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The Other Side of the Tracks blog by Word Press

Clown Unmasked

The Other Side of the Tracks: A Socially Speaking commentary
November 20, 2012
By Perry Redd

For every circus that traverses the land, the big tent must come down. Even if the tent isn’t big, it must come down. At some point, the show must end and the clown must be unmasked. In our world, that mask was deception, double-speak and falsehood. It may have appeared that fiscal responsibility, unified politics and prosperity for all was on its way, but in the end, we learned that was simply make-up.

During the Presidential election of 2012, it was suspected that Mitt Romney would be at the beck-and-call of the super-rich, only because he was super-rich. It was suspected that he would back policies that would plunge more poor people into poverty, only because he was super-rich. It was suspected that he would give unfettered reign of the marketplace to corporations, only because he was a super-rich capitalist.

Mitt Romney also put a mask on many issues illuminated during the campaign: Romney said that President Obama had “doubled” the deficit. That was untrue. The deficit is actually down from what Obama inherited. “Right now,” Romney also said last June, “the (Congressional Budget Office) says up to 20 million people will lose their insurance as Obamacare goes into effect next year.” That’s untrue. The report he cited included an estimated 1 to 3 million people; that’s more than 6 times less than the 20 million Romney’s quoted.

Romney later said that stimulus money went to buy electric cars from Finland as a payback to Obama supporters. That was untrue. No stimulus money was earmarked to buy foreign cars. As governor of Massachusetts, he said “we didn’t just slow the rate of growth of our government, we actually cut it.” That’s untrue. Spending increased 5% during Mitt Romney’s tenure. During the campaign, Romney told us that President Barack Obama had opened up no new trade relationships with other nations, when in reality, trade deals opened with South Korea, Panama and Colombia.

And, of course, there was the infamous “47%” comment: The “48, 49 percent” that supports President Barack Obama are “people who pay no income tax,” he told his base. The original remark about the 47% were secretly recorded during a fundraiser in May and posted online in September by the magazine, Mother Jones. The remarks revealed the real Mitt Romney behind the mask and provided proof for many of us who believed him to be an out-of-touch millionaire, oblivious to the lives of average Americans. After he was outed, he told us that his remark was “not elegantly stated.” He said it and he meant it. Later, in order to repair the damage, Romney said, “I care about 100% of Americans.” We, Americans, knew better.

Even at the end, late into Election night, Romney projected the belief that he would win. Now, every competitor keeps a stiff chin in the face of the inevitable, but when it was evident that Obama would win virtually all of the battleground states, Romney was still telling supporters that he was winning! Maybe that wasn’t all his fault…

One of Romney’s unnamed senior advisers explained that as returns came in and battleground states went into President Obama’s Electoral College column, he felt their paths to potential victory narrowing. CBS reported that the campaign was unprepared for this in part because it had ignored polling that showed the races favoring Obama. Instead, Romney’s camp turned to its own internal, “unskewed” polls, which it believed more accurately reflected the situation on the ground. The Romney campaign was skewered by those “unskewed” polls. Even the clowns believed the clowns were real.

The make-up was put on during the Republican primary, where all of the candidates went to the bounds of reality to portray themselves as “more conservative than their opponents.” Romney, as Republican Governor of Massachusetts, was much less conservative in his policy-making. He was a moderate governor. Yet, he went to great lengths to convince Republicans otherwise—even describing himself as a “severe conservative.”

The clown candidates were only as successful as the ongoing performances. Romney included. During the Republican primary, we watched each candidate fall by the wayside as their clownish performances imploded—Newt Gingrich, Michelle Bachmann, Herman Cain, Rick Perry. Republicans chose Romney because he told them what they wanted to hear—whether he believed it or not.

The sad thing is that almost half of the American voting populace chose him too. With all of the transparent falsehoods and deceitfulness, 47.8% of Americans still voted for Romney. Even after the mask was torn off, 59,134,475 Americans voted for the illusion. The clown almost pulled off the performance of a lifetime. How utterly scary…

Now, many of us on the Left knew how he felt, but the clown troupe of Romney, Republicans and conservatives tried to convince us that Romney would better serve Blacks, Hispanics, young voters and women. When all of the apologizing for “inartful” comments had churned through news cycles, when election results were all in, the mask came off. Romney revealed how he really felt about the very constituencies he needed to win. He told top donors that President Obama won re-election because of the “gifts” he had provided to Blacks, Hispanics and young voters and because of the President’s effort to paint Romney as anti-immigrant (as if he wasn’t).

“The President’s campaign, if you will, focused on giving targeted groups a big gift,” Romney said in a call to donors. “He made a big effort on small things.” Romney didn’t realize that those “small things” sustain the lives of the very people he would be serving, had he been elected President of the United States. Poor Mitt. Is that why the clown has the upside down frown?

How he got so far is beyond me? How Mitt Romney remained competitive, I can only chalk up to race because there’s no other reason why 47% of the country would elect a liar. Romney’s campaign should serve as a warning to us all: Masks give Blind Loyalty the eyes to see. The majority of Americans are not blind; they know masks are make-up.

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