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Wolf writes: "Once, everyone believed they could succeed by hard work and gumption. Republicans no longer pretend to believe the myth."

Portrait, author and activist Naomi Wolf, 10/19/11. (photo: Guardian UK)
Portrait, author and activist Naomi Wolf, 10/19/11. (photo: Guardian UK)


How the Mitt Romney Video Killed the American Dream

By Naomi Wolf, Guardian UK

21 September 12

 

Once, everyone believed they could succeed by hard work and gumption. Republicans no longer pretend to believe the myth.

itt Romney's historic gaffe caught on video - published, with great timing, by the left-leaning Mother Jones magazine - in which he said that his campaign was writing off 47% of American voters since they "depended on government" handouts, was committed in an equally significant manner, as he delivered the remarks to a closed group of potential major donors in Florida. GOP stalwart and Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan is calling for an intervention in the campaign, and even some fellow Republicans are scampering to distance themselves from the inflammatory remarks.

But I find the remarks fascinating and important to deconstruct because they affirm - as insider discourse captured for the public often can - the fact that a new kind of narrative for America has taken over from one of our oldest and most cherished national myths. What Romney's comments reveal is that the American Dream is dead, killed off by skepticism from the bottom up - by the 99% of lower-income and middle-class people who no longer believe in it - and by cynicism from the top down - by the 1%, top-earning people who don't believe in it.

What, after all, is the narrative of "the American Dream"? It was a discourse formulated between the 1880s and the 1920s in the United States during the great waves of migration and expansion and reforms of the Progressive Era. Slogans, often used by political leaders who wished to court the aspirational, immigrant vote, invoked a promise that America was "the land of opportunity", where hard work, gumption and a bit of luck could make any poor kid a millionaire.

This mythology, embodied over those decades in the Horatio Alger stories consumed particularly by upwardly mobile young men and in the phrase "to pull oneself up by one's bootstraps", consistently held out that American promise by equating hard work (along with other good Puritan values such as delayed gratification, temperance, saving and self-reliance) with economic success. As new waves of immigrants reached our shores after the second world war, the implicit pledge was elaborated into the idea for immigrants that even if their own hard work did not lift them into a new social class, it would elevate their children into the ever-growing ranks of the middle class.

The promise of the American Dream swept many presidents into power. Reagan offered a rightwing verison of it, with Bill Clinton - departing from leftwing orthodoxy - offering voters in 1992 a refreshingly-worded progressive version of the same promise: "work hard and play by the rules" and success will follow. Barack Obama, too, reprised the phrase in his 2008 campaign.

But now, the injunction to "work hard and play by the rules" is more likely to elicit a cynical cough of derision than a rush to the polling station. Post Tarp, post Libor scandal, post Madoff scheme, post justice department's pass for Chase, post HSBC money-laundering, post Occupy, post the ever-widening income gap in this country, and post the evisceration of civil society and public institutions that protect the middle class, the entire underpinning of the American Dream has been uprooted. And everyone knows it.

It is not surprising that the 99% stopped using the language of the American Dream, but what is notable from Romney's remarks is that even the wealthy have abandoned it. Notable because the premise - that their own hard work and ingenuity is what caused their wealth to aggregate - is a flattering and self-validating narrative. So, the fact that even the rich don't buy a version of what is now self-delusion is striking.

What Romney's remarks show is that the wealthy are handling the corruption of a system that benefits them by assigning blame for the destruction of the American Dream to the have-nots. In the Reagan years, only "welfare queens" and the small percentage of people actually on food stamps were targeted as drains on the system - needing "government handouts" and failing to "take responsibility for their lives". Now, as Romney admits, the wealthy deem virtually half the voting public as irredeemably shiftless moochers. Notable, too, is Romney's use of an Occupy-echoing phrase, "the 47%", whom he feels free to objectify and dismiss.

Not especially shocking, though, is the fact that he is explaining to donors that he does not need that half of America. (Anyone who has worked on presidential campaigns knows that strategists all write off the 47% who will never vote for them; they just don't tend to go on camera to do that disparaging.)

I have been noticing, with sadness, that politicians do not even bother invoking the American Dream anymore. They know that we know that everything is rigged against it now, and that the language no longer persuades even the most naive and idealistic; the best you'll get from a politician is a pledge, playing to nostalgia, to restore its lost promise. But what is striking about Romney's remarks is that they have replaced that commitment with a willingness to blame a vast swath of striving, middle-class Americans for their plight.

We thus see a turning-point in American conservative philosophy. This was the moment when the wealthy elite stopped believing its own PR, the self-affirming myth of that economic success can always be had for those who want it and are willing to work. Mitt Romney has told us that it's now simply class war: a struggle to stop the other half getting what "we" have. Thank you for your candor, Mr Romney.

 

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+142 # Barbara K 2012-09-22 13:03
I think that we've been so beaten down lately that we've forgotten what the American Dream is. We need to dust ourselves off and get out their and fight back, get the American Dream back. Do do that we need to purge ourselves of all the Rs possible, who seem to think that the American Dream is only for the wealthy amongst them. It is for us too, we just need to take it back.

OBAMA/BIDEN 2012 for the 100% of us.
The alternative is unbearable.
 
 
+113 # NanFan 2012-09-22 13:28
But the problem is that American politics have become one big Ponzi scheme! There's not understanding the egregious corruption or stealing of the possibility of the American Dream from the everyday, hardworking American.

I just came back from Spain. Economy bad. But...the people know how to work and how to not bilk one another. I sat with a friend to set up my mobile phone here in the US. Every had a "contract" that lasted two years. In Spain, you walk in, pay your money, get a smart phone, and have the amount you use each month deducted from your bank account. No scheme. You can't pay, your phone doesn't work. It's simple. No panacea there, but things are easy, and the people care about the people. The government...we ll...they care about the bankers, just like here in the good ol' no American Dream EVER again USA.

So to fight to "get it back" is not the option; to fight to get our DEMOCRACY back IS an option. And never, ever allowing Republicans to rule Congress is key.

Mitt...well, he might buy the election, but he'll go down...one day, some strong person who knows will reveal his horrendous unseen tax returns...he's a Nixon in the wings.

We must work hard to keep the Republicans out of office. Yes, they stole the American Dream, because they stole, and continue to eschew, our democracy.

N.
 
 
+83 # Bob P 2012-09-22 14:17
We haven't forgotten the American Dream, but are forgetting what it feels like. Most of world history since the advent of agriculture has been super rich lords and destitute serfs. So we are headed back to that normalcy. Turnarounds are rare and difficult, but we surely need one now. Much more likely from Dems than Repugs.
 
