OPINION – About six months ago, when it became apparent that Mitt Romney was going to receive the Republican Party presidential nomination, I made an offhanded remark on Facebook that he would be beaten so soundly by President Obama this election that he would give his concession speech on Halloween.
If things keep going as they have been for Citizen Romney, I might be correct.
Back then, of course, I was basing it on his early flip-flopping on issues like health care and his witless take on foreign policy; his reluctance to be transparent to the voting public; his elitist arrogance.
As it turns out, we had no idea how elitist and arrogant this man is until recently when a video emerged from a fundraiser held in his behalf in Boca Raton, Florida where he chatted up about 30 GOP groupies in an attempt to lighten their wallets for his campaign.
Now, I fully realize this won’t play well here in Romneyville, where I will be shocked if he takes less than 75 percent of the vote on Election Day, but after watching the video from that Florida fundraiser I came away feeling as if I had just stepped out of a Jazz Age soirée where F. Scott Fitzgerald, Zelda, and their snobbish friends slurred drunkenly, after sloshing gin all day, about the poor people and wondered how they were doing before changing out of their tennis whites and into formal attire for the cocktail hour and dinner.
Romney’s neo-conservatism, narrow world view, and disconnection from the working class fall more in line with the horsey set he is a part of than with you or me. Remember, this is a man who pays about $25,000 a year more than the average American makes to care for Rafalca, the horse he bought for his wife that competed in the recent Olympics.
Still, I gave him the benefit of the doubt when word of this videotape first surfaced. He claimed his words were taken out of context, which, as a longtime news reporter, I have learned is the first excuse a person uses when something they said that is of controversy becomes public. Hey, it happens sometimes.
Not this time.
The tape clearly shows the context of remarks Romney made that pretty much hold nearly half of all those who live in the United States in disdain, as he fired another salvo in the GOP’s continuing class warfare.
What does that mean?
Look at the person sitting next to you right now. According to the statements Romney made to this bunch of political mavens, he only cares about one of you. The other? They are among the 47 percent who will vote for President Obama no matter what, who believe they are entitled to health care, food, housing; who don’t pay taxes, he said.
“My job is not to worry about those people,” he said at that meeting. “(It is) to convince the 5 to 10 percent in the center (to vote for him).”
Now, excuse me if I have a mild come-apart here, but I have paid into Social Security for a long time and know what? I am damn well entitled to that money when I finally retire. It is mine. If I was in a position to request unemployment insurance, I am damn well entitled to that as well because that money? It is mine, too. I paid a lot of years into both accounts and, well, am entitled to it if I need it.
And, as far as the rest of it?
First of all, I would put a lot more credence behind what Citizen Romney said if he would only open up his tax records to the voters and tell us how much, if any, he has paid in taxes the last 12 years as his father did when he ran for president.
Then? Well, let’s just say I fall in line with a blog I read the other day on the Huffington Post that stated:
“According to the (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a) United Nations declaration, to which the United States is a signatory, ‘Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing, and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age, or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.’”
That 47 percent Romney mentioned?
Look around at your family. Are Mom and Dad retired? Do you have a family member in the military? Is anybody out of work because their job was eliminated by one of those companies that buy and sell troubled businesses and ship jobs overseas? They either fall into a category that is tax exempt or at the lowest end of the scale or simply cannot afford to pay taxes.
But, it’s not Citizen Romney’s job to worry about them, either.
The comments on this video are as egregiously elitist and arrogant whether taken in full context or in snippets and he is taking a beating from those who study and write about politics for a living.
Let’s be fair and toss out the liberal comments. We already know how those from the left feel about Citizen Romney.
But, what about those who come from his side of the political spectrum?
The Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol said Romney is “arrogant and stupid.”
David Brooks, a conservative columnist for the New York Times, said Romney’s comment was “country club fantasy.”
The explanation of all this alliteration, however, is better found in Ernest Hemingway’s “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” than Fitzgerald’s “Rich Boy.”
“The rich…were dull and they drank too much, or they played too much backgammon,” Hemingway wrote in his famous short story. “They were dull and they were repetitious. He remembered poor Scott Fitzgerald and his romantic awe of them and how he had started a story once that began, ‘The very rich are different from you and me.’ And how someone had said to Scott, ‘Yes, they have more money.’”
And, they want to keep it, which is why they endorse a guy like Romney.
No bad days!
Ed Kociela is an opinion columnist. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2012, all rights reserved.