I Refuse to Be Manipulated



The Pink Flamingo has, in no uncertain terms. stated that I am more and more disgusted with conservative punditry and their mindless adoration of Mitt Romney.  Until a few months ago, I was quite accepting of him.  I had no problems voting for him.  Then, conservatives began their adoring love-affair with him, blindly ignoring his faults, declaring him the most electable, and ignoring the virtues of other candidates.  It has become all Mitt all the time.

That’s fine, if you don’t mind being told who you are to vote for.  It reminds me of the tales of the turn of the century through Depression era Deep South, where the Boss Hogg types went around telling their share-croppers who they were to vote for.  They Boss Hogg types were bought and paid for by party bosses in state capitals.  It looks like Mitt Romney has done the same thing.  He’s a businessman.  (h/t Dan Riehl)

There’s a line in Tom Clancy’s Clear and Present Danger, where a corrupt POTUS tells Jack Ryan that he will end up dancing to the tune of Washington.  Ryan tells him he doesn’t dance.  As a Republican I am sickened over the way the conservative punditry has told us we must dance to Mitt Romney’s tune.

Sorry, but I don’t dance.

The conservative punditry worships Mitt Romney because he is a businessman and a capitalist.  I am not an admirer of businesspersons per se.   I find the conservative and Romney version of “business” to be seething with undercurrents of corruption, harshness, immorality, lack of ethics, viciousness, and hypocrisy. That’s okay.  Business is good.  Business is pure.  Business is what made America what it is today.  Corporations are good.  They are the backbone of our nation.

The Romney version of “business” is little more than the robber baron mentality where the small businessperson, of whom I once was one, is to be maligned, destroyed, gobbled up, spit out, and plowed over for the great men of industry and capital.  He and his pandering apologists are almost advocating a return to “pure” capitalism of the past.

The Daily Beast

This is the world they appear to worship.  When Newt Gringrich rightly criticized Bain Capital, the long knives came out, to basically attempt to destroy him.  I think Newt is more in tune with  the small businessperson, than these overlords of corporate America.  My father had a small business.  I saw the battles he fought against the likes of Georgia Pacific.  I see the efforts of my sister and her successful small business.  I quit, closing my business because I no longer had the heart to fight.

I have seen how good “capitalists” like Mitt Romney have stepped in and destroyed lives.  I have seen the ruins of businesses they have wrecked.  I have been there on the front lines when big business just can’t stand for a small gift shop to be successful.  Yes, it happened to me.  No one would believe me, but that is because big business, and big businessmen like Mitt Romney are sacred and people like yours truly, who struggled to survive were not good enough to survive.

Sorry, but I don’t dance.

Yes, I have a problem.  I have this drive within me that refuses to be pushed into a herd.  I balk.  I don’t let the likes of FOX, Krauthammer, NRO, George Will, etc. etc. ad nauseum tell me how I am to think and for whom I am to vote.  I refuse to do so.

I don’t like being told what to do.

I don’t like dishonesty.

The conservative punditry who has accepted the Mitt Romney party line, that he is the most electable and then refuse to admit that they are wrong are disgusting.  They are harming the GOP and enabling Barack Obama’s reelection.

I don’t know about you, but I have a brain and I know how to use it.  I have eyes, which are wide open, to hear the lies that are being spread.  I know how to reason and read.  I know the difference between fair and unfair.  Right now, I’m ticked with the chattering classes on the right – very ticked.

Quite frankly, I don’t care if the conservative punditry and chattering classes are all in the tank, allegedly bought and paid for by Mitt Romney’s millions.  Heck, as someone who as both attended and arranged press rooms and functions all it takes is beer, pretzels, soda, and a sandwich. I have so many freebies from press junkets during the years I covered NASA that I have a storage unit to hold them.  I know how it works.  That’s why I am so angry here.

I guess you get what you pay for?

One of the problems I have with conservatives who claim to know something about the history of the Deep South is that they often gloss over and ignore the myriad of social histories about the share cropper era.  It was a time when whites were treated almost as badly as blacks, in many many ways. It was not about race as much as it was financial and social status.  In the world of the rural south, three were four classes:  wealth, overlords, blacks, and white trash.

They talk about the fact that blacks not being able to vote, but fail to mention that the poor whites were TOLD how to vote, with the Boss Hoggs standing over them, insuring that they did.  If they stepped out of line, they were often murdered.  It was almost an era of terror for anyone who did not have the financial where-with-all to avoid it, no matter what the race.

I know the story of one of these men, who lived in South Carolina.  If a share-cropper (black or white) was not working fast enough in his fields, he would simply shoot them in the head.  Women, black and white, were subjected to rape.  They could say nothing, unless they were angry at a black person, then all hell would break lose.  The woman would retain her status in the community and the blacks would be either driven from town or slaughtered.  The subsequent baby might look like Boss Hogg, but her husband would be paid to claim it.

