Who Concerns Romney?

Once again, I don’t like or support Mitt Romney in any way. However, it disturbs me that I just scrolled down 26 different posts in my blogroll, bashing him for the following statements:

“I’m not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there,” Romney told CNN. “If it needs repair, I’ll fix it. I’m not concerned about the very rich, they’re doing just fine. I’m concerned about the very heart of the America, the 90 percent, 95 percent of Americans who right now are struggling.”

“The challenge right now — we will hear from the Democrat party the plight of the poor,” Romney responded, after repeating that he would fix any holes in the safety net. “And there’s no question it’s not good being poor and we have a safety net to help those that are very poor . . . My focus is on middle income Americans … we have a very ample safety net and we can talk about whether it needs to be strengthened or whether there are holes in it. but we have food stamps, we have Medicaid, we have housing vouchers, we have programs to help the poor.”

In any political campaign, he said, “you can choose where to focus. You can focus on the rich–that’s not my focus. You can focus on the very poor–that’s not my focus. My focus is on middle-income Americans.”

What Romney did here, in my opinion, was to reiterate the 99% versus the 1% slogan that the very same bloggers who now bash Romney for this statement have promoted for months. He is a little more honest than the #Occupiers in that he, at least, recognizes that we don’t have a uniform 99% of dispossessed people in this country. He, at least, does distinguish the people at the very bottom from those who have incomes of $100K or $1,000,000K per year. I think it’s very important to start mentioning the fact that there are huge differences in the lifestyles of the $150K and $15K per year crowds. As you all remember, I could never make my peace with the #OSW crowd because of its insistence that the millionaires, the almost-millionaires and the very poor were all in the same boat.

Now, as for Romney’s decision to focus on the middle class in his campaign, once again, he is doing the exact same thing that the #OSW has been doing. I think by now everybody has recognized that #OSW is all about the terror that the middle classes feel at the prospect of slipping down the social and financial scale (do I need to quote Zizek again?). So Romney is saying openly that he will concentrate on the concerns of such middle-class people. Even though, in my opinion, he vastly exaggerates their number, he is being far more honest than the #OSW has been.

We all know that, as a Republican presidential candidate, Romney could not possibly be expected to concentrate on the plight of the very poor. So why are we bashing him now? For being honest and voicing what most of the #OSWers feel but never admit to?


Romney Calculators

Have you seen these Romney Calculators that seem to be the latest fad on Liberal websites? My blogroll is filled to the brim with them, articles about them, and calculations based on them.

I so hope that this “Romney is rich which is why you shouldn’t vote for him” spiel will not become the axis of the Liberal Presidential elections campaign. There are very few things that Obama’s supporters can do to lose him the election. This, however, is one of them. Trying to milk class resentments of the Americans? Really? This strategy is going to be extremely counterproductive.

I’ve been living in this country since 2003 and I have not seen a widespread hatred of wealth. People hate the government, the IRS, the bureaucrats, the “elitist intellectuals”, etc. But they don’t hate the rich. Everybody hopes to strike it rich which turns people who make a lot of money into role models. If Romney were a jet-setting heir to a fortune who hasn’t worked a day in his life, then there is a slight chance one could successfully invoke class resentment toward him. But he isn’t.

Remember 2004? That was the moment when the entirety of the Liberal discourse on President Bush was reduced to the supremely ineffective “Bush lied!” mantra. Every time I heard it, I’d whisper, “What are they doing? This is a guaranteed way to lose the elections!” And that was exactly what happened. Of course, the Dems also had no candidate to run a against Bush, just like the Republicans don’t have a viable candidate right now. If the “Romney Calculator” type of strategy continues, though, Romney is likely to become such a candidate.

Take me, for example. I don’t like Romney and I’d never support him for President. Still, after I saw the Romney Calculator, I’m less opposed to him than before.

Of course, if people who have been living in this country for a longer time than I have tell me that there are massive class resentments against high earners that can be successfully exploited in the US, I’ll believe you. If I’m not seeing something, this doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

What do you, folks, think? Is the Romney Calculator a winning strategy?

Lukewarm Elections That Await Us

The Liberals in this country, for the most part, entertain very tepid feelings towards President Obama. Most will vote for him because the alternative is even less appealing.

The Conservatives aren’t wildly enthusiastic about Mitt Romney, either. (I think we can all agree that Romney will be the Republican nominee, can’t we?) Every Conservative analysis I have recently read has concentrated on the idea that the Right needs to support Romney to prevent Obama from getting re-elected. (Here is an example.) As the we have seen, the Conservatives have been searching hard for an alternative to Romney and failing to encounter one. The Conservative attitude towards Romney can be summarized as, “Well, I guess I’ll support him if there is nothing better. . .”

The reason why Obama is not making Progressives flock passionately to his support is that – let’s just be honest about it, OK? – he did not live up to his promise that we all saw in him on the night when the election results were announced in 2008. I haven’t been able to get over him appointing Summers and Geithner to repair our broken economy, and I don’t think I ever will get over it.

The reason why Conservatives aren’t passionate about supporting Romney – even though he is the only real chance they have to beat Obama – is, in my opinion, his grievous lack of charisma. Every time I see him, he reminds me of John Kerry. Kerry said all the right things but could one really get excited over him?

This is going to be an election where people will come to the polls unenthusiastically and support a candidate for the simple reason that the alternative is even worse. In such a big country as this one, don’t you think we could do better? And by “we” I mean all of us.