Fri Sep 14, 2012, 09:28 AM
MrScorpio (66,998 posts)
"If you prick us, do we not bleed?" - The Absent Humanity of Willard Mitt Romney [View all]
Last edited Sat Sep 15, 2012, 11:42 AM - Edit history (2)
The quote in the title, of course, is excerpted from Shakespeare's play, The Merchant of Venice, his examination of the state of anti-Semitism during his time. The words were spoken by the character, Shylock, a Jewish merchant on trial, defending his own humanity, as well as the humanity of the Jewish people, while expressing a plea for mercy from the Christian, Portia.
Now, I don't have a degree in English lit. I don't even have a college degree and I admit that this is just another one of my clumsy ways to make a point. I do like Shakespeare, however, but only in movie form. So, give me some Kenneth Branagh as Henry V any day. But to me, that particular line from Merchant begs to ask a very salient question, however metaphorically about what's going on when you see and hear Romney say and do the things that he says and does.
"Is this man even a human being?"
Ostensibly, any question about how the play's topic on anti-Semitism itself can relate to Mitt Romney's situation is most certainly a remote one… Well, none whatsoever, as in there really no need to compare Romney to anti-Semitism. But if there is any question as to whether Romney himself would bleed if pricked, it can only be established that such a question needs to be surmised solely on the examination of his own behavior.
There is the standing joke about whether someone can figure out if he's either a space alien or a robot. His overly wooden demeanor is always a topic of conversation. His apparent lack of sympathy for his fellow human beings and so forth and so on. There have even been speculations made as to whether he suffers from either a form of sociopathy, or even autism. I don't think that he fits either of those definitions.
But let's look at the things that he has done and take it from there, shall we? It's quite clear, from this evidence, that there's something definitely wrong with the guy… But what is it? Well, let's see.
Let's start with his take on racial politics:
To Romney, the topic of Latinos are only couched in terms, classifying them as "illegals" that should self-deport:
Or that the undocumented immigrants working on his lawn only poses a political inconvenience to his own campaign:
Or on how Romney explains the negative reaction by the NAACP's mostly African-American audience to his own tone deaf speech:
His explanation boiled down to an excoriation of his audience that "If They Want More Free Stuff From The Government Vote Obama":
So when it comes to racial minorities, were there ever any natural, unpremeditated admissions that African-Americans or Latino-Americans are simply other human beings with the same desires for self-fulfillment, dignity and the need to flourish in a free society as his own or like people that he most readily identifies with? Not that I can see.
It's as if these people don't exist as people to Romney.
No, Blacks and Hispanics are only political inconveniences to him, and their heavily tilted support for his opponent, President Obama, represents no sweat off of his brow. His compensation is to try and pander to 61% of the white vote to eke out a victory, inspired his promotion outwardly racist memes, a la The Southern Strategy:
About the subject LGBT rights:
He couldn't' even conceive of the idea that LGBT people working under him desired to have families, and required the state to accord itself with laws to protect their rights as they do the rights of straight people wanting to have families. Look at this cold exchange that was recited later:
GOODRIDGE: Governor Romney, tell me — what would you suggest I say to my 8 year-old daughter about why her mommy and her ma can’t get married because you, the governor of her state, are going to block our marriage?
ROMNEY: I don’t really care what you tell your adopted daughter. Why don’t you just tell her the same thing you’ve been telling her the last eight years.
And when confronted by an older Gay military veteran, couldn't even acknowledge the basic need for his companionship with is same-sex partner. Instead, Romney coldly recited bigoted talking points to the man's face:
Now, this can simply be added up to Romney's undiluted contempt for LGBT people, as well as his blatant strategy to pander to the Religious Right and the anti-LGBT vote.
But it's the heartless manner in which he expresses these things to the very faces of LGBT people, regardless of who they are, and the lack of any consideration for their basic humanity… This, I find quite disturbing.
He might as well have been talking to paramecia, instead of to other human beings.
Romney on Women's issues:
He doesn't care about the women at all.
Women's health is on no concern to him:
He's pledged to eliminate Title X funding, if elected:
Hostile to family planning:
He's also hostile to equal pay to women for equal work:
When asked about his opinion about the Violence Against Women Act, his only response was that he didn't even know what it was:
Other than brood mares and domestic slaves, it's quite clear that Romney has no idea what the role of women in a free society would be at all. His positions would fit more closely to the world of A Handmaid's Tale, than they would the United States in the 21st Century.
Romney on the plight of the poor:
There's no dearth of information about what the situation of poor people would be in a a Romney's America. It would be ALL bad:
The poor in Romney's Americas are classified as "losers":
Which is all fine and dandy, because he's not concerned about them anyway:
When confronted about how problematic his position on poor people are, he unashamedly doubles down on it:
Eventually, he makes a political reassessment on his position, by saying that the GOP isn't the "Party of the Rich,’ But ‘of Those Who Want to Be Rich":
Again, there's no acknowledgment of someone else's basic humanity, by Romney. First, he admits what his position is, he doesn't care, and when that position proves to be problematic, we get a staid and disconnected recalculation.
And lastly, his shameful attempt at political opportunism around the deaths of American diplomats in Libya:
These pics pretty much say it all:
So, what would we see if we were to prick Romney? Well, blood of course. Mitt Romney, no question is a human being… It's just that he's barely one at that. He fits the thinest definition possible. Excuse my own admittedly non-expert opinion, it's just that I know what I'm seeing in the guy and it's just to freaking obvious as it pans out.