 
+19 # tahoevalleylines 2012-09-22 18:47
Book List:

"The Smug Minority" by Pierre Berton

"The Politics Of Energy" by Barry Commoner

Three For the Mitt Romney biographers-

"Under The Prophet In Utah" by Frank J. Cannon"

"The Temple Of Doom" by Schnoebelen

"The Maze Of Mormonism" by Walter L. Martin

For Journalists writing on militant Islam:

"Return To Mecca" by Avi Lipkin

"The Blood Of The Moon" by George Grant

The Energy Emergency:

"The Long Emergency" by James Howard Kunstler"

"The Party's Over" by Richard Heinberg

Lionel Badel's paper on Peak Oil and Foreign Policy has substantial source references and commentary on potential conflicts (in progress)...

----

There are currents in World affairs that should be noted at this time & place of our lives. Leadership has no excuse to plead ignorance... Tea Party hijacking of the political process puts them in direct responsibility to be most aware of these issues-
 
 
+23 # Regina 2012-09-22 22:45
The American people turned around and moved forward through the 20th century. But now in the 21st we have a 1% gang of superrich overlords working -- and shelling out fortunes -- to revert us back to the 19th. Their next cabal is to deprive enough of us from the ability to vote so that their takeover will succeed. We must stop them now, or we'll be struggling thereafter.
 
 
+32 # Doggone 2012-09-22 15:40
Get Behind Van Jones and his Rebuild the Dream movement. He's a positive force to follow!
 
 
-10 # jlstiles 2012-09-24 16:38
Obama ass-kisser, a well-intentione d blind bat who can't see Obama and Romney both work for the puppet masters and differ not at all significantly on anything but gay rights and abortion. A pitiful waste of human talent, a positive force mis-directed
 
 
-5 # jlstiles 2012-09-24 13:48
It is laughable that no one suspects this is a complicit plant of the video by the puppet masters to keep us arguing over this completely pointless election and to make us think we even have a political debate worthy of our attention. It is complete theater. The only difference between Obama and Romney is gay rights and abortion--on everything else they are virtually identical.
 
 
+2 # Ma Tsu 2012-09-24 21:07
... we just need to take it back.
...and taking it back shouldn't be all that difficult, especially as more and more come to see the Emperor (by whatever name he or she may go) wears no clothes and is not, dare it be said, particularly intelligent. After all, we don't get the best among us to govern, as the best among us are disinclined to govern their fellows.
In the words of the acclaimed poet and educator Philip Appleman:
“Money buys profits and teachers and poems and art.
So listen, if you’re so rich, why aren’t you smart?”
If we cede our public lives to rich dolts and wholly owned subsidiaries of the Republicratic machine and the Debt Industries, we can offer only excuses that history will never recognize.
 
 
+95 # AMLLLLL 2012-09-22 13:21
Unfortunately, the 2% think the tax structure is just dandy; it's the new normal, and any change will take us, the 98% to demand it.

Secondly, the old ruse of the 'jittery job creators', not wanting to invest their trillions of bucks, not knowing the tax future, is just stupid.

Let's say you have a lemonade stand.If you have two customers a day,chances are you won't need help running it, let alone opening up another stand. Taxation is not the issue. Now let's say a hundred customers come by wanting lemonade. Voila; DEMAND. You're not concerned with taxation now either, since you're making much more $$ than when you only had two customers.(Let' s not leave out the part that you didn't build the street where you set up the stand.)
 
 
+19 # Atia 2012-09-22 18:01
I agree! If they're so damned uncertain about the future, and need to hire a few people, what's holding them back...they can always fire them if, God forbid, they might have to pay a few lousy percent more in taxes......
 
 
+47 # Merschrod 2012-09-22 13:29
Well, The candid Romney statement is really about the disdain of one class for another, I've heard it from Ladinos about indigenious people in Latin America, by Vargas Llosa-types in Lima vs. mountain "cholos" Whites vs. blacks, against Spanards by northern Europeans in the 1970s and it goes on - disdain, no interest in empathy, just peasants to be used and abused. The 1% have brought class warfare to the US, right out in the open now.

Once the resources of society are no longer accessible, then there is no hope. Romney makes it clear that there will not be any hope. Gosh, compassionate conservatism last less than a decade. Now we are back to a feudalistic belief structure, but it is modern times - so fascism is in.

Go for Rocky Anderson!
 
 
+10 # Lyric 2012-09-23 10:22
Quoting Merschrod:
... Go for Rocky Anderson!
.

Anderson seems to have fizzled out. And he endorsed Romney when Mitt ran for Governor of Massachusetts. Anderson talks well, but he may not be reliable.

Why not Jill Stein of the Green Party, which has more of a national presence than Anderson's Justice Party?

It's important to vote for Greens and other progressives at the local level. Democracy from the ground up. School boards, city councils, county commissioners, mayors, etc. Local government is where people see how progressive policies can have a direct impact on their lives. Build the progressive movement.
 
 
0 # Painter 2012-09-24 01:13
Anderson has not fizzled out. You may have fallen off the mailing list? Now we're working on a draft platform and planning for a first national convention.
 
 
+81 # Adoregon 2012-09-22 13:37
1) Google: corporate welfare
Open you mind to the subsidies and tax breaks given to corporations at the expense of taxpayers. You probably won't hear Romney or others of his ilk talk about this subject when they are ranting about "entitlement."

2) The myth of the American Dream is just that, a myth. It is used to "mythtify" the masses into believing they actually have a real shot at great wealth. For a firmer grasp of the subject, read Ferdinand Lundberg's meticulously researched book, "The Rich and the Super Rich: A Study In the Power of Money Today."

3)Ask yourself who benefits from the taxpayer funded warfare in Iraq, Afghanistan and other parts of the world.
If you said corporations-- especially natural resource corporations-- you're probably right.


4) I leave you with this thought:
The American Dream
is a pyramid scheme,
that will make you smile
if you're a pig on top of the pile.
 
 
+19 # Lyric 2012-09-23 10:37
The reason so many people vote against their self-interest is because they still secretly aspire to belong to the 1%. You defend the privileges of the 1% if you think you could still one day be among them -- you or your children.

The radical right uses "values" to con working class people into voting against their economic interests by raising the specter of social armageddon with memes about religion, the traditional family, and the mythical good old days with clear-cut gender roles and attitudes about sex and sexuality, and an orderly society that didn't need to think for itself if it had authority figures to do the thinking.

The right's success in propagating suspicion of and even antipathy towards socialism (more properly democratic socialism, which is the western European model) has made it so much harder to sell new models of social and economic organization in the United States. It's mind boggling that universal health care, and a single payer system, should be such a hard sell when every human person (yeah, one has to specify that) can benefit. All this is bolstered by appeals to deeply entrenched jingoist tendencies. Us and them. THE OTHER. And The Other includes women, ethnic minorities, immigrants, sexual minorities, the working poor, the very poor, other countries and cultures.

