Okay, I’ll admit it. I misjudged Mitt Romney. During the GOP primaries, a friend asked me to rank my order of preference for the candidates. I ranked Romney in a distant second behind former Utah Governor and Ambassador to China, Jon Huntsman.
And while that isn’t saying much considering his competition consisted of overtly racist, reactionary, homophobic and scandal-plagued characters, with the exception of Huntsman, who is basically a Democrat, I still held Romney in a much higher regard than the others.
To me, Romney, who as governor provided the basis for the Affordable Care Act (though he would later disavow it), was a well-educated, well-intentioned moderate, at least when compared to the rest of the GOP field. He seemed like a decent guy, and though I knew of the actions of Bain Capital, I chose to overlook them. After all, the Democratic Party embraced former Goldman Sachs CEO Jon Corzine as first a senator and then as a governor, and it would have been a bit hypocritical of me to employ a double standard.
But after Romney secured the nomination, it became readily apparent to me that he was nothing more than a smarmy, out-of-touch liar with no sense of compassion or justice. He really was no more reasonable than the other would-have-been-nominees, a point which he confirmed with the selection of a reactionary running mate, the social and fiscal extremist Paul Ryan. Romney’s outsourcing of jobs and intentional bankrupting of companies reflect an astonishing lack of integrity, further supplemented by his more recently surfaced tax avoidance.
And lately, Romney has sunk to a new low, pandering to closet racists and fringe-right extremists. Currently polling 25 points lower than Obama among Latino voters and a whopping 96 points among African-American voters, Romney has resorted to utterly disingenuous ads which play upon suburbanites’ racial fears. Ads attacking welfare implied that Obama was going to end work requirements and steal taxpayers’ money, bringing back the old GOP myth of “welfare queens.” And these welfare queens are clearly implied to be African-Americans, a group still feared by certain portions of society, despite their reluctance to admit it.
Romney also referred to Obama as “angry and desperate.” This was a patently false claim given Obama’s noted calmness and willingness to compromise, as he did by extending the Bush tax cuts in their entirety to avoid a government shutdown. Obama isn’t an angry person, but referring to him as “angry” does help to cast him in the angry black man stereotype which has pervaded society for generations. Romney wants to scare sheltered suburbanites to the polls to prevent Obama the collectivist, Obama the Muslim, Obama the Kenyan, from being re-elected and possibly destroying this country through his hidden agenda. Romney’s message is simple: “Obama is not one of us. I am.”
When Romney joked about Obama’s birth certificate last week, he knew full well that it was going to be controversial. He wanted to hide behind the facade of a joke to prevent being labeled as a birther, while still milking the benefits of such a racially galvanizing statement– when he said his “joke,” the audience didn’t laugh, they cheered. Romney’s association with birther Donald Trump shows that Romney is fully willing to exploit consternation about having an African-American in the Oval Office.
And this is wrong. He knows he can’t win on the issues or even on his business experience, so he is simply using racial propaganda. It is bad for democracy. It is bad for this country. And to me, at this point, Willard Mitt Romney is nothing more than a draft dodging, tax evading, parasitic, inequality-loving, deceitful scumbag who represents everything that is wrong with America.
Original Author: Michael Sun