There have always been political issues about which certain factions of the population feel so strongly that they ignore all other matters, even their self interest, in order to further their chosen position in these afore mention matters. Abortion, Gun control, same sex marriage, prayer in schools, animal rights, taxation, gays in the military … the list goes on. Though I define these as single issue topics, there are people and groups of people on both sides of all of these topics. Since by definition the issues are polarizing, those on opposite sides of topics tend to hold general disdain for one another.
In a somewhat parallel environment, beginning with the selection of Newt Gingrich as Speaker of the House, Republicans have been taught that Democrats are their natural enemies and should be both avoided and hated at all costs. Of course, the adults in the room at the time, on both sides of the aisle, knew this premise was ridiculous, but Newt was elected speaker 17 years ago, and a large majority of congressional delegates weren’t in congress in 1995 and many weren’t even adults in 1995. Consequently, a generation of leaders has been raised to hate the other side.
The republican party, it would seem, has successfully been able to ideologically claim the conservative side of all of these arguments and bundled them into their platform. Strength being in numbers, they have successfully combined all of the afore mentioned factions, under one tent. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. The glue that holds these formerly splintered groups together is simple. Everybody must play make pretend. The ProLifer has to pretend that he doesn’t want to tax the job creators. The “Lets put prayer back in schools” evangelist has to pretend that those same children he wants praying in schools should have the right to carry a concealed weapon (presumably if prayer alone doesn’t work, I suppose).
Let’s play make pretend is the central plank in the Republican Platform. You have to pretend that if they are able to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act (I refuse to say Obamacare, shit, I just said it), they can be trusted to replace it with something better, even though, when they had the chance to make the bill better, they only obstructed. You have to pretend that you believe President Obama is both a Muslim and a follower of Jeremiah Wright.
Without make pretend, there could be no Mitt Romney candidacy. How can a man running for President of the United States seriously claim he’s not going to show you his taxes, because he doesn’t want the opposition to exploit the information? In case you missed it, that necessarily means there is a problem. Mitt gave John McCain 22 years of tax returns (and John McCain chose Sarah Palin). The years now unaccounted for are 2008 and 2009. It is likely that due to the financial crisis, Mitt Romney paid NO taxes in 2008 and may have even received a large refund. So once again, you’re supposed to pretend like you don’t care that Mitt pays proportionally significantly less taxes than you do.
You have to pretend like its okay that after 19 republican debates and 18 months of campaigning, you still know nothing about Mitt Romney, except that he thinks the trees in Michigan are just the right height. You have to pretend that guy who won’t tell you how much tax he paid, is going to lower everybody’s taxes and at the same time reduce the federal deficit that you also have to pretend to be upset about.
You have to believe that you should elect Romney because of his business prowess, even though you now know that his business prowess was harvesting companies.
You have to pretend that your number one concern is unemployment and that you believe the guy who bought companies, devoured their assets and sent their jobs overseas is really going to put America back to work.
You have to believe that 47% of Americans pay no taxes, and that since you don't know anybody who doesn't pay taxes, obviously everyone you know must be in the 53 %, or you and your friends are somehow exempt from logic and statistics. (Maybe that's how it works out that you know you're not in the 1 percent because you don't net $350,000 dollars per year, but you're sure you're not in the 99%, because you are nothing like those people).
You have to pretend, that like Mitt, you actually believe that fence around that Chinese slave labor factory, was to keep people out, because everyone wanted to work for $2 a day and get one day off a year.
You have to pretend that even though you know Paul Ryan’s claim to fame, is the Ryan Budget, which virtually eliminates Medicare as we know it, that Mitt Romney’s plan (though as yet unstated) is totally different that Ryan’s. You have to pretend that Romney chose Ryan for some other reason, than the one thing Ryan is known for. Okay, let’s say you’re 56 so according to Ryan, Medicare won’t change for you. Then you have to pretend that it’s okay with you that your children and your grand children, will never likely reach their golden years, since at the time Medicare was enacted, average life expectancy was 64. I guess for the rest of us, crappy days are here again!
Most of all, you have to pretend Mitt didn’t win the Republican Party nomination simply because, in a republican candidate field of Michelle Bachmann, Herman Cain, New Gingrich, John Huntsman, Gary Johnson, Ron Paul, Tim Pawlenty, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum, Romney was the least offensive of the group of AND he spent the most money.
Wake up everybody. Stop playing make pretend. If Mitt Romeny is the best hand you can put on the table, just fold.