No accident.
 
 
+7 # unitedwestand 2012-09-23 19:20
We did have the American dream for a while. A car in every garage and a chicken in every pot. I think that is what most people were happy with, living comfortably. There was also the potential that if one got a good education and worked hard, one could actually become even more comfortable.

There were regulating laws such as the Sherman Anti Trust Act, Glass Steagall, and the rich who profited from all that hard labor, paid higher taxes because there were less tax loopholes.

Recently President Obama surprised people by saying that things can't be changed from where he is, I knew that was the case a couple of months into his administration, not because he didn't want to, but the way he was treated by elected GOP, and even the Supreme Court when Alito disrespectfully replied to the President's comments against Citizens United.
I think he knew that back then too, and he did compel people to contact their representatives a couple of times. The GOP though can if in power, do all kinds of other damage to continue what GWBush (and others before him started) Democrats in power, can hold them back, especially if we have a real majority. This time the citizens would not just stand back and not make more demands.

The system is rigged, and we need to unrig it. I don't see how we can do that with another NeoCon administration backing Romney/Ryan. For me the choice is clear, DO NOT VOTE for any GOP candidate.
 
 
+52 # DPM 2012-09-22 13:47
It's time. Give up or fight. It is up to you to choose, before the choice is made for you.
 
 
+40 # Barbara K 2012-09-22 13:52
DPM: Exactly, if we just give up, we are already beaten. We cannot allow that to happen, our lives, our children's and our grandchildren's and all to yet come, are at stake. We don't want to leave a trashy country to them. Our Elders left it in pretty good shape, and it is deteriorating rapidly just because we haven't fought to stop it. We will get what we deserve if we don't fight back. We know what we have to do.
 
 
+19 # Peace Anonymous 2012-09-22 16:07
DPM you nailed it. How much further down this road can we go before we are all answering to a board of directors with a guy like Romney running the show. Look at the pattern.
 
 
0 # dovelane1 2012-09-26 03:20
The problem is, as I see it, that so many times what we end up fighting are the symptoms of a problem, while the real problems goes ignored and unchallenged.

For instance, one of the real problems in this culture, and in the world, is overpopulation. In the early 80's, businesses started noticing they have more applications for employment than they had jobs. At some time, they figured out they could pay their employees what they wanted to, and if the employee didn't like it, there was someone else who sould stand for that.

I've had a bumper sticker on my car for about 15 years that reads "More Jobs? What About Less People." We bred ourselves out of good-paying jobs, and the power to demand good-paying jobs in the 80's and since. And we are continuing to breed ourselves, not only out of jobs, but out of resources as well.
 
 
0 # dovelane1 2012-09-26 03:31
(cont'd) The other major problem I see, which I mention later in this thread, is that of the addictive nature of this culture. Many people have been conditioned to think they are entitled to everything we want, and so, believe they have the right to do whatever they want in order to get it.

The Republican belief system is exclusive in nature, whereas I generally tend to find progressives to be more inclusive. One of the ways Republicans get votes is to make every issue and "us vs. them" issue. Those who have learned to see life in those terms will respond to the Republican message.

All of this is based on the patriarchal system of competition vs. cooperation, and because they've learned to see others as "them," they can rationalize their actions and decisions by believing the rest of us are not like them.

In order to do that, they have to deny part of their humanity. Part of this, I believe, is based on the fear of being vulnerable. If I care about someone else, I become vulnerable. If I can tell myself this other person is not as human as I am, or is not like me, I can keep from feeling, and thus, from being vulnerable.

Xenophobia is the fear of anything alien, anything that is not in my "normal" group, or my comfort zone. As long as one can see someone else as "alien," they can rationalize any or all of their behaviors.
 
 
0 # dovelane1 2012-09-26 03:40
(cont'd.) I forget who said this, but the idea was that fear and hate draw a line around a person, keeping others out. Love knows how to redraw the line to allow others in.

Those who are afraid, want to control everything inside that circle, and want to keep out anything they don't think they can control. They don't want to share, and have power-with others; they want power-over others.

Romney wants to control how he's seen by those in his comfort zone, which is why he opened up and said what he did. He "needs" to see himself as one of that group of people. It might even be that he's afraid of not being accepted by those who have the wealth, power, and status that he wasn't sure he deserved.

Fear makes strangers out of people who would otherwise be friends. As long as I stay in denial of how human another person is, I can avoid caring about them.

In the long run, our only two choices are love or fear. Romney and the most of the rest of the current so-called Republicans want you to make choices based on fear. If we do that, if we give in to fear, and hopelessness, and learned helplessness, they will have won.

I don't trust anyone who tells me I should be afraid, and then tries to prove why I should.
 
 
0 # dovelane1 2012-09-26 03:51
(cont'd.) I am a diabetic, soon to be over 65, living off delivering an alternative paer, part-time.

I have a Bachelor of Elective Studies degree with 250 college credits, and have not found a decent job in my home town.

One job I applied for was an $8 an hour, 20 hour a week job with an organization that deals with battered woman, and their abusers. After the job was closed, I spoke with the person doing the hiring, and she told me she had more than 20 applicants for this part-time job, and everyone that applied had a MINIMUM of a Bachelor's degree. The person who got the job had a law degree.

My options have been such things as working as a clerk in an organic food store, and selling pull-tab tickets to benefit the local WIC program (women, infants.) The skills I have are not highly in demand, or valued in this area.

And yet, I keep writing editorials for three or four local papers. I attend demonstrations agains wars and the like. I speak truth to power and Republicans when I have the opportunity. I have my creative outlets.

So, no I am not totally beated down, but I certainly can comprehend those who might get to that point. If I didn't have the support structure I have, and which is validated on this site, I might be in worse shape than I am.

I just refuse to quit.
 
 
-33 # brux 2012-09-22 14:01
While I might emotionally sympathize with these soppy opinion pieces, this day in, day out publishing of these pieces are kind of useless. They do nothing to intellectually align people towards a common reality, ie. being on the same page so they can act together, they just get people mad with no outlet.

Wolf can be a very good writer, but first this is her job, her way to make money, her way to be a celebrity ... to avoid the work that she supports everyone else doing while she floats above it all writing these fluff pieces.

At some point to bring about real change someone has to do some really hard work - like educating people about what their human expectations should be, and why. What rights they should have - and what responsibilities.

The reason Mitt Romney is able to write off almost half the population is that they show little sign of taking what he is calling responsibility. There is a truth to that, but there is also a reason. The more stress, the more uncertainty in a person's life they lower they will function at. Our society stresses people mentally just like we used to use them up in factories until they were injured or died.
 
