Time has moved on
The Republican National Convention began in Tampa this week along with all the pomp, pageantry and spin the Republican Party can muster. The campaign is looking for a last-minute energy boost and a chance to change the minds of the last few straggling voters who aren’t yet convinced that Mitt Romney would be a horrible choice for president. That is unless Hurricane Isaac steals completely the Republican convention hoopla.
The Romney campaign is in a frenzy to change their candidate’s image. As with Sarah Palin in 2008, when thousands of dollars were spent cleaning up her image, Romney strategists need to convince America he is not a robot, he has overcome struggles and his business background will rescue us all. In that vein, Ann Romney has taken a central role in the campaign and made the press rounds leading up to the convention.
In what could only be described as “white folks’ problems” by one of the old souls, we hear Ann Romney talk about her miscarriage, her bout with breast cancer and battle with multiple sclerosis. Sad, personal events, no doubt, but not unique. Illness is an unfortunate part of life for most of us, made more painful by the fact too many of us, especially in urban areas, are un- or underemployed, under- or uninsured and struggling.
For most urban and even rural citizens, overcoming personal struggle could be marked as losing a home, no heat, being in the early 60s knowing they have cancer but have to wait until eligibility for Medicare allows treatment. Five children, raised by single mothers who can’t get equal pay if they can find a job at all. This is the everyday tragedy everyday people see.
We’re being asked to believe Romney’s financial background will turn around the country. A background that includes a record of buying companies, stripping them down to bare essentials, laying off workers to earn greater profit and moving on to follow a political career.
Romney has decided a move to the right could help him. So not only does he promote fiscal austerity at great cost to the masses, he recently took a birth certificate swipe at President Barack Obama. Romney is representative of a post-war world that did everything it could to mock the social and political uprisings of the 1960s. As a student, eligible to join the war but failing to do so, this presidential nominee protested the anti-Vietnam war protestors.
He is reflective of the post-war, golly-gee-whiz optimism that defined a generation — a generation that hasn’t given to the younger generation like the Depression-era parents gave to their children. These are the people that America was good to. The ones that benefited. Defined by suburban homes, country clubs, elite schools, Romney represents a wealth that is rare in America and increasingly difficult, if not impossible for most to attain. Most look at the Romneys’ family photos of the ‘50s and ‘60s and are reminded their families never took those vacations.
This GOP candidate represents the worst kind of establishment figure and Black Americans seem to be able to see that. He’s polling at zero percent with African Americans. Now that consistency is hard to achieve.
Yet the Republicans, despite the country’s changing demographics that put people of color in the majority, refuse to see that packaging the “Leave it to Beaver” ideal will and should fail. Time has moved on.