By now lots of people know about Mitt Romney’s Gaffe. Well, the whole campaign has pretty much been one big Gaffe, right? But if any missed the latest, this is the money quote from a secret recording at a fundraiser with millionaires:
“There are 47% of the people who will vote for the president no matter what… These are people who pay no income tax. My job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”
This quote, nor Mr. Romney’s way of thinking, doesn’t shock me. I suppose it should. I kind of wish it did, that I cared enough about politics to get all up in arms about it.
That Mr. Romney is well-traveled and well-heeled but so willfully and narcissistically ignorant of humankind, including his own countrymen, should shock me too. But I have a tough time getting shocked these days. His determination to be an ignorant asshole, using death, misunderstood cultural offense, and violent protest to further his goal of being elected is disheartening, but unsurprising.
Really, one wonders why Mr. Romney wants to be President. It certainly isn’t out of any ingrained desire to serve.
Which brings me to the bit that does shock and piss me off: out of the other side of his mouth Mr. Romney claims to be a faithful Christian. He is a perfect example of an elitist evangelical—the sort who “knows” what’s best for everyone. I fear he’s translated the Christian idea that without acceptance of Christ some people won’t be saved into “some people aren’t worth saving.”
With my tendency to classify Mormons and other “new faiths” as evangelical, and my opinion of evangelicals as reformationists of a faith that was doing just fine, thank you very much, I believe such groups often drift further from core teachings of Christ.* Also, it seems to me, the newer a group, the more self-centered, hypocritical, and vocal its members seem to be. Not only that, but less is spoken of the true tenants of Christ (peace, love, faith, aid) than efforts at social control by way of humanized, unspiritual “rules.” It really becomes a question of Who are you trying to convince?
To me, Mr. Romney exemplifies by action the worst sort of Christian, and I’m horrified people might think my faith resembles his. Christ would never hold the views of disregarding half of His nation for any reason, certainly not for being poor. Christ would never take advantage of others’ hatred and death to further His own goals. Christ expected those of wealth to be fair and forgiving to those who aren’t, while Mr. Romney plays a great Unmerciful Servant, especially considering he was forgiven a great debt by the nation he derides as half full of lazy moochers, as well as destroyed several companies, and several thousand jobs along the way.
Most of all, though, Christ was about peace. What peace did Mr. Romney hope to achieve by incorrectly attributing diplomatic efforts on the part of the ambassador and people directly involved with the protests against the anti-Islam film to President Obama?
Mr. Romney fits the elitist evangelical mold perfectly: self-centered, hypocritical, and vocal. With those deficiencies, he is doing his best to pervert and hijack the Presidency. His parallel perversion and hijacking of Christianity may be easy for some to disregard, but for those of us of faith, it’s more frightening and offensive than dirty politics. The more Mr. Romney talks, the more I wonder Who are you trying to convince? Few things make me worry more than when I ask that question of people in power.
*Full disclosure: my current reformed Anglican denomination, split from the Catholic church 450 years ago by a certain Henry VIII for personal and political reasons, and established in the US in 1607, was pretty damned vocal in its time, though I think we’ve quieted some since. Plus, I grew up American Methodist. Also quite vocal and insistent early on, thanks to Mr. Wesley.
Betsy Dornbusch is a writer and editor. Her short fiction has appeared in print and online venues such as Sinister Tales, Big Pulp, Story Portal, and Spinetingler, as well as the anthologies Tasty Little Tales and Deadly by the Dozen. She’s been an editor with the ezine Electric Spec for six years and regularly speaks at fan conventions and writers’ conferences. She’s the sole proprietor of Sex Scenes at Starbucks where you can believe most of what she writes. In her free time, she snowboards, air jams at punk rock concerts, and has just started following Rockies baseball, of all things.