 
+36 # Smokey 2012-09-22 14:58
I like lots of Naomi Wolf's essays. Some of the stuff that she wrote about abortion - more than a few years ago - was great and it's still worth quoting... Still, what's needed is a real movement for social change and that requires a lot more than a few good essays.... It's not Naomi Wolf's fault.
Some hard work is required. All of us, without exception, should be involved when it's time for heavy lifting.
 
 
+3 # brux 2012-09-22 17:17
When corporations want to get things done or change their culture institutionally , they have tools to do it, and have studied the problem very carefully.

A lot of progressives seem to think all of that is unnecessary, even though they get beat over the head with it from the Conservatives daily with the results. A good example is the Republican plans to steal the election with voter ID programs.

The people here would rather just call Mitt Romney names that take real action - or vote down ideas they desperately need to hear about and consider.
 
 
+22 # 8myveggies 2012-09-22 16:13
Do not underestimate the powerful truth in brux's last paragraph.

Constant stress can squash your spirit. If you doubt that then you have not yet experienced it.

Do you have food to feed your kids tonight?
 
 
+18 # brux 2012-09-22 17:14
Funny you should mention that ... there is an interesting story on "This American Life" this week about this and how children's spirits and in some cases their whole lives are destroyed by constant stress.
 
 
+6 # wipster 2012-09-22 17:30
brux, I agree with what I think you're saying. It's great that we have all these editorials that make the points with which WE all agree and give a green thumbs up to the comments that also say what we agree with.

However, it's the 1%, and the corporations, and their lobbyists that actually have the money to run a 24 hr/day Faux News and put all of those a**holes on talk radio convincing all the people who listen to them that Obama is the problem, not them. Well, as one commenter said, you can't sell lemonade if you have no customers, so no amount of money in the form of tax reductions we throw at so-called "job creators" will make them hire people, that's just smart business.

Someone who can explain this much like Clinton recently in a way they can understand without talking down to them is needed, and it can't be folks from Occupy that look like relics from the 60's.

(continued)
 
 
+15 # wipster 2012-09-22 17:31
(continued)

While I like what the Dems stand for, the ones in office are just as rich as the Repugs and just as purchasable. We need a movement of intelligent people who can call BS on BS and not just for the sake of comedy like Stewart, Colbert, or Maher (although they do make great points, unfortunately they are usually preaching to the choir... the folks who need to hear them would never watch them).

A recent column published in RSN written by a gentlemen describing why he is no longer a Republican really moved me. We need someone like that, who is accepted by the people we need to convince and can the point across like Clinton did. And it will take money, unimpeachable money, so that that person and the movement is not beholden to any corporation. I just hope they would be able to start it up without being "eliminated" first.

We're in trouble folks, and it's time that the truth be told by someone who can be trusted by most people to tell the truth.
 
 
+9 # brux 2012-09-22 22:23
> Someone who can explain this much like Clinton recently

Two someones:
1). Robert Reich - see Aftershock
2). Joseph Stiglitz - see The Price of Inequality.

there are several more ... there is no shortage of narratives, the voices are being shouted down and the only way we would know how hard is if we had a real freedom of speech and the press.

Thanks for your intelligent communication.
 
 
+2 # brux 2012-09-22 22:26
Totally agree ... except that THERE IS NO "THE TRUTH" ... the truth ... is a target, often a moving one, like justice, and the US either has very bad aim or someone is interfering with our shots!
 
 
+3 # Texan 4 Peace 2012-09-23 17:58
I don't know, Al Franken went from being a good comedian to a great Senator -- one who's not just kidding around.
 
 
0 # wipster 2012-09-24 13:14
Quoting Texan 4 Peace:
I don't know, Al Franken went from being a good comedian to a great Senator -- one who's not just kidding around.


Texan, you are right, Franken is a good example of a converted comedian, but how many of the people who never watched him on SNL listen to him now that he's a Senator speaking seriously (at least most of the time).

The more I think about the type of person(s) needed to discuss the many and constantly varying "truths" (just for you brux), the more I'm drawn to a TV journalist like Walter Cronkite... his candid reporting on the Vietnam War changed the public's perception more than any politician. Or Edward R. Murrow and his callout of McCarthy, which did the same regarding communism.

These folks have their own opinions, but do a good job in hiding them when attempting to let the public know both points of view, unless one or the other is so blatantly BS that it has to get called out. I really wish there were a person like Will McAvoy on HBO's "The Newsroom," but we'll never see it in the form of TV news... maybe in a YouTube video show? I wish that Dan Rather's reputation had not been destroyed in 2004 by Rove's obvious setup, as he knows exactly what we're talking about. His show on HDNet is excellent, but nobody watches it because of the network.

Well maybe the younger folks can make the discussion of "The Truth" on YouTube so popular it has to be discussed on the nightly news.
 
 
+6 # ecoforestree 2012-09-22 22:29
It's easy for Mitt Romney to write off half the population since half the population does not bother to vote. He prefers to let them stay asleep. Let sleeping dogs lie. Next thing your going to try to do is to blame Mitt Romney for the pathetic mindless souls that are too lazy to educate themselves or to vote. They are too busy watching mindless drivel on TV to do either. To make matters worse, at least half the people who are voting don't have a clue about who or what they are voting for since they cannot see beyond empty slogans and ten second sound bites. And those in control laugh all the way to the bank.
 
 
+7 # brux 2012-09-23 13:29
It is easy to have contempt for the working class particularly the lower working class or even the unemployed, but this is all part of the consequences of the system we have.

When people have to work 2 or 3 jobs to stay alive, and do not have health care and may be living with conditions such as type-2 diabetes that is eventually going to kill them ... how much self-esteem and energy do you think they have to devote to paying attention to politics ... when from their point of view nothing ever changes?
 
 
+39 # Larry 2012-09-22 14:04
The American Dream has been killed by decades of political corruption enabled by the absence of limits on either campaign spending or congressional terms, and by the wealthy gaming the tax laws to work in their favor.

Any hope that our once-great middle class will demand reforms has been dashed by Nixon's Southern Strategy. This cynical initiative has effectively muzzled one-half of all working class whites, who are now squarely aligned with their economic abusers. The one percent reward their new economic proletariat by supporting, or at least tolerating socially regressive positions on race, religion, minority rights, guns, and, of course, taxes.

We now see in the right wing of the middle class what is possibly the most massive, persistent case of Stockholm Syndrome in history.
 
 
+4 # brux 2012-09-23 13:26
Any "DREAM" take organization and hard work to bring about in the real world. The problem with the American dream is that like most stuff in America - it is advertising, a marketing ploy - at least the way America works now it is.

But the hard work and organization is impossible when people are either broke and homeless or working 2 or 3 jobs to stay alive. They have no time, energy or brainpower for organizing or working politically too!

