Filed Under:  OpEd, Opinion

At long last, a moment of clarity

24th September 2012   ·   0 Comments

By Edmund W. Lewis
Editor

Make a mental note of May 2012. That may very well prove to be the fateful month that GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s alligator mouth has finally written a check that his pampered derriere can’t cash.

It may also mark a clean break from the kinds of lies, deceptions and half-truths that have convinced tens of millions of voters that President Barack H. Osama is doing a bad job in office even as he sweeps up eight years of political refuse and ineptitude left behind by his predecessor, makes moves to finally get the U.S. economy to show signs of life after a lengthy illness and restores the faith that hundreds of millions of people used to have in the United States as a global leader.

For those too caught up in “Basketball Wives,” “Big Brother,” “The Voice,” “X-Factor” or the return of football to go channel-surfing on the news networks, Romney’s words bear repeating.

“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what… there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims,.. who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it… These are people who pay no income tax,”Romney said. “My job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

It took nearly four months for Rom­ney’s comments made at a private fundraiser held in May at a swank $3 million mansion in Boca Raton, Florida. But once those comments were made public, everything the former Massa­chusetts governor has said and done before and after the remarks were made now make a great deal more sense.

He’s not crazy, after all. Perhaps a little scatter-brained, spoiled, self-absorb­ed and overflowing with a sense of entitlement. But who could blame him for believing his own hype after living the charmed life he has lived?

It’s crystal clear that Mitt Romney does not lose any sleep over being associated with the so-called one percent of the nation’s wealthiest citizens. Nor does he apologize for striving to return the nation to the days when a small handful of wealthy and powerful white men dictated the republic’s course and decided who was and wasn’t fit to be an American.

To be fair, Romney’s slip-up may not have carried the same kind of weight it does had former President Bill Clinton not showed up at the recent Democratic National Convention to break down the game the Party of Lincoln has been running on poor, working- and middle-class Americans for a very long time.

With the ease of a small-town country preacher, Clinton showed millions of Americans how they had been hoodwinked and bamboozled by the GOP.
He poked holes in and dismantled the GOP game plan for mind-tricking voters this fall with the skill and deftness of a neurosurgeon, pausing to infuse his presentation with humor and southern charm.

The “47” percent and any others who can barely pay their mortgages and other expenses and who inexplicably still don’t get it can always go back and review Clinton’s pointed description of the game the GOP has been running on the have-nots and have-littles. It ain’t rocket science, y’all.

If those who are on the fence about how to vote weren’t moved by Clinton’s masterful presentation, Romney’s proclamation about who and what he really represents should be all the proof they need to see that he is part of a small enclave of wealthy and powerful people in this nation — the one percent — who hope to use this fall’s presidential election to usher in a new era of a patrician-dominated society.

While this writer was not surprised to hear Romney say with his own mouth what he thinks about America and most of its citizens, he was surprised that he would do so in a venue where he could potentially be exposed as an arrogant, cocky jackass who honestly thinks he’s superior to most of his fellow Americans because his pops was Daddy Warbucks. His words reveal an unimaginative, self-absorbed candidate who thinks he can get away with just about anything. Simply put, the brother is not that bright.

Dim-witted, goofy and looney presidential and vice presidential candidates are certainly nothing new as men and women like George W. Bush, Herman Cain, Dan Quayle, Sarah Palin and Michele Bachman have all proven. But the last thing this nation, this economy and this volatile global political climate need right now is a leader with no clear vision and grasp of the vast challenges that lie ahead for the U.S. and the world.

The nation needs a leader with vision, courage, humility and the ability to think outside the box in finding solutions to problems that threaten to tear the U.S. apart. It needs a leader who can bring fresh, innovative ideas to the table and give everyone who calls the U.S. home to have a fair shot at securing a decent life.

If anyone is so blinded by hate, anger and frustration that he or she votes against the best interests of his or her loved ones, hometown and state, they will have no one to blame but themselves when they find themselves slipping even deeper into a society that exploits the poor and disposes of the weak, sick and undesirables like they are mere distractions for the richest among the rich.

It wasn’t an earth-shattering revelation to learn that there were significant segments of the U.S. population that Romney doesn’t waste time thinking about; everything he has said, implied and did up until the point of the “victims” remarks supported those suspicions. But he hadn’t been comfortable enough until then to say so, or he hadn’t been caught with his foot in his mouth like this before.

Those in Louisiana who are leaning toward Romney because they can’t bare to push the button for Barack Obama should be well-reminded of how those who voted for Gov. Piyush Jindal were awarded with him turning down much-needed stimulus funds, slashing funds for higher education, refusing to run a transparent administration and shutting down at least one hospital and mental health care facility on the Northshore. Sounds like a true American champion of truth, justice and democracy.

I have but one question for the GOP presidential candidate: How are our beloved elders, disabled Americans, war veterans, homeless families, blue-collar, working-class and middle-class families who can’t seem to get ahead no matter what they do, those who have lost their homes to predatory lenders and military families who don’t have enough food to eat supposed to feel after hearing Romney’s remarks about how insignificant, undeserving and unwelcome they are?

Will Mitt Romney regret making those remarks? That remains to be seen. Americans have notoriously short attention spans and 43 days leading into the Moment of Truth is an awfully long time for folks to remain fired up about being dissed and dismissed by a blueblood presidential candidate, even one who is so richly deserving of such a far-flung political boomerang.

This article was originally published in the September 24, 2012 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper

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