Just a few weeks ago, I criticized Mitt Romney's investment philosophy at Bain Capital as being mercenary and destructive to the companies that Bain invested in ("Romney's 'business model' is bad for America). This week the proverbial crap hit the fan, with accusations flying furiously between the Democrats and the Republicans on the politicizing of Romney's business experience. Well, given that Romney himself made his track record the centerpiece of his campaign, I really don't see what basis the Republicans have to complain. Their candidate opened this Pandora's box all by himself.
It's safe to say that I feel vindicated in my opinions when I hear President Obama and many respected commentators confirming my cynicism about Romney's opportunistic business methods and apathy towards the needs of average Americans. But more than that, it has become clear to me that the real problem here is not one of facts or politics but of the twisted fiscal beliefs of the Republicans.
The most notable example of Bain's mercenary tactics is Ampad, the company that Bain bought and brought to bankruptcy, eliminating hundreds of jobs, while making a handsome profit in the transaction. Even by the tough standards of private equity, it is a pretty extreme case, and one that Romney should not be proud of. Yet the Republican establishment has rallied quickly and forcefully to his defense with the dubious stance that as long as Bain made money, it was a good deal. A good deal? Not for the workers who lost their livelihood and not for our economy that lost a business!
So what does this tell us about the Republican Party?
To put it very simply, Republicans may say that they are for economic growth and job creation but what they are really for is wealth creation for a privileged few at the expense of the middle class and the poor. In reality the Republicans could care less about job creation -- they advocate lower taxes because it would benefit business owners, who are their primary donors -- and they care even less about the growth of the US economy. As far as they are concerned, as long as their friends and contributors can grow their wealth (and donate generously to their campaigns), what happens to the rest of the nation is irrelevant.
Now most of this is already obvious but the reason I bring it up is because there are millions of working-class Americans who are registered Republicans and who will vote in November for Mitt Romney and those people need a serious reality check. What exactly are they voting for and don't they realize that the candidate they support will do nothing but sell them and their interests up the river? It's mind-boggling. I realize that there are non-financial issues which sway voters as well, such as abortion, gun rights and gay marriage, but given that the economy is the bedrock on which our society stands or falls, how can intelligent, honest, hardworking Americans be so naive as to vote for the party that is sure to destroy their future?
Perhaps it's because of false promises, perhaps because of clever demagoguery or maybe the average American is just not devious enough to realize the true nature of the Pied Piper beckoning to them, but whatever it is, it's high time that they woke up and smelled the coffee. November is around the corner and I shudder to think what would happen if the United States of America became the national equivalent of Ampad. Not only will the Republicans own our country lock, stock and barrel under Romney, but they will probably throw the debt for the purchase onto our shoulders too!
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