This is the dynamic that Republicans utilize to oppress the American worker and keep their vaulted status and corruption going. That is why it is so important to have a strong safety net and worker rights.
 
 
0 # wipster 2012-09-23 21:16
Quoting brux:
Any "DREAM" take organization and hard work to bring about in the real world. The problem with the American dream is that like most stuff in America - it is advertising, a marketing ploy - at least the way America works now it is.

But the hard work and organization is impossible when people are either broke and homeless or working 2 or 3 jobs to stay alive. They have no time, energy or brainpower for organizing or working politically too!

This is the dynamic that Republicans utilize to oppress the American worker and keep their vaulted status and corruption going. That is why it is so important to have a strong safety net and worker rights.


You are quite correct... it never has been my dream. I thought once that I wanted to be the benevolent boss, but after trying, I discovered how much I really didn't want to be that person. And then after being that person, I found I could no longer be just an employee with meaningless goals reviewed every six months in order to get another quarter percent raise.

I would bet the "American Dream" only applies to less than a quarter of the working populace any more... pink houses with white pickets fences and a wife (or husband), two boys, a girl, and a dog and a cat, with an 8 hour day, two weeks vacation, and a pension is not only not achievable, it's also not what a lot of us even desire any more, if we ever did.
 
 
+27 # bluemoonwoman 2012-09-22 14:09
There are many reasons "WHY" the 47 % of us lack get up and go power. Illness for one. Google asparteme and splenda and find out what these "lovelies" do for you. Don't you wonder sometimes ( in the name of profit) what else has been handed to us on our dinner plate? Many of us find ourselves ill too. Mitt makes the mistake of assuming that success is defined totally by the money one makes. Sorry. Makes me wonder if he REALLY understands Jesus and his teachings.
 
 
+5 # stonecutter 2012-09-22 14:16
This reminds me about the wife who returns home to find her husband in flagrante with another woman in their bed. As she stands before him in rage and humiliation, the husband proclaims defiantly, "There is no one else here, my love! Are you gonna believe ME, or your own lying eyes?!"

How long have most of us understood the patently false "promise" of the mythical American Dream? The hard reality that in this country the class and economic circumstances you're born into, granted those storied incursions into professional sports or show business that are the rarified exception to the rule, will usually determine the class you run with and end with. The main differences relate to "portion control": how large a portion of financial stability and eventual accomplishment ("success"), and happiness desserts, you're able to claim for yourself, through a combination of education, experience, hard work and good fortune (luck), with solid emphasis on the latter.

Romney made millions as a white-collar vulture capitalist. He preyed on many thousands of ordinary "victims" who didn't know what hit 'em, and then left them in the dust while he yachted to the bank. Henry Ford may have been an anti-Semite, but at least he imagined and made something seminal that his own employees could buy and enjoy, and he paid them enough to do so. He revolutionized American life. If he was running against BHO right now, it would be a much tougher choice. Not so the wooden vulture.
 
 
+22 # mdhome 2012-09-22 14:35
The 47% are just objects to be used till they are worn out, then cast them aside and get another batch to use up and discard. The chance for individuals to gain any traction is about zero. That is they way they have rigged the system and that is the way they are going to keep it. their interest in you is only what can you do to make their lives richer or easier.
 
 
+20 # demongel17 2012-09-22 14:38
Bootstraps, huh? Hmmmmmmm....nev er been able to find mine?? AND, I am a decidedly white male, alternating over the years between middle class and very poor.
Thanks DPM you said it all!
"It's time. Give up or fight. It is up to you to choose, before the choice is made for you."
 
 
+18 # CC1951 2012-09-22 14:48
I do not want to go back to the 'gilded' age-- we've got to empower ourselves-- no more of this talk of giving up. We are Americans!!! We have to talk to each other in a POSITIVE manner!!
 
 
+26 # cordleycoit 2012-09-22 14:50
Mitt opened his mouth and I beleive he will have nothing in common with me my family or anyone around me because he does not know what the poverty men like him inflect. Men like him take the pensions and medical care away from the elderly. Men like him want to gambol on Wall Street with Social Security forcing jobs away from our children who worked two jobs for worthless degrees. These psychopathic politicians need to DNA tested for serous mental illness before operating the dangerous machinery of government. Like I was tested for drugs before driving a cab or being a cop orbeing a reporter.
 
 
+30 # Brooklyn Girl 2012-09-22 14:50
I was at the New York Botanical Gardens yesterday --- a huge, gorgeous park financed by the 19th century's wealthiest robber barons. Even those mercenary businessmen had a sense of civic responsibility. Unfortunately, today's rich sneer at those who are less fortunate than themselves. Don't they know what happened to Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI? Or Nicholas and Alexandra?
 
 
-67 # marstob 2012-09-22 14:52
How sad it all is. Much of the Romney speech has been deleted so the actual context wasn't there. Just enough to inflame the populace. The wealthy have always existed and oppression also. What works is the money is used to create, not destroy and the people, like the bees to the Queen are the workers of their hive. iF you allow no bees to work, the Queen dies and without her direction so then does the worker bees. A very simple analysis of what is happening. Romney is to the people what the Queen is to the workers. Obama knows little of directing anyone, nor of business and thus the dormant society you are experiencing. Understand what is really happening - Canada chose and we have a vibrant society run by a Conservative - who honors our social programs, including health care.
 
 
+9 # oakes721 2012-09-22 18:36
The queen bee is actually an egg-laying slave whom the workers may kill when her egg production drops (compare to jobs, new workers), whereas the workers actually work themselves to death in just a few weeks this time of year ~ all for the benefit of the colony.

When money was first issued in colonial times, there was never enough of it. If a person borrowed $100 from a bank, he would owe $110...where does he get the other $10? He is now in debt. The dollar is called a BILL because it's an IOU for something of real value: land or precious metals. The Federal Reserve does not accept these promissory notes for those paper IOUs they hand out in exchange.

Could it be that the "DREAM" to be a millionaire is a distorted vision of simple security? If an American Dream considers ALL of the people, then having more than your share is to have someone else' share, isn't it? When CEOs now reap thousands of times the shares of their workers, they must watch their backs at all times. Neither wins in a rigged game.
 
 
-70 # MidwestTom 2012-09-22 14:54
In our system Social Security and temporary unemployment benefits are not welfare. Food stamps , aid for dependent children and other benefits paid to those physically able is welfare. The welfare has taken away the American dream, because thoxe receiving have no ideahow fulfilling hard waok can be, and instead waste away their time awaiting another payment.

Another thing taking aay the American dream for many Americans is the invasion of 12 million Latinos all of whom are seeking the AMERICAN DREAM AND ARE REALIZING IT, naby living in circumstances on income that native born Americans think below them. Thank Clinton for bring us NAFTA, which brought the American Dream to millions of Latinos, while taking it away form Americans.
 
