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The Expansionist
Thursday, October 11, 2012
What Romney's '47%' Comment Actually Means
There seems to be a disconnect between what Mitt Romney said about the 47%, in his notorious fundraiser appearance in Boca Raton, Florida, May 17th, and what it necessarily means. Here's what Romney said:
There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it -- that that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what. ... These are people who pay no income tax. ... [M]y job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.
I have seen no one land on the key passage, to explain what it inescapably means.
[these people] believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it -- that that's an entitlement.
This is what Romney's comments mean. When Romney complains about these people, what he is beyond question saying is that they are NOT entitled to anything. If someone cannot afford to buy his or her own food, or food for their children, they should starve to death, and their children should starve to death with them, or shortly after the parents perish.
In Romney's view, no one is "entitled" to housing, so if they cannot pay a mortgage or rent, they should live on the streets, or in a car, if they have one, no matter the climate in winter.
And if they cannot afford to pay for healthcare, they should get no healthcare! If they get sick, that's their problem. If they are involved in an accident, or fire, or are the victim of a crime, and have no health insurance, they should DIE, and get out of the way of 'decent working people' (and the rich, tho that is not to be said aloud) whom they are now parasitizing.
Absent governmental assistance, all these 47% — 147 million people — should die or BEG for CHARITY from the rich. And the rich have no moral nor legal obligation to GIVE them CHARITY, because the rich have exclusive right to "their" money, and no one is entitled to take one cent of it without their approval.
There's an even worse possible interpretation: a return to slavery, in which the rich will provide housing, food, and maybe even a little healthcare, but only if the poor indenture themselves to the rich and work for free, for as long as the rich demand, even to the end of their lives.
147 Million Signs. What this country needs, in the view of 'people' like Romney and Ryan, is a return to slavery, or feudalist serfdom — whatever you want to call it — in which the poor and middle class are so reduced in circumstances that they will literally work without pay just to stay alive. Joe Biden was thus exactly right when he spoke of Republicans wanting to return blacks to chains.

But it's not just black people that the Radical Right wants to reduce to wage slavery, and debt slavery, and then actual, literal slavery. It's everyone who cannot, at any point in their lives, for any period whatsoever, take care of themselves, so suffer catastrophic economic devastation. If they have an accident and have no health insurance, so lose their savings and their house and their car, they should have no options but to sign themselves into bondage, whereupon the rich will take care of them, in a new, paternalistic, 'benign slavery'.
There have in fact, in recent weeks, been aggressive defenses of slavery put forward by a few outspoken Southern Republicans. One Arkansas legislator recently called slavery "a blessing in disguise". Not all the pro-slavery propaganda is recent, just recently discovered, such as rhetoric going back to 2003 on the part of another Arkansas Republican, who called Abraham Lincoln a "Marxist". This is consistent with the endless drumbeat of Radical Right propaganda we have suffered during the entire Obama Presidency that calls Obama a "Marxist" too. Apparently, freedom is "Marxist"; slavery is a legitimate form of ownership of property.
To put the great preponderance of Americans into slavery, the rich are contriving to destroy the domestic economy by opening up the U.S. market to unfair competition from countries whose pay rates are properly, if ironically, termed "slave wages", and by shipping abroad every job that can possibly be exported, so that a "race for the bottom" produces universal penury for the Nation's workforce. Not one single job is safe from this plan except retail sales, from which the corporations of the rich derive their domestic income. Even there, most jobs can be eliminated by self-checkout kiosks, where one employee can oversee six, eight, ten, or even more checkouts that would otherwise have been staffed one-for-one by human beings. When the unemployment rate is 30%, 35%, or more, and the jobs that remain pay almost nothing and entail no benefits, then the bulk of workers will have no alternative but to sell themselves into slavery, simply to survive.
Tho we would like to believe that no such intention could ever be carried out, it is beyond contention that real wages have dropped drastically in recent decades, personal debt has skyrocketed, millions of mortgaged houses are "under water", and jobs are still being exported. Now the Radical Right — which seems to think itself immune from creeping enslavement, even tho they are among the least educated and thus least fit to survive competition from automation and the export of jobs — wants to turn over all control of the economy to the rich, on the strange notion that the rich really have our best interests at heart, and if only we let them make and keep as much money as possible, they will take care of the rest of us. Sure they will: on industrial plantations, with slave cottages within walking distance of the factory, and elementary schools — slaves don't need high-school nor college education — right there in "the community". No busing required.
Romney, Ryan, the Tea Party — tho you haven't heard that term recently, have you? They haven't gone away, but only taken over the entire Republican Party, so the two are now one, and the less disrespectable name is the one put out for public consumption — are working very hard to persuade voters that trickle-down economics really works! And the "white trash" of the Red States are so uneducated and so easily distracted by appeals to racism, that they don't even realize that they are subverting their own future. 'And then they came for me' means nothing to them, because they don't read and know nothing of history.
How is it that Democrats cannot show rednecks in Red States that they are being played for fools, and destroying their own future in voting for Tea Party madness? Why can't Democrats tell rednecks, "You are so eager to keep the black man down and throw that black man out of the White House that you really don't see that when the Radical Right has driven Obama from the White House and destroyed progressive taxation and Social Security and Medicare, they will take you on too. Read something, and learn what educated people mean when they say, 'And then they came for me.'

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