September 5th, 2012

Harriet Vane

Unflinching entitlement; or put back the white in the white house (!)

Dear friends and readers,

What a fun pun! -- seen in the increasing numbers of Republican ads.

When Romney and his wife, Ann, wax indignant (as they often do) at the demand they release their tax returns, what I see coming out of their eyes, bodies, language is a deep sense of entitlement. How dare you ask to see my tax returns? don't you know this is my right, my money. They have no sense they are working to become paid civil servants of the people at large (with huge pensions afterward until they die) and ought to be subjected to an interview. This is not the only place this worrying sense of unflinching entitlement comes out. But they can compare voting to getting on a plane or buying a garment and demand a voter produce two IDs, at least one or both photos.

The way the race card is being played is as a joke. (Just the way bully announcers joke about rape?)  They don't mean it. Haven't you got a sense of humor?

I wrote an old friend:

I think Romney and Ryan have a good chance to win by the way. Not only because the voting is rigged and hard-to-get IDs for many poor and unconnected people demanded, and not only because the counterproductively courteous Obama will say things like Ryan is a good man and not attack back where he needs to (he's afraid as a black man) but because to vote Republican remains an identity thing even after all this horrible change since 1964 in the powers of the party. People feel a greater self-esteem by identifying with this label & group as "not losers, as strong and respectable therefor." Such people will nowadays tells you Romney and Ryan don't mean their programs, won't do it -- so why vote for someone on the grounds they don't mean what they say. It's what they don't say -- except the issue of taxes. That's all they care about. Put down their taxes and they'll weather. But they do mean it and Romney and Ryan will do what they say they will: give the goods and services of the economy to the very few and destroy what they have to from the rest.

My friend replied:

I agree too that Romney may win, because in the end, people go with the bully. He's bigger, taller, stronger, whiter than Obama, not a frail old man like McCain, nailed to crazy, declasse woman from Alaska. The very wealthy don't need the equivalent of a bellhop like Obama  (hate to be so cynical)  anymore to clean up their mess--they're out from the crisis, they can, the frat boys, muscle the black man out, give him the bum's rush.

To which I replied again:

I don't know what will happen to US people if Romney wins. It depends who and where you are. States are different. For me and mine I don't imagine any Russian Chekhovian final years. The powerful will try to ruin our health care plans as far as they can; probably my social security is for now safe enough and his pension -- unless Romney engineers a vast depression, and after all a president is surrounded by congressmen and other people. I even assume we'll last in this house -- unless local taxing people get desperate.

When Romney picks Ryan, he sends a signal that he will act as a man from the far right. People who say they are going to vote for them because they don't mean what they say remind me of Germans or Italians in the 1930s. They didn't take seriously what Hitler or Mussolini said. Why not? What then are you voting for them for?

We'll now spend some of what I got from my mother, but we'll hold on to a lot too. I fear my daughters' jobs might be abolished; if the Draconian cuts the republicans insisted on last year go through that will move us into a great depression. They do know this. I have no friends or associates to turn to I'd be at a terrible loss again to help Yvette.

The truth is if our health care plans are ruined, the American medical system stinks anyway. No one is now prepared at all to help me with what ails me -- either physically (my bleeding problem) or mentally (and I have real problems). No one gives a damn because I would cost too much individually. I'll probably die around the same time whether or not I have a decent health care plan since the care with it is dependent on the profit-loss standard. HMOs and non-profit hospitals are forced to compete and there is no central organization so care is lousy.

Much that exists today is a mess. Social life is dysfunctional competition for the most part -- at least that's what the Admiral and I experience. Obama is doing nothing to stem environmental change.

People fear and distrust one another across the US. Why do they have guns?  why triple-lock their doors? why these fantasies of violence and super-power killing (I'm thinking of The Dark Knight rises).

So it will get worse but it is bad anyway. How much worse and for whom it's hard to say.

I am not saying it does not matter -- it does and matters a lot -- but saying why I think Romney might win.