 
+9 # Interested Observer 2012-09-22 21:46
NAFTA has done more damage to Mexico, in particular its agricultural economy, that it has brought benefit. That is a primary reason for the current immigration situation, that is also exploited for right wing political benefit to distract us from the evisceration of the middle class that has been developing for decades. The great sucking sound skipped right over Mexico to China (unless you are in IT, then it was India). You want some American Dream in an world without any oversight, do a stretch in a meat processing facility, e.g. the hog brain room at Hormel. Or pick some crops. Then tell me the work of Upton Sinclair does not still live, and Murrow's Harvest of Shame ever went out of date. Do some time at the bottom where the "expendable human capital" lives, at least until disabled by working conditions (e.g. CNS damage in the brain room, repetitive motion injuries on the line) at which time you will be discarded with less care than worn out machinery, and vilified as a lazy malingerer to boot.
 
 
+17 # Interested Observer 2012-09-22 15:03
"Play by the rules" will get you the same eye roll from present day business school students that the mention of "justice" will get you from a law student and most lawyers. The same business graduates who are indoctrinated that employees are "expendable human capital", an academic term for "suckers".
 
 
+23 # jskimmel 2012-09-22 15:12
It is truly disgraceful. Some jackass has a hundred foot yacht but now needs one that's two-hundred! So, he thinks he will generate an economy this way! The only problem is: Most of the jobs he provides are lower wage and he STILL doesn't want to pay enough taxes but the low earners SHOULD! Wake me for the Revolution. It's sad but people will not take this much longer.
 
 
+17 # WolfTotem 2012-09-22 15:21
Mitt reminds me of a great old film, THE THIRD MAN, and the character played by Orson Welles, Harry Lime.

Looking down from the giant Ferris wheel on the antlike people far below:
Martins: Have you ever seen any of your victims?
Harry Lime: You know, I never feel comfortable on these sort of things. Victims? Don't be melodramatic. Look down there. Tell me. Would you really feel any pity if one of those dots stopped moving forever? If I offered you twenty thousand pounds for every dot that stopped, would you really, old man, tell me to keep my money, or would you calculate how many dots you could afford to spare? Free of income tax, old man. Free of income tax - the only way you can save money nowadays.
AND, updated to GOPspeak instead of COMINFORM jargon:
Harry Lime: Nobody thinks in terms of human beings. Governments don't. Why should we? They talk about the people and the proletariat, I talk about the suckers and the mugs - it's the same thing. They have their five-year plans, so have I.
Martins: You used to believe in God.
Harry Lime: Oh, I still do believe in God, old man. I believe in God and Mercy and all that. But the dead are happier dead. They don't miss much here, poor devils.
 
 
+19 # hoodwinkednomore 2012-09-22 15:21
Just keep talking, Mitt. Just feel free to spill your guts...
 
 
+21 # MHAS 2012-09-22 15:26
Read Mike Davis' Prisoners of the American Dream for an interesting analysis of this myth. That we should continue to aspire to this dream when the economic system is driving the biosphere to the brink of extinction is another question. How about we dream a new dream--one of sustainability and cooperation rather than consumption and social climbing....Occ upy.
 
 
+14 # ladypyrates 2012-09-22 15:35
The comments expressed here all heartfelt and express a sort of collective rage that is very understandable. The problem is that NOBODY wants to let go of their beliefs and learn something about the true nature of the problem. The American Dream is not a myth...the founders researched every government that had existed in over 3000 years in order to come up with a system that works for the people. Jefferson specifically referred to it as the "the peoples capitalism" as opposed to the predatory European system. The par economy system they gave us had elements in it from as far back as Hammurabi's code coming up through the 18th century to the ideas of the French Physiocrats. To understand how important a par economy is to our form of government, I suggest that one reads the works of Henry C. Cary. Cary's father published all of Benjamin Franklin's work and the family carried out that tradition for many years. Cary was also an investor and he founded the American School of Economics in Washington D.C.. A more recent example of someone who taught the American System would be Carl Wilken who lectured Congress about it in the 1930's and 1940's. Our American System is being trashed by a bunch of wet-behind-the- ears economists who were spoon fed this un-American nonsense by people like J P Morgan et al. I'm sick of the cowardly liberals and the fascist conservatives shouting their uninformed dribble about a subject they now nothing about. If you want to save American,get busy!
 
 
+17 # Nell H 2012-09-22 15:51
The American Dream can still live. It requires that the middle class is paid a living wage so that they can invest in their families. Americans need to be paid a salary that allows them to buy a home, buy a car (or two), send their children to obtain a post-high school education and, generally feel good about their lives.

The American Dream requires redistribution of wealth. In order for the middle class to earn a living wage the very rich need to stop hoarding money. They need to pay their employees a living wage. And they need to bring their money back home from foreign tax shelters.

Strangely, paying employees a living wage is likely to pay off for continued large profits for the rich and, at the same time, make the entire country richer.
 
 
+6 # doneasley 2012-09-22 19:31
Quoting Nell H:
... The American Dream requires redistribution of wealth... Strangely, paying employees a living wage is likely to pay off for continued large profits for the rich and, at the same time, make the entire country richer.


Nell, you just said a very dirty word: "redistribution " - the word that conservatives love to hate and beat liberals over the head with. The point is... it's already been done. What do you think the Bush tax cuts were but a redistribution of wealth to the top 1%? Conservatives can't wait for the money to flow upwards, they want theirs right off the top. When we got a 3% tax cut and the $300 checks (remember?), the top bracket got a 4.5% tax cut - roughly $45,000 / million of income. And at the same time the capital gains and interest income taxes were dropped to 15%. They needed dump trucks to haul their money to the bank. And now the President has to beg to get a small percentage of that back.

If elected, Rmoney and the GOP Congress will definitely adopt the Ryan budget. Don't know why people continue to ask what Rmoney's going to do - he already said he LOVES the Ryan budget. And what most people don't know is that taxes on capital gains (Rmoney's entire income)goes to ZERO!

There would be nothing finer than to see the plutocrats - after spending all that cash - go down to DEFEAT in November. But WE have to make it happen!!!
 
 
+5 # seeuingoa 2012-09-22 15:59
"American Dream" simply means that if
you are greedy and ruthless enough, YOU can also start up as a newspaper boy and end up a billionaire in Las Vegas with a pink mansion, a pink Cadillac and a hooker with big boobs.

It shows an appalling lack of compassion
for your fellow citizens.
 
