August 31, 2012
It was a tour de force, of course. The Cigar Store Mormon, clad, no doubt, in his occult undies, promised, as did his running mate, the creation of twelve million new jobs for the beleaguered American commoners. How will this be accomplished, when growth itself seems increasingly impossible and when the White Christians, first and foremost, believe that charity must begin at home and must never flow from government taps? These are details, my friends, sordid details which detract from the rousing forward momentum of these galvanizing White Christian speeches.
But back to that eerie feeling, that glow that somehow comes from listening to such tripe...and then the answer seemed plain. Just as the audience looked like all the people in the suburban neighborhood I grew up in, the words themselves sounded like a convention speech from....about 1960! That was it. That is the game that Mitt Romney & Paul Ryan are playing. Mitt talked about "turning the page" on Obama, but what he's really talking about is turning back the clock.
I admit that 1960 could be fun again. I was very young, the country was hopeful, America was about to elect a youthful and optimistic President who promised to land a man on the moon and bring him back to Earth safely (and then delivered). We now live in a country that isn't anything like that. We've used up so many of the Earth's resources, and damaged so much of its fragile ecology, and so overpopulated its surface, that you can even say we don't live on a planet like that anymore (the world's population has more than doubled during that time period).
The White Christians are simply appealing to nostalgia, harking back to a day when even I was a White Christian (okay, not really, but I was going to church - under duress and all, but still).
The GOP should consider doing their campaign videos in blurry 8 millimeter Kodak film, with everyone (especially cornball Mitt) wearing Madras shirts and tooling around in 1957 Chevy Bel-Air sedans. Take us back, Mitt, to the days when we didn't have one-sixth of the American population on food stamps, when the federal government didn't borrow 40 cents of every dollar it spends, when the wealth disparity in the country was not so vast that people, well, like you, Mitt, didn't live in a different economic realm from the hoi polloi. When Big Government, with its bloated defense budget and endless wars, was not owned and operated by Big Business, when to be extremely rich did not mean total immunity from prosecution from any crime, no matter how egregious and damaging.
Because if you can't put together some sort of Time Machine to get us back to 1960, then you, Mitt, are going to be up against the same overwhelming forces as your predecessor, with a broken, offshored, robotized economy, with fewer than two people working to support every person on Social Security, with local governments going bankrupt and no way to print money to make up the difference (as the feds do), and with the negative effects of climate change (as with this year's epic droughts in the Midwest) right here, right now, in the actual year we're dealing with.
Bummer. Those were the thoughts that intruded into my peaceful slumber as I awoke this morning. It's 2012, not 1960. That's why Mitt's fantasy doesn't work. It's now, not then, and he's hoping to get elected before anyone notices.