I laughed with Rachel Maddow on MSNBC last night when she described Mitt Romney’s Sunday fundraisers in the Hamptons, but the story left a nasty aftertaste. I realize that the unaware millionaire is a stock cartoon character in American folklore. Who didn’t find Thurston Howell III (pictured above, left, with wife, Lovey) amusing in those Gilligan’s Island episodes? But, when you think about it, this kind of incident can be drearily disheartening.
It’s not just the conspicuous consumption and gross insensitivity that offends me, it’s also the lack of insight – and lack of intelligence – among the men and women who enjoy the best that society has to offer. It seems that these folks – many of them anyway – are just plain dumb.
Consider this comment from a woman attending one of the Romney fundraisers, as reported in the Los Angeles Times:
I don’t think the common person is getting it. Nobody understands why Obama is hurting them. My college kid, the baby sitters, the nails ladies — everybody who’s got the right to vote — they don’t understand what’s going on. I just think if you’re lower income — one, you’re not as educated; two, they don’t understand how it works, they don’t understand how the systems work, they don’t understand the impact.
As a “common person,” I resent that remark. I don’t drive a Bentley, like some of the guests at the Romney fundraisers, or even a Range Rover, like the woman quoted in the LA Times. But I “get it.” Trust me, lady, I get it!
I get the injustice and abusiveness in American society today. I get the way in which rich people like you flood election campaigns with your cash to defeat anyone who tries to make life a little better for the rest of us.
I get the way in which your political allies succeeded in stacking the Supreme Court so the Justices would lift regulations on political contributions, allowing you and your corporations to buy elections.
I get it, lady.
What far too many of us “common people” don’t get is the cunning way in which your hired politicians and propagandists stir up old prejudices and create false issues in a relentless crusade to divide and rule us.
Too many “common people” get caught up in ideology and religion, and lose sight of the real issue in any election – who gets what.
They don’t realize that people like you don’t really care about abortion or gay marriage or family values or Muslims or God’s word… What your kind really cares about is money.
That’s one thing I have learned about rich people like you. You worship money. That’s how you got so rich. Chances are most of us could get money if we were prepared to sacrifice everything else for money,
Common people like us tend to marry for love, for example, while rich people like you tend to marry for money. Common people like us tend to share what little we have, while rich people like you tend to do everything you can to get other people’s money.
But there’s a glimmer of comfort in this sorry saga. It’s obvious that you’re not just rich, lady, you’re also a fool.
And the Bible assures me that fools and their money are soon parted.
(In case you don’t recognize them by now, the photo above, right, shows Mitt Romney and his wife Ann.)