 
+18 # Peace Anonymous 2012-09-22 16:00
Much more important than the American Dream is the American Truth. And never in history has anyone so close to the president had the courage to tell the people the truth as Elizabeth Warren did in her speech at the DNC. "The game is rigged," Warren announced.
Now. perhaps by grasping the truth and holding on tight, can we see past the dream and deal with reality. Is our democracy working? Must we change? The future will not be pretty, but there is hope.We can dream, as long as we keep one foot planted firmly in the truth about who we are and how we got here. We must see past the propaganda and the people must get involved because even the president cannot change this without the support of the people.
 
 
+16 # Nell H 2012-09-22 16:04
We should thank Romney for saying the things the Republicans have been thinking. Many of them do think that people who don't pay federal taxes are scum. They think only people in business are worthwhile.

I even heard a college professor, who had worked hard to obtain a Ph.D. in a difficult technical field and who had spent a career encouraging students to succeed, called unimportant by these Republicans because she wasn't in business making money.
 
 
+12 # tanis 2012-09-22 16:13
I have been sick of hearing the words "american dream" for a long time. How about what the Buddha suggested, "wake up". People of every economic level need to open their eyes to what they can actually do, not dream.
 
 
+17 # JayMagoo 2012-09-22 16:26
Mitt Romney last May said to rich Republican donors what Republicans have been saying to each other in private for years. They are contemptuous of any one not in the 1% who depends on "entitlements."
There are also listeners of Fox News and of Limbaugh who agree because they heard it on Fox News or from other Republicans, but they don't understand the implications. What Romney did was go public. He said his language was "inelegant," but he believed it.
That's it! Back to the divine right of kings! The ancien regime. The "age of reason." The "enlightenment" could be cancelled out. Forget Jeffersonian Democracy, John Locke's social contract, the New Deal of FDR. Romney and his type think like the Bourbon monarchs, believing any sharing they do is from their own largess, not because anyone else has rights. They already threatened to cancel Social Security and Medicare. Forget Voltaire, Rousseau, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, and Benjamin Franklin. Forget the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. Romney and his ilk would roll back rights gained since the enlightenment.
Hyperbole? Perhaps, but if Romney, the Koch brothers, Karl Rove, Sheldon Adelson, and their ilk continue to gain money and power, we could end up where Europe was at the end of the dark ages.
 
 
+1 # ani 2012-09-23 16:00
I agree. Roll back every progress made from 1776 and they still wouldn't be happy, unless it would be the return to the fuedel system. The very rich and the serfs.
 
 
+10 # brux 2012-09-22 17:19
You sheep ... please quit worrying about dreams, a lot of us are fighting for our lives and basic human dignity and rights.
 
 
-20 # egbegb 2012-09-22 17:25
But if 47% of Americans pay zero (or less) federal income tax, how does that help America?
Inquiring minds want to know.
 
 
+6 # Bob P 2012-09-22 19:30
It teaches us how unjustly our economic system is working now, and goads some of us to action
 
 
+7 # brux 2012-09-23 05:31
Would you like you survival to be judged by whether you help America, to be made to feel useless and a burden - especially if you are or have been productive and are not now through no fault of your own?

With all his millions look at the other side ... what did Mitt Romney actually do for America in destroying people's jobs and exporting our industry abroad?
 
 
+8 # vegaspat 2012-09-22 17:58
It is a shame that the populace has sat on their hands for so long and allowed the government and Republicans to take such control. Romney and hia buddies are just buying the presidency so they can get more and more from the government they despise. They talk about all the people that are getting 'hand outs' from the government, but...what about all the goodies THEY take? Guess Republicans have a short memory span
 
 
0 # dovelane1 2012-09-26 02:44
It's called "selective perception." When a person's self-image gets tied into their belief system, anything that challenges their belief system, then threatens their self-image.

It's been written that people love the lie that saves their pride, but never an unflattering truth. Romney is in denial about the consequences of his decisions because it would affect his self-image.

First, he destroy businesses, towns, and jobs, thereby becoming the main reason people become dependent on our government, then he blames these same people for having no alternatives, when it was he (and others like him) who destoryed the alternatives.

As long as he can blame others, then his self-image is "clean." He doesn't hold himself accountable because his self-image won't allow it. Romney, like any other addict, or dysfunctional person, is in denial of what he has done, and is doing. As long as he blames others for the problems he caused, he allows himself to stay in denial.

Because his addictive tendencies have now become an acceptable "norm," he can rationalize his addictive and neurotic tendencies. The blaming is just the end result of those tendencies.
 
 
-6 # Bev 2012-09-22 18:55
Federal income tax was an invention to aquire the money to enter WWI for the profits to be gained selling the materials of war. Congress lied when they said the 16th Amendment was passed. The only state to vote FOR it was Mississippi. To this date the IRS cannot produce a copy of the law.
 
 
+2 # John Steinsvold 2012-09-22 19:10
An Alternative to Capitalism (Reviving the American Dream)

Several decades ago, Margaret Thatcher claimed: "There is no alternative". She was referring to capitalism. Today, this negative attitude still persists.

I would like to offer an alternative to capitalism for the American people to consider. Please click on the following link. It will take you to an essay titled: "Home of the Brave?" which was published by the Athenaeum Library of Philosophy:

http://evans-experientialism.freewebspace.com/steinsvold.htm

John Steinsvold

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result."~ Albert Einstein
 
 
+2 # brux 2012-09-23 01:27
I think there is no alternative to capitalism, it is the default way behave economically, but the sign of a civilized society is the existence of alternative value distribution systems where people use the economies of scale and advantages of standardization in a positive way to solve and alleviate problems.

This advantage that makes this imperative is that it is publicly done so everyone is assured of some base level of participation.

enables the whole economy to float on the needs and contributions of everyone, the alterative is slavery, war and lack of progress ... and misery. If a few super-rich people have to pay more taxes when they thing they should be like Caesar, a god, too bad, that is always disaster for everyone else anyway, we should have learned that by now.
 
 
+8 # Corvette-Bob 2012-09-22 20:21
If the Republicans gain control of the Senate and the White house several things will occur. Capital gains taxes will go to zero and inheritance taxes will be eliminated. Vast wealth will be passed down in families so that we will have people who will have the wealth of the Hapsburgs in Europe, who will be able to completely control the political power within this country. The tipping point has been reached at this election and Mitt Romney could not be a better representative of this trend. The question is, will the American People, especially the desperately angry and scared older white male, lead us to a place where we may never return
 
 
+11 # Scott479 2012-09-22 21:56
You're right Romney, we are victims-of tax dodging dirt bags whose chronic refusal to pay their share has led to our crumbling infrastructure. Many Americans, who don't rub elbows with the global elite like you do, are unaware these jet-setters now see America as a country in rapid decline due to people such as Romney and those of his class undermining America with their bought and paid for politicians who pass tax loopholes allowing for the Cayman Island tax shelters they use. Never mind the 47% you ridicule and falsely accuse of not taking responsibility for their lives-it is the "Entitled Elite", the 1%, who have done 90% of the recent damage to our country who are the truly traitorous.
 
