Saturday, October 08, 2011

Amerika Über Alles

Mitt Romney is hard to figure out, partly because his most salient feature is the love of ingratiating himself dishonestly with any group he thinks is worth ingratiating himself to. So I have to wonder if he really thinks the United States is the nation chosen of God to lead the world as he told cadets at the Citadel yesterday or whether he just assumes that people embarking upon a military career are dreaming of imperial glory. I have no way of knowing whether these cadets have Napoleonic dreams or are attracted to arms because of some sense of personal weakness and humiliation, but I'd hesitate to bet that many really think that US history isn't filled with mistakes at home and abroad or that we aren't a better, more moral nation than once we were. Of course I don't mean to say we shouldn't strive to be a good influence in the world, but being a good influence doesn't mean command, doesn't mean control, doesn't mean we're the infallible and mighty hand of some invented Lord as Romney would be implying if there were any implications beyond opportunism in anything he has ever said in public.

But as I say, you never know what Romney thinks, particularly if your assessment is derived from listening to the man. You certainly can know that he's willing to put some strange interpretations on events to bolster his imperial and messianic aspirations whether or not he believes them. President Obama's "apology tour" for instance; Mitt would like to make the psychorabble feel important and loved by associating honesty with apology and apology with weakness and weakness with Jonah-like abdication of a divine mission. Of course Obama never went on an apology tour, but what black man has ever not been in danger from Godly Americans when someone accuses him of winking at a white girl. Where there's smoke, there's fire, we say, forgetting that where there's smoke there may be a smokescreen and there may be arson.

That Obama portrayed American history in a poor light by admitting that we have sometimes been guilty of arrogance and have sometimes made mistakes is a big fish to swallow, to invert the metaphor and it clashes with Romney's carefully crafted humble demeanor. There's nothing humble about him and there's something disturbing about the belief in divinely ordained male control of family life his religion seems to demand, at least to an outsider like me.

"An eloquently justified surrender of world leadership is still surrender"

said the man who is more frightening for his benign smile. To me there is no one more dangerous than a man who can call upon a sufficiently established god to justify world domination and I don't think I need to offer examples. No one more dangerous unless, of course, we add the photogenic charm and the forked tongue. What Mitt really is saying is that America is chosen to be the priest and caretaker of the planet and what he is implying is that by being its ordained leader, he's God's agent on Earth. Where and when have we heard this before? Certainly not from the founders of our Republic who took up arms against God's own chosen King.

I've often been told that Obama "went over there and apologized to them" by Fox News victims totally ignorant of where there is or who said what. It's a lie of course and a big one but it isn't going away even if Romney never says another word about it or is magically transported to another world for him to rule, as apparently he thinks he will be. Lies, like cancer cells, are all but immortal. Truth and decency and the hope for a world not run by pompous and powerful thugs in expensive suits and plastic hair are as fragile as a dream.


expatbrian said...

You become more eloquent as time goes on, Fogg. Remember when, even with his charisma and charm, Jack Kennedy was feared by some because he was Catholic. I guess we have progressed because now people are more than willing to look past Mitt's cultist clan because of him white teethed smile and perfect hair. What you say about lies is true of course. They live forever no matter how much evidence there is to the contrary...must be why the politicos are so prone to use them.
Americans still believe anything they hear or read and will vote for whoever is the best propogandist. And their memories are becoming even more short lived than they have been. Rick Perry, for Gods sake. Another Texan.
When I start hearing the religious bullshit from any of them, I pretty much just tune out. If they really believe it, then they are ignorant. If they don't really believe it but feel they must spout it out just for the votes, then they're liars.
The beat goes on.

Capt. Fogg said...

I'm not optimistic, as you can tell -- but thanks.