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The Education of Mitt Romney

Mar 5th, 2016 | By | Category: Front Page, News

Mitt Romney has attacked Trump in very harsh terms. Washington Post reports: “Here’s what I know,” Romney said. “Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud. His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University. He’s playing the American public for suckers: He gets a free ride to the White House and all we get is a lousy hat.”

Four years ago, as a presidential candidate, Romney had made a pilgrimage to New York to seek Trump’s blessings (and possibly his cash). At the time, notes CNN, Romney praised Trump for “an extraordinary ability to understand how our economy works and to create jobs.”

Romney added: “I spent my life in the private sector, not quite as successful as this guy but successful nonetheless.”

So, in 2012, Trump had an extraordinary understanding of the economy, and had had a very successful private sector career.

But now, in 2016, Trump is a phony, a fraud, a purveyor of lousy hats.

How to reconcile these different views of Trump? Or, are they really all that different?

Perhaps Romney is suggesting that to be a successful businessman is to practice deception. He merely focused on the first part in 2012; now, he is stressing the second. That’s all. Nothing contradictory in what he said.

But there is another explanation. Romney was struck by Trump’s business acumen in 2012. But then, over the next four years, with nothing better to do, he enrolled at Trump University. He bought the $35,000 package (a steal!), attended Trump’s real estate seminars, and read his blog posts. He was an assiduous student, delving deep into Professor Trump’s nuggets of business wisdom.

And all that education paid off!  Romney came to realize that everything he knew about Trump was wrong.

Very successful private-sector guy? No.

Understands how the economy works? Hardly.

But there was one thing that Trump was good at. He was a good teacher. And Romney’s education proves it.

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  1. Likely, given the long history of scholarship at TU, from which I believe the author of this article received a graduate degree. Could it also be that Mitt’s pronouncements were not self-motivated? Could he have been anointed as the delivery vehicle for a public campaign designed by the RNC and other party notables?

    Here is an elaboration:

    One could argue that all our modern presidents and presidential candidates are more alike one another than they are different from one another. In what ways are they alike? There are four very important ways in which all are alike. First, all candidates support creating an international neo-liberal economy. An economy in which Western nations must have an advantage. Second, all candidates must be willing to use force in protecting the evolution of this world economy. Third, all candidates should offer favor to accumulated and monopoly capital. Finally, all candidates should have played in the system long enough to understand the rules and not confront the political community with too much unpredictability.

    Now candidates and presidents differ with respect to the nuance of these similarities and differ on many other governable issues and we, as an electorate, direct our focus on these differences. All the while, all are moving pretty much in the same direction. In a very real sense, we have not had a choice for president in a long while.
    These similarities have become natural, culturally-based and structurally supported. The national hegemonic ideology includes elements that support these common positions. From big city through state to national office, the structure of political communities will filter out any candidate who is not on board with this agenda. So existing structures within the political community, a public that takes-for-granted the wisdom of these positions, and economic interests who in real-time can make sure this parochialism stays intact by utilizing their financial resources and economic leverage all work to produce these parochial choices. All of this goes on in the background. We generally don’t notice it because it is par for the course.

    We are in a different time. Two presidential candidates who do not conform have slipped through the cracks and have not been weeded out in a timely fashion. This has changed the ballgame and for the first time the political interests have had to come out and publicly act to be weeders. They can no longer leave it to the normal mechanisms or to hidden maneuverings.

    Bernie Sanders is insufficiently supportive of monopoly capital and neo-liberal internationalism. Consequently, the DNC and the most establishment politicians have shown their cards trying to weed him out. The Sanders elimination is quite light compared to the RNC and friends attempt to weed out Donald Trump. They have engaged in a an all-out public weeding effort. Trump is too unpredictable and cannot be depended on to follow the agreed upon rules.
    The interests of power tends to persist and those in power tend to stay in power. They can usually do so by just doing what they do. They set the agenda and their agenda becomes normal. In normal times, we don’t get to view how these interests perpetuate themselves. There is a new show in town and we now are viewing a last ditch effort to protect the existing interests, the establishment.

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