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Tansy_Gold

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 16,729

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Why I have no pity whatsoever for Mitt Romney. None.

Nor do I have any pity for Ann Romney, their five sons, Paul Ryan, his wife (whatever her name is), or any children they may (or may not) have.

I would like to say I do not wish them ill, but in a way I do. They lost the election and perhaps for some people that's enough karmic justice. It's not enough for me.

The cornerstone of American democracy is the belief that all people are created equal. Jefferson said it, Lincoln repeated it, and the steadily bending arc of justice brings us closer to making that belief a reality.

We know that however equal people may be at the moment of their creation -- whether that moment is defined as conception or birth -- their lives proceed in varying degrees of inequality. Some come into this world surrounded by wealth and power and unlimited opportunities. Others arrive to unending poverty and frustration and disappointment. The difference between someone like me and someone like Mitt Romney is that I believe that disparity is unnatural and wrong and should be alleviated as much as possible, while Mitt and his supporters see inequality as natural and normal and right.

All of their policies, all of their actions are in support not only of the existing inequality but also in expanding it. No matter what they say and no matter how loudly they say that they support equality, their actions speak far louder than their words.

So Mitt Romney has no concept of there being anything wrong with his hosting a victory party only for the wealthy supporters. To him, they are the only people who matter. They are equal to him, and that's the only equality that matters to him.

Anything that would mitigate the disparity between Mitt Romney's elite class and the have-nots is simply not permitted under the administration he would have led. Labor unions that promote fair and living wages, good benefits, a just and equitable sharing of the wealth produced by the workers are simply not acceptable. Collective bargaining interferes with the process of dis-equalizing the distribution of wealth. Universal health care -- not mandated insurance -- again levels the distinction between rich and poor and is just not acceptable. Public education, which has traditionally given even the poorest citizens an "equal" chance to advance, is anathema to the Romney camp.

They use phrases like "trickle down economics" and "job creation" to dupe their followers, but they do it knowing that the phrases are lies. For them, lying is perfectly all right as long as it furthers the objectives of maintaining inequality. Similarly, they preach "family values" while feeling perfectly free not to practice those values themselves. That's because along with double standard of economic inequality comes a double standard of social behavior and responsibility. When one of their own -- Mark Stanford, David Vitter, John Ensign, Arnold Schwarzenegger, John McCain -- falls from grace, there is no crucifixion. There may be complaints and criticism, but the double standard of morality applies right alongside the double standard of economic justice.

And they see absolutely nothing wrong with it. That's why they can't be shamed.

So how is that someone like Mitt Romney manages to collect as many votes as he did? If he has so little regard for people who are not like him, why do those people vote for him?

They vote for him and for other candidates like him, and they support the very policies that contribute to their own oppression, to the diminution of their own hopes and dreams and opportunities, because they are afraid. And more than anything else, they are afraid of change.

Because they have bought into the same belief that the world is and is supposed to be fundamentally unequal, they are afraid that any change will drop them into a less-equal status. Various forms of hope are dangled in front of them, everything from winning the lottery to inheriting a fabulous estate to making a killing in the stock market. None of these forms of hope, however, are actually attainable by their own efforts. They cling desperately to what little they may have and they hope to gain more through luck -- or the grace of their god -- but they do not see hard work and determination and equality of opportunity as viable roads to success.

How do they manage to hold these diametrically opposed notions in their heads at the same time? They do it because they are afraid not to. This is why so often they either become belligerent or enter into profound denial when confronted with facts, and especially when confronted with the fact of their own contradictory beliefs. The right wing mantra is that people should work, not expect hand-outs, but they also promote the belief that the true road to wealth is paved with unearned gold. It can't be both.

That's why I have no pity for Mitt Romney. I am deeply grateful that he lost. I loathe him as I loathe Sarah Palin and George W. Bush and Dick Cheney and Todd Akin and Joe Walsh and all the other right wing fanatics who lie and prey upon other people's fears. They are parasites, they are cancers on the social fabric. They earned their defeat, and I can only hope that they learn something from it. But I have no faith that they will. For it is in their own best interest not to learn, and they will always put their own best interest ahead of anyone else's. No one else, you see, matters.

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