Now, for my own layman's diagnosis:
Although Shylock is a poor literary metaphor for Mitt Romney, there is another figure who fits him quite appropriately - And that would be the mythological figure, NARCISSUS.
If you're not familiar with Narcissus, here's a quick summary and an explanation about how Romney's world fits this particular oeuvre:
Narcissus or Narkissos (Greek: Νάρκισσος ), possibly derived from ναρκη (narke) meaning "sleep, numbness," in Greek mythology was a hunter from the territory of Thespiae in Boeotia who was renowned for his beauty. He was exceptionally proud, in that he disdained those who loved him. Nemesis saw this and attracted Narcissus to a pool where he saw his own reflection in the water and fell in love with it, not realizing it was merely an image. Unable to leave the beauty of his reflection, Narcissus died. Narcissus is the origin of the term narcissism, a fixation with oneself.
I propose that Romney fits the classic definition of Narcissistic personality disorder.
Here's a list of symptoms, which on its face, portrays a clear and distinct description of the man, Mitt Romney himself:
Symptoms of this disorder include:
Reacting to criticism with anger, shame, or humiliation
Taking advantage of others to reach their own goals
Exaggerating their own importance, achievements, and talents
Imagining unrealistic fantasies of success, beauty, power, intelligence, or romance
Requiring constant attention and positive reinforcement from others
Becoming jealous easily
Lacking empathy and disregarding the feelings of others
Being obsessed with oneself
Pursuing mainly selfish goals
Trouble keeping healthy relationships
Becoming easily hurt and rejected
Setting goals that are unrealistic
Wanting "the best" of everything
Pursuing mainly selfish goals, taking advantage of others to reach their own goals, Wanting "the best" of everything:
Look at Mitt Romney's greatest accomplishment; he's a fabulously wealthy man. How he treats that wealth; the homes with elevators for his cars, his boats, his inability to attach any moral consideration to how he obtained that wealth, his apparent shame for hiding what he may think as a shortcoming (his love of wealth), all points to an obsession with financial self-aggrandizement.
Requiring constant attention and positive reinforcement from others, Becoming easily hurt and rejected, Imagining unrealistic fantasies of success, beauty, power, intelligence, or romance, Requiring constant attention and positive reinforcement from others:
As he lies constantly about his own accomplishments, he also obsessively diminishes the accomplishments of his opponents. There is absolutely nothing truthful about his description of the President's policies and accomplishments. They are all fantastic lies about President Obama going on some non-existent "Apology tour".
You would think that Romney would at least say truthful things about the President that he could object to, but instead, he has gone out of his way to fashion a straw man Obama for him to knock down.
Romney has repeated portrayed himself as a man who has singlehandedly "saved" the Olympics. He took that smug attitude of his to London, where he insulted an Olympics that he has absolutely nothing to do with and blatantly described it to be inadequate compared to his own.
Trouble keeping healthy relationships, Lacking empathy and disregarding the feelings of others, Reacting to criticism with anger, shame, or humiliation, Appearing unemotional:
That last one really resonated with me. Here he is, just after Gov. Chris Christie made the formal nomination of Romney for the GOP's presidential candidate:
This should be the greatest moment of his political career, a supremely joyous occasion for any normal person. Instead we get the expression of a guy who looks like he's waiting for the next Crosstown bus.
If anything, he's clueless about what emotion he's supposed to express. All he can do is sit there and calculate. You can see the wheels literally turning in his head.
This is why he's not connecting with people, he doesn't know how to and doesn't even care. Other people are of no consequence to him, even when he himself is the center of attention.
So, lastly… And thanks for lasting this long, by the way… What can we say about the elusive humanity of Willard Mitt Romney? Well, not much.
The man is a fabulously tailored empty suit, to be sure. If he were ever elected as President of the United States, given the absolute need for the person holding that office to embody the hearts, minds, needs and futures of the American people, as well as conduct his or her affairs on a way that considers the lives and livelihoods of many people around the world, it's most blatantly apparent that Mitt Romney shouldn't be anywhere near the Oval Office. He's a gross invitation for unmitigated disaster and all I did was just scratch the tip of the iceberg.
He also has one well established core competency, making himself rich. Everything else has been an exercise in abject incompetence. He is conducting the worst campaign for office that many experts have declared the worst that they have ever seen.
Much like the mythical Narcissus, Mitt Romney's utter incompetency as a candidate seems to spell eventual doom for his chances at getting elected. But we can't just sit on the predictions made from from his declining poll numbers, the Republicans are scheming to steal the election.
Given all of this and more… I'm concerned. Not about Romney, per se, but about our political system. In spite of it all, there are ostensibly non-partisan voices who push the idea that Romney is fit to serve as President, much less is running a campaign that justifies his winning an election. This is the supreme height of fraudulent objectiveness. There is absolutely no way that any honest non-partisan person can look at what Romney has been up to and say that he's suited to run the country.
It's a fucking joke. I'd expect the paid partisan hacks and Obama haters out there to talk up Romney like he's the Messiah, that's their job. But our country is at stake here, and we have to cope with a system that's awash in money and corruption, the cutback of voting rights and the potential for further corruption with a thoroughly partisan judiciary and a legislature broken with fringe, right wing political dilettantes.
Willard Mitt Romney is not sufficiently HUMANE to hold the office of the Presidency. Let's stop playing around, this is serious business.
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"If you prick us, do we not bleed?" - The Absent Humanity of Willard Mitt Romney [View all]