Mitt Romney – Classical Classist

06Oct12

Many Romney supporters think others oppose him just because he’s “rich.”  Then they argue that he built his wealth legally, ran a successful business, and paid all the taxes required by law (and then some).  That’s not the point.  The point is that he thinks he’s automatically better than the majority of Americans, who control very little wealth indeed.

Romney is a classist.  In a classical sense.  He has more in common with post-Renaissance European aristocrats and Roman patricians than he does with his fellow Americans.  He is their better, their social and moral superior, and basically a more valuable human being.

The infamous “47%” comment he made at a private fundraiser illustrates this well.  He clearly implies that anyone who doesn’t pay income taxes (which are distinct from payroll taxes) is an irresponsible freeloader dependent on the government.  Thus, “[his] job is not to worry about those people”.  The ignorance behind these cavalier remarks is nothing short of astounding.  The 47% includes many elderly people, students, and parents raising the next generation of Americans.  Many fine citizens fall into this category.  However, because of the country’s widening income inequality, they lack the wealth to make more of a contribution to government than has already been taken out of their paychecks.  And, needless to say, plenty of the 47% are Romney supporters (including many poor whites on welfare).  His arrogance risks alienating his own base.

Romney has revealed his haughty ignorance and scorn for everyday people in other ways.  He is “not concerned about the very poor”, as he just assumes their needs are being fully met.  People without health insurance can just go to the emergency room when they have a health issue, regardless of the inefficiency of this solution and its costs to communities.  With a dismissive attitude, he said, “Planned Parenthood, we’re going to get rid of that”, without seeming to consider the impact that defunding that organization would have on public health.  With a smirk and a joke, he declared that he would cut the subsidy to PBS, a miniscule fraction of the federal government that arguably offers a high return-on-investment.  He believes that $200,000-$250,000 a year qualifies as “middle income”, and he honestly does not understand why people raise eyebrows at his Swiss bank account.

The “out-of-touch” accusation is overused in politics, but here it really applies.  Romney simply does not comprehend the average American’s challenges and life experiences, much less those of the disadvantaged and marginalized.  Nor does he want to understand; he is satisfied with his perspective on society, one that privileges him immensely.

I’m not really sure why this man wants to be President.  While the President is considered a leader most of the time, s/he is also supposed to be the ultimate public servant.  Romney is reckless as a leader and ill-suited to championing the public good.  His notable “flip-flopping” on many key issues demonstrates that he has no ideological core, no really thought-out positions on much of anything.

He doesn’t seem to care because he really doesn’t care.

Between this and his ego, one can surmise he wants to be President because he wants the status, and the power.  He wants to be on top, as always.

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