Throughout the course of world history, there have been empires which evoked visions of greatness based on an idea more than geographical location or military might. One might think of ancient Babylon, the Roman Empire, or the British Commonwealth as ideals of greatness and power, and in a short span of time, America took its place as an archetype reminiscent of Rome in its heyday. However, the “idea” of America as a shining city on a hill came to a screeching halt when the Supreme Court appointed George W. Bush president in 2000, and within two years, most of the civilized world viewed Americans as warmongers demanding obeisance, instead of commanding respect.
When Americans elected Barack Obama as President, the country regained some of its stature as an ideal, and it was not because of his race, but his vision of a country measured by its unity, tolerance, compassion and leadership that was not based on military might. After the past couple of months, Americans, and the world, are reminded that there are still men intent on demanding respect for their bluster, disregard for humanity, and quick-draw mentality that George W. Bush personified. When Willard Romney put political expediency ahead of sound judgment and thoughtful regard for America’s position in the world, he reminded Americans, and the world, that this country is one election away from revisiting its place as a bully that earned scorn, disrespect, and suspicion from the entire world.
When Willard Romney stood before the press and criticized the President after four Americans in Libya were killed, he exuded the Ugly American prototype George W. Bush perfected on the way to earning America a reputation as a bully. The smirk on his face revealed his belief that in the pursuit of political expediency, even blatant disregard for slain Americans was worth appealing to a sick segment of society clamoring to hear him demean an African American President. It is impossible to know what shaped Romney into an arrogant man lusting for wealth and power, but there is reason to believe it is a combination of being born into wealth, his religion, and an innate disconnect from humanity.
Most Americans have interacted with someone whose arrogance is borne out the size of their portfolio, and Romney certainly fits into that category, but it does not explain his racial insensitivity, disregard for those less fortunate than himself, and inability to admit he may have made a mistake in judgment. Instead of convening the press to tell them he jumped the gun and misspoke before learning all the facts about the death of Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans, he doubled-down and stuck firm to his statement from the night before. Apparently, in the Mormon cult, humility is not a requirement to enter the temple, and honesty is frowned upon if it does not advance the church’s agenda.
Over the past few months, Romney has unrepentantly offended nearly every demographic that is not wealthy and white, and he appears to take great pleasure demeaning people. Many pundits asked how he would lead the entire country when he has alienated most of America, but they fail to understand that leading the country is not his intent; running it is, and running it like he ran Bain Capital. In fact, lying and exploiting tragedy is what successful vulture capitalists do, so no-one should be surprised that Willard’s first impulse is scoring political points from the deaths in Libya, because he will go to any length in the pursuit of power and money.
Many pundits said Romney embarrassed and disgraced this country and that may be true, but he does not represent America or its people any more than Rush Limbaugh or Sarah Palin typify average Americans. Americans are basically good people, and the polar opposite of men like Willard who has demonstrated time and time again that he is not a good person or a good American. He represents the worst of America and if he wins the White House in November, it portends another dangerous era for the entire world.
It is possible that Romney is so driven to win in November, that he will do or say anything regardless how it affects America or its standing in the world, and the people should be terrified at what lengths he is willing to go to be president. In his attempt to pander to neo-conservatives, he made provocative statements about Russia as the nation’s number one geopolitical foe, and his antagonistic rhetoric against Iran portends a return to Bush cowboy diplomacy and more war, death, and crushing debt.
Most of all, the glee on Romney’s face while he made a fool of himself defines a man without a conscience and that should frighten Americans more than anything. Any man that takes pleasure exploiting a tragedy for political expediency would have no qualms needlessly sending Americans to their death in a war, or destroying Medicare and Social Security if he thought it was to his benefit. What Romney did was disgraceful, but it was nothing new and a stark reminder that as exceptional as America is, there will always be shameless men like Romney who take advantage of a tragic situation like George W. Bush did after the terror attacks on 9/11. Romney was doing what he does best, and there is little doubt it will be the last time, because for whatever reason, he was smirking like a teenager who just pulled off a nasty prank. To think that he found any joy in an attack that killed four Americans is proof that he is a sociopath and not worthy of leading a country that will never be exceptional until the likes of Willard Romney are rooted out, sent offshore to count money, laugh at tragedies, and disgrace themselves because an un-American cannot disgrace America.