enthusiasm of swallowing a tablespoon — not teaspoon — of cod liver oil?
Sometimes watching Bloomberg perform epitomizes that good isn’t always pleasant. With Romney this characteristic would’ve been an exercise in maintaining the phoniest façade imaginable.
The 2012 election concluded and properly decided, one can admit Mitt Romney was a tool absolutely geared towards satisfying whatever comprises the American oligarchy. A part of me wishes he had won just to inflict soul wounding pain on those who despised Obama because he was untraditional. Untraditional, not unconventional. Of course such beneficiaries never would’ve confessed the black guy whose world-encompassing formative experiences they declared alien backed them.
They’d have preferred an uptight Anglo screwing them than help from “the other.” Ingrained into the bone ignorance. Death is the only cure.
Had a Romney presidency beset us, its result would’ve transformed America into a noir nation. While horrible for the country, the skeptical, the suspicious, those flat-out paranoid among us could’ve had their anxieties given life through four years of Romney rule.
His elevation would’ve allowed the shady crowd to operate under even less light. Instead of practicing evasion and deception, or as the rest of us know it, larceny, they could’ve swindled fearlessly. Tough for the fig leaf market but terrific for exploiting tax loopholes, already weak regulations and purveyors of luxury labels.
Transparency would’ve been an immediate casualty during a Romney presidency. Truth as well ought have been devalued.
With Romney fronting the whole enterprise, financiers who’ve wholly embraced vulture capitalism’s ethos could’ve enjoyed the same unfettered hands as the mob did in Cuba those years before Castro descended from the Cuban hills. Sure. Mitt as Batista. Minus rum cocktails and guayaberas.
During the past campaign who didn’t laugh every time the Republican nominee claimed he could create jobs? He was a labor incubator. That his business experience was perfect for what ailed America.
The cynical part of me liked very gullible reactionaries and an extremely abetting Fox News actually swallowing the candidate’s boasts without chewing before digesting them whole then regurgitating the same. Romney’s business acumen involved making profits, not manufacturing products. The totality of people his entities hired might fill a good-sized conference room.
However, those they made redundant could’ve packed stadiums.
If earning one more dollar required saddling viable enterprises with unnecessary debt, sacking however many hourly and salaried employees, taking companies into bankruptcy in order to escape pension and benefit obligations, then Mitt Romney gladly followed those inhumane business dictates. As president, his mindset wouldn’t have deviated in the least.
Faintly heard during the recent campaign were questions about government’s role. Listening to Republicans voters might’ve found favor in their promotion of helping Americans excel. That was reducing stifling authority in order to let individuals pursue their desires to the fullest. To chase and catch dreams.
Left in the abstract and generalized into pap that plea had appeal. An 18th century frontiersman wouldn’t have found it high-falutin’ at all.
Unfortunately for every free-market huckster selling that reprocessed snake oil, the nation has previously endured its Horatio Alger/every man for himself/every man a king/leatherstocking epoch. It culminated in the Gilded Age, an era when economic disparity threatened rending the American fabric as severely as the then still fresh Civil War.
Thanks to compassionate, far-sighted opinion-makers who influenced those at the levers of power, our late 19th century outbreaks of anarchy never approached the level of societal upheaval which bloodied much of the early 20th century. Stuffy as we view our forebears now (celluloid collars, corsets and high-buttoned boots anybody?) phrases such as “for the good of the country” weren’t used to soft soap people into disregarding their interests. Or let the obscenely privileged further fluff their already substantial positions.
The good of the country would be ill-served if the masses barely eked out lives at subsistence levels while the upper crust lived extravagantly. Self-preservation alone should be enough to warn that hungry, desperate, excluded people cannot and will not be swayed by illogic. No matter how slickly presented.
Oh. Sort of like now.
Aspiration remains a constant American trait. Accepting permanent, or worse, codified marginalization is our national bane.
Fortunately for the majority of us, Romney and the Republicans never grasped how their rapacity surely could’ve aced out most Americans. Most voters did.
If successful in the 2012 election, the Republican economic Darwinism, anti-intellectualism and social compact diminishment would’ve belied loudly professed spiritual beliefs to clearly propagate nasty, brutish and unfulfilled existences. Ours. Inveighing against “big, intrusive government,” their own brand of smothering, wrong-headed paternalism could’ve affixed shackles on private sphere expressions and preferences while imposing impossible conditions on wombs nationwide.
Even the Soviet Union at its distrust every comrade worst mode rarely inserted itself between intimacy. Were Republicans really ready to surpass the Evil Empire in that aspect? To instill it as national policy? (Life, liberty and the authority to sniff sheets. From Declaration of Independence to Document of Perversity. That’s quite a revision.) Maybe GOP party propagandists could’ve somehow convinced workable numbers people they intended repressing that denial was just another word for freedom.
Thankfully such will remain entombed in speculation. Instinctively Americans spared ourselves the worst-ever instance of buyers’ remorse by keeping Mitt Romney in his beloved private sector.
Instead, in Barack Obama we again chose a leader who not only exhibits our exceptionalism. He also understands the promise of America extends into a satisfaction which cannot simply be measured by having to make lengthier payments on more stuff than our neighbors.