What needless uproar; what absurd battle of wits among clueless pundits lacking the most rudimentary knowledge of both logic and arithmetic; what a sad picture of blatant ignorance of the true makeup of America’s electorate; what an embarrassing moment for anyone who believes in democracy . . . or a reasonable facsimile thereof.
Even the most influential and loquacious pundits-journalists, on both Democrat and Republican sides, should be caricatured with profiles of extreme ignorance. Among them, front and center, Peggy Noonan, a conservative commentator for the Wall Street Journal, who just upgraded, or is it downgraded, her criticism of the Romney camp from incompetent to rolling calamity. But she is not alone; experts from the right and from the left fall prey to the same medicine man of old; the charlatan sporting the name tag: Numerical Misinterpreter. We know him well, yet we let him fool us with his deceiving preacher’s verbosity, and circus antics, time and time again.
Okay, so Mitt Romney was caught on video dismissing the lion’s share of the hoi polloi, those who take from the government’s coffers instead of helping to fill them. A number was thrown identifying, some would say badmouthing, 47 percent of the electorate as moochers, by implication if not name; a questionable number perhaps but, for our intent and purposes, inconsequential. It could be 45, or perhaps 50, but it matters little or not at all; so we’ll take 47, as the chosen prime number.
It isn’t much of a secret that preppy Mitt and his cohorts in the money-influence circles view with animus that 80 percent of Americans below the Knight (1%) and Squire (19%) ranks, those who might be considered either poor or part of the fast-disappearing middle class; an antipathy which turns into disdain when it comes to that lowest 47 percent. But that arch-conservative moneyed group, one we have been referring to as the Thug-elite, also knows, and knows very well, that it needs to enlist some of those hoi polloi to either vote for the masters, the holders of most wealth and power, or to not vote at all. No, Mitt Romney committed one lapsus linguae, a faux pas of sorts for sure, but nothing so serious that will cost him many votes, certainly not the election as so many liberal talking heads would make their followers believe.
After the financial debacle caused by a thieving and uncontrolled Thug-elite (banksters, Wall Street, moneyed interests), helped in part by a society ready to be courted by its very own ugly greed, this time in real estate, one would think the electorate would have economics as the prime, if not the sole focus when casting a ballot in this next presidential election. And that would entail castigating politicians, or parties, who could be justly blamed for such debacle and for embracing globalization without a viable plan for those Americans who would be left behind without living-wage jobs; while rewarding politicians, or parties, who offer a reasonable way out, not just of the present mess we are in, but of the impending uglier mess which looms on the horizon. But that would be taxing reality in a nation which has failed to charge Wall Street criminals, for the most part Republicans; in a nation where Bill Clinton, the godfather of American globalization, continues to be held in high esteem by a clueless Democrat Party.
The old saying that Americans vote their pocketbooks may hold true in part and at specific times, but given today’s socioeconomic makeup, it is a myth. A far more accurate, if unsavory, saying would be: Americans vote their prejudices. And that’s why Romney’s gaffe doesn’t write off that bottom of the economic barrel 47 percent. Yes, those 47-ers may have poverty as their common denominator, but a third or more of them will be voting their religious prejudice (still claiming Obama is a Muslim); or their racial prejudice (hate for blacks); or simply their prejudice-of-choice (abortion, homosexuality, etc.); or simply their ignorance. No, we can be certain that the cost to Romney in voters will be insignificant.
The only issues which are truly significant for a candidate to the presidency this time around are: (1) the ability to obtain plenty of money—at whatever cost—in order to saturate the airwaves with half-truths and lies; (2) the commitment to a military budget as large as that of the rest of the world combined; (3) a strong, unequivocal anti-Muslim predisposition; (4) the pledge of total commitment to Israel in every action it takes, right or wrong, specifically involving Palestine and Iran; and, (5) the promise that the mythical American Dream is alive and well, that jobs will appear and multiply as loaves and fishes did in the accounts of the Bible’s New Testament.
And come this next election, the most believable, or least disliked, of the two lying candidates will become president of the United States of America . . . to our detriment, and that of the world.
© 2012 Ben Tanosborn
Ben Tanosborn, columnist, poet and writer, resides in Vancouver, Washington (USA), where he is principal of a business consulting firm. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.