Wednesday, August 29, 2012

He Am what He Am, but what Am He?

Am is the present first singular of Be. Does that help in understanding who Mitt Romney is? It is all well and good for Romney to say “I am who I am,” but all that really tells us is that he exists. His existence cannot be denied, but people want to know HIM, who he actually IS? Does he even know himself who he is? It would seem to me that to claim your existence does not define you as a person and what kind of person. To be a person should mean there is something that defines you apart from your mere existance, some core of beliefs and principles that make up a personality that identifies you apart from others. Looking at Romney’s history he seems to be lacking in a core that defines him, the very characteristics people want to know about.

But Romney as a person is elusive at best. He was once considered a moderate Republican but now claims to be an ultra-conservative Republican. He once was in favor of a woman’s choice but now he is anti-choice. He claimed once that his first name was Mitt when in fact it is Willard. He claimed to be a lifelong hunter, but it turns out he only did something resembling hunting twice in his entire lifetime. He claimed to be a lifelong member of the NRA but he wasn’t. He professes to be a committed Mormon and is active in his church, but he lies incessantly even when it is obvious he is lying. He also appears to be a warmonger that I think should be incompatible with his religion. I could be wrong about this as I do not know the position of the Mormon Church on war, I can only assume they do not approve of violence and killing and lying. He does appear to be a good husband and father.

Romney claims to have been a successful businessman. If you equate success with making lots of money he certainly was. On the other hand, if you think vulture capitalism involves a number of questionable, possibly unethical or immoral activities, perhaps he was not such a great businessman. He boasts about saving the Olympics but doesn’t mention the more than a billion dollars he was given by the Federal Government for that purpose. He claims to have created jobs but it seems many of those jobs were overseas and as Governor of Massachusetts he was something like 47th in job creation. In addition to being a chronic liar he is also a hypocrite, accusing Obama of running a negative campaign while his own campaign is much worse in terms of the negativity. Similarly, he claims to have cried when the Mormon Church finally agreed to accept Blacks, but now he is clearly playing the race card in his campaign.

Romney is somehow basically unlikeable. In his attempt to become likeable he and his wife have recently appeared on television with Mitt turning over pancakes while his wife boasts about how much they love (and by implication shop at) Cosco. He brags about the shirts he bought there, what fine shirts they are, and so on, even though everyone knows that is not ordinarily when he buys his clothes. His wife gushes about how much they love Cosco, but she doesn’t claim to buy her $900 blouses there. Like his claim to be a hunter this is so phony it is actually insulting. It is as if they think they are talking to a bunch of completely illiterate peasants too stupid to realize what they are doing (sorry, you and your corporate friends have not yet accomplished that condition you are striving for). As Romney made 20 million dollars last year but refuses to reveal his taxes, and as his wife drives “a couple of cadillacs,” their attempt to pretend they understand ordinary folk, and are just ordinary folk themselves, is ridiculous in the extreme. When she said they were so poor they had to sell some of their stock it made me want to cry. Their attitude towards us ordinary folk was made quite clear when Mrs. Romney said about their taxes, “you people have all the information you need.” Romney’s frequent gaffes also give away his abysmal ignorance when it comes to dealing with the public. He has been running for President for several years but remains the worse candidate probably ever, even most members of his own party do not like him, he’s sort of like the pest that just won’t take “no” for an answer and persists no matter what. Even most of the speakers at the Republican convention last night barely mentioned him, preferring instead to boast of their own achievements, and he is in danger of being dramatically upstaged by his Vice Presidential choice. So who is this mysterious, secretive, elusive creature that exists, and wants to be President of the United States, but has no apparent personhood, no convictions, no personality, a man who just doesn’t seem to be there and seems to have no real explanation for why he wants the office in the first place?

In Christianity neither morality nor religion come into contact with reality at any point.

Friedrich Nietzsche

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