When F. Scott Fitzgerald began one of his novels with the statement “The rich are different from you and I,” he wasn’t talking about mere cash flow, but worldview. Willard Mitt Romney, the Overclass’ designated robocandidate, exemplifies that worldview so central-casting perfectly that it’s not even funny. Now that he’s won the Republican Party nomination for President, everyone is about to find out how.
First, a relevant digression. In his cyberpunk short story “Sunken Gardens,” Bruce Sterling introduces the story’s dominant character (not the main character, a near-nonentity) with this sentence: “Her name was Arkadya Sorienti, Incorporated.” Later he repeatedly refers to her as “The Sorienti.” And of course I “homaged” that notation to refer to my High Corporate villains in Chaos Angel Spanner.
Willard Mitt Romney is the very archetype of the High Corporate aristocrat. He’s slick, soulless, and robotic to the point of activating the “uncanny valley” response in actual humans. He drips with contempt for the “inferior” orders. He’s a “vulture capitalist” who specializes in destroying American businesses and jobs. He’s on record as saying that inheriting great wealth is equivalent to inheriting great looks or talent, in denial of all the evidence which shows that inheriting great wealth sucks away all talent and personality. He shares his caste’s delusion that being rich means being genetically superior by definition. His goal is that of his caste: to abolish democracy worldwide and establish the global dictatorship of American Corporatism.
A candidate so stuck up, so cluelessly arrogant, would have to be a bottomless fount of campaign-destroying gaffes of the caliber of Carly Fiorina’s demon sheep. So Romney. There’s the dog-atop-the-car incident that has pet lovers hissing and growling. There’s the time he publicly confessed he enjoys firing people — and it’s not just firing yard work contractors; it’s firing people, period, that turns him on, or he wouldn’t have made it his life’s work. There’s how he gets testy with angry poor people and talks down to them. There’s how he looks so artificial that people have taken to calling him a robot (e.g. RomBot) and a zombie (Zomney). And the gaffes will not stop. They cannot stop because Romney completely lacks the ability to connect with people below his own aristocratic caste.
Last year, surveying the much broader field of Republican candidates in what had already turned into a tawdry reality show by the time The Donald briefly entered the race on a “birther” platform, I predicted (privately and on Twitter) that even though there’s no way Obama, unmasked as a Nixonite conservative, could win the 2012 presidential election, the Republicans would find a way to lose it. As it turned out, they found several: Trump, the pizza man and his Sim City tax plan, the crazy lady, the debate reality show, Newt’s ego, Santorum’s sanctimony, the replacement of democracy with corporate fascism, tax cuts for the rich and tax war against the poor, and a relentless war not just on workers but women. The Gang Of Plunderers are certain that they are invincible because God and infinite wealth are on their side. The triumphalism of their 2010 victory has made them arrogant enough to make Ayn Rand look humble. Spitting on your constituents on behalf of your corporate owners is not a recipe for electoral victory.
The primary-ending duel between Romney and Rick “the Preacher” Santorum made me realize another thing. Santorum, of course, lost. There are a lot of poor people in the Christian Right, and they voted for Santorum. If I were to bet money, I’d bet big money that the Christian Right will defect from the Rich Man’s Party and vote for the candidate of the party that claims them as its own, called by various names (here in Washington state, the Constitution Party; Independence Party elsewhere). It should be clear by now to the theocratic reactionaries that the GOP worship another god as the Supreme Being, not Jehovah but Mammon, god of money. Between liberal anticorporatism, religious conservative revulsion (and not just because he’s Mormon), and, well, just being a robot or reptoid masquerading as human, Romney looks to be even more the sure loser than fellow flipflopper John Kerry was in 2004. The Republicans are well on their way to losing.
His name is Willard Romney, Incorporated. Pass it on.