 
+6 # Rick Levy 2012-09-22 23:29
"I have been noticing, with sadness, that politicians do not even bother invoking the American Dream anymore." well, why whip a dead horse?
 
 
+6 # walt 2012-09-23 06:32
Romney's mean-spirited and aloof comments should verify to all how the nation has become a plutocracy, ruled by the wealthy. Yet astonishingly, middle class and poor will still support Republicans who actually stand against their interests.

Naomi sated it perfectly when she say, "What Romney's remarks show is that the wealthy are handling the corruption of a system that benefits them by assigning blame for the destruction of the American Dream to the have-nots."

99% of Americans should be prepared to vote every Republican out of office. They are a party of the rich and have obstructed any and all progress for the nation in thinking that such would damage Obama's chances of winning. That is unforgivable! And it's treasonous!
 
 
+2 # ani 2012-09-23 15:52
It is a major concern for me, as I hope for other Americans, that wealth is now the measurement for success in our country. I personally know many people, doctors, nurses, teachers, policemen, etc...who are very satisfied and successful in their fields, and they are not wealthy in terms of their bank accounts, but live very fulfilling lives SUCCESSFULLY! Worshiping money seems to me, an acceptable religion now for many Americans(and the call to arms for the republicans)to how they rate a successful life.
 
 
0 # dovelane1 2012-09-26 03:07
The original founding fathers intent was to set up a country in which everyone (eventually) had equal access to a good quality of life. Ever wonder what the U.S. would be like if we used that criteria for judging what a successful like is?

At some point in time, I believe during the 1800's, that view was co-opted to the "wuantity" of life. In the process, the quality of life for all but the 2% was reduced to survival of the fittest.

In the book "When Society Becomes An Addict," Anne Wilson-Schaef makes the argument that we live in a culture that supports addictive norms. Ever wonder why there are so many addicts in this country?

Greed is an addiction based on the fear of never having enough. People driven by fear will do anything, say anything, and use anyone they can to keep from addressing their fear. The end justifies the means.

All addictions require that the person addicted stay in denial of their fear(s). Probably the primary way they do this is by blaming other people for their reactions and decisions.

When Romney is challenged, he acts like a victim, then he blames Obama and the 47% for the countries problems, making us the persecuters as we are all worthless, lazy indigents, and then he asks his loyal followers to rescue him and the country by voting for him.

Anytime an adult with power starts blaming others, you have a dysfunctional human being.
 
 
0 # wipster 2012-09-23 21:06
Quoting brux:
> Someone who can explain this much like Clinton recently

Two someones:
1). Robert Reich - see Aftershock
2). Joseph Stiglitz - see The Price of Inequality.

there are several more ... there is no shortage of narratives, the voices are being shouted down and the only way we would know how hard is if we had a real freedom of speech and the press.


I like and agree with those folks, as well as Krugman, especially some of Professor Reich's whiteboard lesson videos. But none of those people are the leaders who are respected and understood by most, especially left, middle, and the right of the 70's and early 80's, who now are afraid of saying what they really mean without getting marched out of the primaries for being RINO's, even though they would probably win the elections.

We may have a start with Elizabeth Warren... the far right hates her specifically because they have no answers to the "truth" (yeah, it does move, but there are some constant aspects) she speaks. The only thing I regret about her campaign is that I like Scott Brown, as he doesn't always follow the line and I think he could be a true moderate repub. Regardless, we need to do much more than just talk in forums, we have to find a respected someone to do!

Anyway, my brain hurts. And thank you as well for saying much of the stuff I've been thinking and in an intelligent manner.
 
 
+2 # Douglas Jack 2012-09-24 10:30
If Romney, Bachmann, Cain, Gingrich, Perry, Santorum, Paul, Ryan & other Republican government-hate rs really believe in free-enterprise as the most successful system of human organization, then why don't they show us all the wonderful things their system can accomplish for Americans & humanity without tarnishing themselves through the system they despise? Why are they trying to buy elections & deconstruct government before they show us how corporations can organize society's resources & fulfill its dreams? Some living examples of fully employed communities, states & nations living sustainably without: 1) destroying air, water & land ecologies 2) other societies worldwide, 3) such huge garbage dumps on land, in the sea or incinerated air, 4) gated-communiti es, institutional & corporation-run terror or 5) continual wars everywhere would be wonderful advertising for their cause and an inspiration to us all. https://sites.google.com/site/indigenecommunity/relational-economy/8-economic-democracy
 
 
-1 # Innocent Victim 2012-09-24 10:59
Dear Ms Wolf: Does "deconstruct" mean "analyze" ?
 
 
0 # jlstiles 2012-09-24 13:47
It is laughable that no one suspects this is a complicit plant of the video by the puppet masters to keep us arguing over this completely pointless election and to make us think we even have a political debate worthy of our attention. It is complete theater. The only difference between Obama and Romney is gay rights and abortion--on everything else they are virtually identical.
 
 
0 # medusa 2012-09-25 10:38
One difference between OB and Mr Romney is that Romney just about promises more war in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iran. Maybe Palestine too. Obama's first achievement was to make peace with the Europe and other friends that Bush had purposely offended.
 
 
0 # pernsey 2012-09-25 13:42
Im just listening to Mitt Romney in Ohio, what a whole bunch of nonsense, everything he says Obama is doing, is what hes doing. What a joke!
 
 
0 # speedboy 2012-09-25 23:23
This guy has never done an honest day's work in his life. His entire career has consisted of making money by cheating others out of their's.
 
 
+1 # El Duderino 2012-09-25 23:25
Horatio Alger - Henry Miller nailed the absurdity in 1938: "I'll give you an Horatio Alger book .. . just you wait! My head was in a whirl leaving his office....I saw the walls giving way and the pest pouring out like a winged fluid, and the men higher up with their ironclad logic, waiting for it to blow over, waiting for everything to be patched up, waiting, waiting contentedly, smugly, with big cigars in their mouths and their feet on the desk, saying things were temporarily out of order. I saw the Horatio Alger hero, the dream of a sick American, mounting higher and--higher, first messenger, then operator, then manager, then chief, then superintendent, then vice-president, then president, then trust magnate, then beer baron, then Lord of all the Americas, the money god, the god of gods, the clay of clay, nullity on high, zero with ninety-seven thousand decimals fore and aft. You shits, I said to myself, I will give you the picture of twelve little men, zeros without decimals, ciphers, digits, the twelve uncrushable worms who are hollowing out the base of your rotten edifice. I will give you Horatio Alger as he looks the day after the Apocalypse, when all the stink has cleared away." Tropic of Capricorn was published in 1938 and banned in every English speaking country.
 

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