Rich and richer

Diverse City
By SHAY STEWART-BOULEY  |  August 15, 2012

Last week, Mitt Romney announced a running mate — finally offering relief to the fidgeting comedians, though disappointing them when it turned out not to be Michele Bachmann — and it was 42-year-old Paul Ryan.

This disturbs me greatly.

Mostly, I suppose, because my husband is only one year older than that and I'm not a whole hell of a lot younger than Ryan and we're both members of Generation X and . . . when the hell did they start allowing members of my generation to run for an office this high, dammit?!

Sigh. Let me start again.

Honestly, what really bugs me is that Romney and Ryan — a great "R/R" team that fittingly should use the Rolls Royce symbol for their campaign even though I'd rather that said campaign stalled right in the middle of something else "R/R" labeled, like a railroad crossing with an oncoming locomotive — are calling themselves "America's Comeback Team."

All I could think of the moment I heard that was the lyrics to LL Cool J's "Mama Said Knock You Out," when he said, "Don't call it a comeback — I've been here for years." I know Ryan's a workout buff — maybe he gets himself pumped up listening to LL Cool J . . . nah.

Anyway, I wish I could say that I think the "America's Comeback Team" thing means they're going to come back from the horrid trailing position and recent international-relations failures of Mitt Romney and give President Barack Obama a run for his money, but I know what they really mean. It isn't a comeback they're seeking. They want to take back. Take back the America they think should be, which is long gone and shouldn't return. Take it back for those who are moneyed (as if they ever lost it) and take it back for white men (as if they deserve to be the only ones running it).

I mean, c'mon! This team is composed of two white guys: one rich and the other richer than rich. Ryan may not have Romney's level of money but he is hardly broke. The fact that neither of these white guys has the standard Protestant religious background of the vast majority of serious candidates for the Oval Office hardly qualifies as diversity.

Mormon and Catholic? That's your diversity? Christian and Christian; moneyed and moneyed-er.

It's not about diversity but a return to an imagined Golden Age in which money, whiteness, and male genitalia determined your place in the world. After all, Ryan is an Ayn Rand fan and Romney's started cozying up the right-wingers already. In their desire to be the comeback boys, what does that mean for most of us? For starters, economic diversity will be on the fast track to disappearing. The middle class is shrinking rapidly and with the "work hard and you'll succeed mantra" of Romney and Ryan, plus way too few jobs to end unemployment, what we'll get is the shredding of the already frayed social safety net, leaving millions more Americans to slip into deep poverty.

After all, why care about social issues here and helping people in need when you can start planning your attack on Iran or whomever else ends up on our shit list?

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  Topics: The Editorial Page , Mitt Romney, economy, Money,  More more >
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