Mitt Romney and the Problem of Wealth

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The Republican primaries are under way, and as is normal with any American election cycle, the craziness has once again begun. The latest craziness surrounds Mitt Romney, the Republican frontrunner. In the video above, Romney says of his father: “He had good advice to me. He said, ‘Mitt, never get involved in politics if you have to win an election to pay a mortgage. If you find yourself in a position when you can serve, why you ought to have a responsibility to do so if you think you can make a difference, you oughta have a responsibility to do so.’” See a ThinkProgress blog post here.

In other Romney news, he says, “I like being able to fire people.” See it here:

Romney’s opponents have been spinning this as proof that Romney is an elitist who is out of touch with the American people. In the first case, they are saying that Romney believes that only the wealthy should run for office. In the second, they’re spinning the story as proof that he identifies with rich business owners who fire people rather than the near 10% of the working population that is unemployed.

Neither of these attacks is a correct portrayal of what Romney said. In the first case, Romney is right–if you’re dependent on winning an election in order to pay your bills, you shouldn’t be running. It’s the same issue that we face with Asian American artists–if you have to play a demeaning Long Duk Dongish character or write some degrading “literature” to pay your bills, you need a second career. Politics should pay money, but people who run should not be in desperation mode.

In the second, he was talking about healthcare. Healthcare should not only be tied to employment because as he says, it creates disincentives for a healthcare company to keep you healthy. I don’t know what Romney would do with healthcare if elected, but I like Romneycare in Massachusetts, which is similar to Obamacare. Again, I agree with what Romney said–although I have no idea what he’d actually implement as President.

It’s just unfortunate that this part of the election is going to come down to who can better misrepresent their opponents’ viewpoints in front of the media. We need these guys to be talking about real ideas, rather than using sneaky media tactics.


6 thoughts on “Mitt Romney and the Problem of Wealth

  1. Oh…and I have no idea why Romney thought Ted Kennedy had to take out a mortgage to defeat him. The Kennedys have always had money.

  2. It’s quite inevitable that they’d have to resort to media tactics and soundbites, because it doesn’t matter what position they have or what they say in the end. Santorum stood out in particular as a person who doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about when he talked about Iran. And the rest of the guys too. If they buy into the talk about Iran being a danger to America, then why the hell do some of them want to maintain troops in Iraq instead of basing them somewhere where they can deploy on a major scale with less hindrance and more speed? Just for example. These guys are NOT policy makers. They are guided. They do not guide.

    Governments must have continuity, policies put in place and positions taken takes years to implement, maybe even decades to play out. What makes people think that they have a right to choose on the arbitrary scale of once every four years? What makes people think that by voting they can or should implement “change”? This is the lie of “democracy”. Democracy has taken the meaning of jockeying for privileges and protections for interest groups and factions rather than the represented guiding the actions and policies of the state.

  3. “The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter.”

    Winston Churchill

  4. LMAO Churchill, that cranky old bastard, that old dinosaur. I wonder if it galled him to have to play it up for the class he held contempt for, for the sake of a class he couldn’t be a part of. You know they called it a “class” for a reason. Five generations or more poor or rich, with very solid brick ceilings that people seldom broke through. Churchill must have surely felt it. What character, ambition died before stubbornness. That must have made him very useful.

    In Churchill’s prime they had started rounding up deserters and were shooting a thousand men a day for forcing an entire generation to die in a hopeless fight they essentially had no part of. A THOUSAND a day! That’s how bad it had become.

    The second time it happened Britain used up all her vigor, and had to pass the torch to someone else.

  5. The English are pretty messed up with their class system, that “ruling aristocracy” thing that some hold onto. I have a friend who’s British, from Cornwall, way southwest and coastal, where they like being far away from London. He’d much rather call himself Cornish than British.

    If voters remain uninformed, ignorant, and suggestible to demagoguery, do they get the government they deserve?

    Calls to mind the Who’s classic, “Won’t Get Fooled Again”

  6. Where do people get their information and knowledge from, though? Media, and education, word of mouth only amplifies the messages from the first two. I’m quite sure that people would rather shift attention to politicians, scandals and “issues” rather than how mass media manipulates public opinion and perception. You would think that when the manipulation becomes incredibly blatant people would start switching off their television sets and using newspapers to wrap up dogshit.

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