Sunday, September 23, 2012

47 Percent

Mitt Romney's latest "47%" musings offer a fairly honest glimpse into how he sees the world -- which is straight line Ayn Rand social objectivism. That is, Romney believes in what Rand would have called "rational self-interest." In normal people terms, it's a winners vs. losers sort of thing; the people who are on top are on top because they're better than everybody else, and the losers deserve what they get for being lazy or not as smart or whatever.

Don't believe me? Note Mitt's focus on "moochers," which is the same term Rand used for what she deemed the non-productive classes, people who took forced handouts from the more productive members of society. Forget that some people actually need a helping hand; for die-hard Randians, there is no virtue in charity or community, especially that dictated by the government.

Now, I know a lot of folks agree with the whole Randian objectivist thing. I guess they believe that there are natural leaders who deserve the spoils, and everyone else are lesser beings who don't deserve as much. I see this view as naive, self-centered, and extraordinarily selfish. Yeah, it's good to be on top, but that doesn't always come from being smarter or working harder; there are a lot of other factors that determine where one ends up in life. (Not the least of which is where one starts out -- and Mitt started out pretty well off.) Romney and his pals believe they're better than everyone else; I don't necessarily agree.

I bring up the Randian connection only because I think it's informative as to how Romney thinks and how he has acted in the past and is likely to act in the future. I think he honestly believes what he said at that covertly recorded fundraiser -- that half of all Americans are unproductive moochers that unnecessarily take from the natural ruling class in our society, and to hell with them. I find that cold hearted and selfish, but obviously there are folks who agree with that sentiment. Nobody likes a moocher, after all.

So here's the thing. If you think that it's okay for the rich and the powerful to think only of themselves, and not to share their bounty with those less fortunate and more in need, then vote for Romney. If, on the other hand, you feel that all of us have an obligation to help each other and work for the good of the greater society, then vote for Obama.

Myself, I find no virtue in selfishness. I'm all for rewarding hard work, but also for sharing the bounty and helping those in need. I know how I'll be voting in November.

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