Another aspect of the story that you won’t see is the fact that the civil rights efforts in the late fifties and sixties aided not only the minority community but also the poor whites.  The voting rights acts also liberated them.  By having poll watchers through-out the rural south, men and women who had been intimidated into voting for the party, for the bosses, were free to vote as they pleased.  The bosses were no longer there to harass and intimidate them, either.

I was there.  My family moved from enlightened Palm Beach County to the rural south.  If we wanted to go to a movie, we went to Atlanta.  My grandparents brought groceries up for us on my grand-father’s cattle trucks.  Nothing we were accustomed to purchasing was available where we lived.  When we first moved into the region, I saw how my mother was treated by these “bosses”.  They were rude, crude, vile men who preyed on women, no matter what the color.   My mother became one of the pioneers, one of the first people to help organize the Republican Party in Oconee County. She is the person who called in officials when there were ballot irregularities, and reported intimidation.   Locally, they took it out on me, her small child.  The reason her health is destroyed is because of the battles she fought against this intimidation.

Why is all of this relevant?

I feel like this is what is happening this year in the GOP.  Mitt Romney wants to be POTUS so badly that he will lie, cheat and steal to get it.  When a person wants something that badly, red flags go up for me.

I have absolutely no problem with a writer or talking head supporting a candidate.

I have a problem when they support someone to the point where they lose all objectivity.

I have a problem when a journalist surrenders objectivity in order to pander.

I have a problem when previously good conservative pundits cease being honorable and fair in order to prop up their little tin god.

Supporting the most electable conservative candidate is one thing, but supporting one who is completely unelectable and lying about it is another.

Right now, I only know maybe a handful of Republicans who will even hold their nose to vote for Romney.  The way I feel today, I absolutely refuse to be intimidated and pushed into voting for a person for whom I have no respect.  If this man is nominated, currently, I do not see how I can vote for him.  The frightening thing is most Republicans I know feel the same way.

What happens if Romney is nominated and we don’t vote for him?  I don’t see much difference between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama.  Romney is not as liberal, but he’s almost there.  Neither one can be trusted.  Neither one knows how to tell the truth.  Conservatives say it is all about the Supreme Court.  Frankly, I don’t think Romney can be trusted to make decent choices.  I know he can’t make decent choices, and I also know he is NOT conservative.

The irony here is that I seem to be more conservative that those who talk a big game.  Mitt Romney is liberal.  He keeps showing his true colors, but no one is covering it.  After all, he is the conservative punditry choice, no matter how badly he loses.  They would NEVER admit to a mistake.

I will not be intimidated by the chattering classes.  They have promoted Mitt Romney so much I am balking. I have no respect for him, or for the entire conservative world of pundits.  As for Romney, he has no honor.  If he had honor, he would not have been a corporate shark.  You only need gall, not honor.

Sorry, but right now, as far as I’m concerned, if Mitt Romney gets the nomination, I’ll do a throw-away vote.  I’ll vote, but it will not be for him.  The tragedy is the fact that right now, a good 50% of Republicans I know will be doing the same thing.  If Gary Johnson ends up running Libertarian, I’m voting for him.  He is a man of honor, honesty and his word. Mitt Romney is not.

If we were to have a weekend BBQ with certain candidates, I would not associate with Ron Paul.  I don’t associate with bigots or racists.  I could visit with Michele Bachmann.  We have Lake Wobegon connections in common.  We also share the love of Christ.  That is why I could do the same with Rick Santorum.  I admire the work John Huntsman’s father does.  He gets a pass.  Rick Perry and I share the love of Christ.  It gives you something in common.  I’ve interviewed Newt.  I would have more to talk to him about than the other candidates.  But, Mitt Romney does not have my interest.  I simply do not like people who think they are better than everyone else – and he does.

To begin with, I detest people who constantly brag about their perfect families, their perfect marriages, and their perfect children.  The reason they brag is because they think they are better than the rest of us. That is the way I feel about Mitt Romney.  He thinks he is better than the rest of us.  I heard someone once mention that Mitt Romney would be the guy you would want to have over for a weekend BBQ, because he is so personable.  Sure, he will be personable if you are part of his social class.  From the stories I’ve heard, he would simply walk over people like me.

I won’t vote for him.  Let’s blame it on the conservative punditry.  I want to see the conservative chattering classes brought to their knees.  It is about time this happens.  They have manipulated for years, basically destroying not only the GOP, but the country.  I don’t blame Obama for the mess we are in, I blame the far right and their manipulations.  They want all or nothing, so they are getting nothing.  They are unreasonable and I’m getting sick and tired of them.

The worst of it – once upon a time, I thought they knew more than I do.  I know, I was that dumb, but no longer.  I probably know as much or perhaps more than they do, and I cite my sources, giving credit where credit is due. Maybe we need a real Republican rebellion, you know the serfs throwing out the evil lords of the castle, and taking control of the world.  I think they called the original story Robin Hood.

Like Jack Ryan said, I don’t dance.