The campaign half empty
The GOP struggle to “get that man out of the White House” lost half its hot air this week after a Romney video was made public. The video once again highlights the duplicity of the Republican “message” to the white working-class voter. In the video, Romney implies that as he enters the White House, he will step on the heads of all those who are weak and not deserving of the loopholes extended to the rich and powerful, by our federal and state governments.
Given Romney’s message, why would any working-class American vote for him? Yet the polls clearly indicate that the country is almost equally divided in this election cycle. The Democrats hate the Republican platform and values. The Republicans hate Obama. Many working-class voters are willing to become victims of the Romney/Ryan plan to eviscerate many entitlement programs that benefit them, while at the same time heaping still more tax breaks on “the1%” – the same people who already profit most from existing government policies to help the rich.
If you are not part of Romney’s elite faction of the US population that have incomes above $250,000.00, why would you willingly vote against your own self-interests? In the video, Romney specifically targets those Americans he feels are sucking our country dry. Romney is specific about his remedy for ridding American society of free-loaders, beggars, lazy crooks and all those hard-working Americans who have fallen on hard economic times. We know that a fairly sizable part of the Romney/Ryan hit-list are hard working educated and skilled taxpaying middle class citizens, who pay a higher tax rate than the rich-folk so admired by Romney/Ryan. Romney’s “good Americans” are already at the feeding-trough reserved for those with expensive tax accountants and lobbyists. Everyone else pays a higher percentage of their incomes on sales taxes, gas taxes, real estate taxes, fees and all sorts of hidden charges levied by our government regardless of income – in short, they do pay taxes.
Over and over again I am drawn back to trying to understand the motivating reasons why a working-class voter would support a political ideology that would legislate lower tax rates for the wealthy, and raze tax benefits for the middle class. The Romney/Ryan “trickle-down” generalization only makes sense if every millionaire purchases thousands of cars, TVs, appliances, and everything else consumers buy, every day, to compensate for the lost purchasing power of an increasingly large segment of the population that can no longer afford to even be alive, much less buy all the stuff that makes a consumer-economy function. For any American who does not have off-shore bank accounts and lots of unearned income from interest and dividends, I fail to see the rational for supporting two candidates who are antithetical to your very being.
If you hate Obama, ask yourself exactly why. Are there specific and factual reasons for your hatred? Are you willing to blithely buy into all the political smears and innuendos? Do you hate the man more than you hate the public official? Do you hate him more than you dislike what he has or has not done? Personally I am unhappy with what Obama has not done and his actions concerning the Bush wars, but he has accomplished much, even with one of the most antagonistic Congresses in our history.
In the Romney/Ryan ticket I now see a duplicitous effort to conduct a public and a private campaign. There is the platitudinous vagueness of the public platform and there is a far different, and more harsh, campaign to appeal to the rich folks. I now realize that the two messages are countervailing. On one hand Romney states he does not need, almost despises, the 47% of the people who are free-loaders, while in a more public forum he smiles and assures the unneeded free-loading 47% that he loves them. Do we have the scorpion and the frog dilemma with Romney/Ryan?
We will have to wait until November to find out whether enough white working-class-Joes hate Obama more than they love themselves. If so, than we may have unearthed a new form of sociological altruism in America, where the working-class is willing to sacrifice their own well-being, and the well-being of their families, to “get that man out of the White House”.