When I was a little kid, I liked to watch old cartoons. Depression era Popeye movies were a favorite. I don't remember many specifics now. Plot lines were kind of thin anyway.
I do remember occasional scenes, although they are disconnected in my memory from anything else. One was Popeye falling through the air in a water dive of some sort. As he dives, he says in his Popeye voice "I wonder what the poor people are doing today?" You can't put the voice in print, you have to imagine it.
As I got a little older, it occurred to me that the scene was supposed to be a form of humor based on contradiction. It was the colloquial stereotype held by normal folks of the disassociated wealth, severed from ordinary struggle of survival that was daily life for most Americans at the time. Not knowing what the other side was experiencing, caring only out of idle curiosity, was the attitude most people thought they detected in the wealthy.
As we came out of Great Depression times, having won a World War, experiencing a growth that went on for decades, Americans pretty much knew the old cliches were partly humor, partly mistaken. Thurston Howell, III, was not a realistic portrayal. It was a slapstick caricature, an obvious exaggeration. Rich people did not think that way. Non-rich people did not think they did.
Exaggeration often is seen as having a core of truth. Many of us have met a version of the moneyed who preen just a little, strutting just a bit in the knowledge of superiority. We read about the CEO who throws his weight around, but we also come across accounts of those who exhibit a more nuanced wearing of the crown. The internet can reinforce, but can also put the lie to stereotypes.
Conservative Member of the British Parliament Andrew Mitchell rides his bicycle a lot. When he was riding away from 10 Downing Street, the official home of the Prime Minister, he didn't want to go through the pedestrian gate with the common folk. He ordered police to open main security gates for him. They wouldn't violate security procedures. He flew into a rage. He later denied calling them plebs, which is a derogatory term for working class people, the rough equivalent of "boy" in America. But the report quotes him thusly:
Best you learn your f***ing place. You don't run this f***ing government ... You're f***ing plebs ... I'll have your f***ing job for this.
Pressure is on the fellow to resign. Britain is said to be a much more class conscious society than is America. Has to do with Norman invaders conquering the Saxon population in 1066. Norman descendants are thought to have inherited a superior place. But this assumption of superiority was too much.
Mitt Romney's dissertation in Boca Raton was less vulgar, less emotional than the imprompto outburst of the British legislator. But it came from a similar outlook.
It was not a slip of the tongue. It was not inelegant. It was not a mispronunciation.
It was a studied, coherent, analysis of what those in the room saw as the lower classes. Essentially, Governor Romney was describing to an appreciative audience of the wealthy the condition that makes their inferiors inferior. He sees it, not as an opportunity to expand opportunity (A potential bumper sticker?), but rather as a catalog of moral failures that led to financial failure. It is never harsh circumstance that leads to financial hardship. It is lack of merit.
Mitt Romney was in his element. No longer in awkward exchanges with the lower classes, he was among his peers, those who knew all about personal responsibility. In the zero-sum world the Governor was describing, the corollary to the moral inferiority he was outlining was the implied moral superiority of his well-to-do audience.
With the unveiling of the secret tape of that description, the just-below-the-surface, not truly believed, stereotype of wealthy snobs came an authenticity not experienced for generations.
When Bill Marriott, Hotel King, described how Mitt Romney appeared to help him tie his yacht, he illustrated the willingness of the candidate to help his fellow man.
Both Mitt and I have summer places up in New Hampshire on Lake Winnipesaukee. And a few summers ago I was taking my grandchildren and children to town in the boat for ice cream. And we got into the docks and they were all full and I looked around, there was no place to park, so we stopped at the end of a dock.
They all jumped off and ran up the dock. And I realized there was nobody in the boat to help me dock the boat, handle the ropes, do anything ? they just left me out there at sea. So I finally found a place to park after about 20 minutes, and I pulled in, I said, ‘Who’s going to grab the rope?,’ and I looked up and there was Mitt Romney. So he pulled me in, he tied up the boat for me. He rescued me just as he’s going to rescue this great country.’
It's a bit of journey from Popeye.
You can see why Bill Marriott deserved the help. His huge boat was plain evidence that he was among the deserving part of society. The part that makes Mitt Romney feel at home. The part he is always willing to appear out of nowhere to help.
In odd moments, he may wonder what the poor people are doing today.
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Why the democrats insist on demonizing success and successful people, as if Americans should be ashamed of being successful and gaining wealth, makes no sense at all. According to your story, Mitt Romney helped a fellow man who was in distress. That he only did it because of the apparent social status or wealth of the individual he was helping is purely your fictionalization of the account. It is interesting, however, that you are able to discern Mitt Romney's intentions and feelings as well as interpret his actions.
It is also interesting to note that in the same situation, Obama would be more likely to punch a hole in the hull and push the boat away from the dock. The man appears wealthy so he should be punished. But somehow, democrats seem to believe that Obama's actions deserve merit and approval while Mitt's actions should result in condemnation. And not just condemnation of the actions, but of the man as well.
I would agree that demonizing success makes no sense. As soon as you discover anyone doing that, be sure and let us know.
Barack Obama seems to be a prime example of overcoming obstacles and becoming just the sort of success we agree on.
I attempted in this piece to show a contrast in how Mitt Romney regards his fellow Americans. However, I do have to admit that, in certain respects he is quite egalitarian.
Regardless of your economic circumstance, he is quite willing to jump to your assistance when you are having trouble parking your yacht.
The more successful (in terms of income and wealth) an individual is, the more intensely he is demonized. Even your example, Mr. Deming, is intended to ridicule, i.e. demonize, the owner of the yacht, as well as Mitt Romney.
Even the creation of the term "1%" was done for the purpose of demonizing the wealthy/successful people and segregating and identifying them as a minority to be despised. Of course the liberals then try to establish themselves as the champions of the 99%. What better way to win an election than to get 99% of the population to see you as their champion and savior.
Other than that, your story would have been quite humorous . . . If there weren't so much at stake.
I dislike the term 'Demonize'. That's a word thrown around to garner sympathy towards a group that wants to look the part of the victim. The left is attacked for 'demonizing' Romney and the 1%, however at the same time Romney is shown on camera 'demonizing' those who he believes would vote for Obama (His coined '47%'). People are allowed to criticize... it doesn't need to be called 'demonize'. That word should be used when it's appropriate to be used.
To expect more taxes out of people who have more to be taxed isn't to 'demonize'. If an individual is a member of a society, than it's not unreasonable to assume that individual should contribute to the society.
What's wrong with pitching in more for the society you are a member of if you have more to pitch?
The wealthiest people (as defined by the democrats, by Occupy This and That, by any measure you would like to use) pay more than their "fair share" already, in fact they pay the lion's share of taxes that are collected by the federal government.
The last point is: Who decides how much is a fair share? Or, who decides who should "pitch in" more than they already do?
BTW, the debate is on right now... Romney's proposal is actually quite interesting - lower the tax rate but limit deductions to $17,000. This places the biggest benefit of the tax cut squarely in the pockets of the middle class.
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