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Framing Romney’s big-money politics

In the October 1 2012 edition of TIME magazine, James Poniewozik wrote an incisive piece of journalism on the imminent US presidential election – more precisely on Mitt Romney’s aspirations and the occasion of his gaffe about “the 47%” although Poniewozik concentrates on a different, to my mind, more telling aspect of the donor banquet where this happened.

As many people will know Romney’s comments were recorded, in secret, on a hidden video camera and his cynical remark that 47% of Americans pay no income tax and depend on government for their survival – a cardinal sin that smacks of socialism to any red-blooded Republican – was quickly disseminated through the media provoking suitable condemnation from some quarters and predictable approval from others.

Poniewozik, however, focuses on an entirely different aspect of the recording. In his words: “Me, I couldn’t stop looking at the waiters.” One might wonder why. Was the object of this recording not Mitt “super-wealthy” Romney and those who had bought a place at the banquet table at $50 000 a meal? That is what most people would have us believe and they would be “right” of course.

But what such a standard view would overlook and what Poniewozik highlights is that – like a dream analysed in terms of the principles of Freud’s famous “interpretation of dreams” – the video recording reveals much more than what questions the donors asked and what Mitt said. Poniewozik also cautions that criticising Romney for socialising with wealthy donors is not in itself a legitimate object of criticism – Democrats do it. But his perspicacious elaboration on the significance of the (probably unintended) juxtaposition of a slice of the Millionaires’ Row with ordinary, low-income, working-class Americans is very revealing. Let me quote Poniewozik here:

“The most fascinating thing about the Romney video is how it’s literally framed. We’re watching him from what looks like the polished surface of a serving table, the hidden camera surrounded by gleaming barware, a decanter of wine and a candle, tucked away behind the objects of service. We can hear him loud and clear, but we can see only the tiny blur of his head and the backs of his supping $50 000-a-plate guests. We see and hear everything, in other words, from the furtive vantage point of the help.”

As Poniewozik further points out – in view of the glaring contrast between what is happening at the dinner table and what may be discerned closer to the hidden camera, on the part of the waiters and bartenders, who quietly go about the thankless business of waiting upon the plutocrats – “the visual and class ironies couldn’t have been better laid out by the set designer for The Remains of the Day. As Romney and his benefactors talk about the likelihood that “the 47%” government spongers would vote for Barack Obama, the advisability of being more assertively proud about his own financial success and about gaining “wealth through hard work” – as if these members of the working class don’t work hard – one hears the clinking of glasses, popping of corks and muted exchanges between those present in serving capacity.

So what is the point, one may ask. Poniewozik draws attention to the irony of Romney’s remark that he could never convince the “entitled” 47% to “take personal responsibility and care for their lives” (when they are probably doing their utmost to avail themselves of every possible avenue of income, as well as tax exemption, to do precisely this) and he wonders about the earnings of a “cater-waiter in South Florida, maybe with kids” and whether these waiters and waitresses have health insurance. He muses too on whether the wealthy class did not even feel the least bit “awkward” discussing these topics in the manner they did in the presence of some who probably earn less in a year than the price paid by one guest for the privilege of being there.

In other words the way in which Romney and Co got “framed” by the secret video recording reveals the fault-lines of a society polarised between the super-wealthy and the not-so-wealthy working class. Poniewozik’s final sentence sums the situation up perfectly: “For one evening in Boca Raton, the people who fund the multimillion-dollar election machine well and truly got served.”

As remarked earlier one could phrase this, very revealingly, in the terms outlined by Freud in The Interpretation of Dreams of 1900. It is well-known that in this pioneering work Freud described dreams as the “royal road to the unconscious” implying that dreams reveal, albeit in disguised fashion, the anxieties and desires that motivate our actions even when we are not consciously aware of them. It seems to me that there is an analogy between what dreams reveal about unconscious motives and fears, on the one hand, and what the secret video reveals about American society, in particular about the values underpinning Republican plutocracy.

What Freud described as the “dream-work” – the work of the dream, the manner in which a dream “works” – consists in several characteristic operations, including what he called “condensation” and “displacement”. Condensation refers to the difference between the “dream content” (or manifest content, comprising images and sounds) of the dream, on the one hand, and the “dream thoughts” (or latent content, hidden behind the images and sounds that make up the manifest content). The dream content turns out to be meagre compared to the often extensive dream thoughts that are assembled in the course of the dream-interpretation because this latent content has been condensed into a very “economical” dream.

“Displacement” – which is more pertinent here – denotes the dream-work mechanism that often relegates the most important dream thoughts (latent content) to a position of apparent unimportance or marginality at the level of manifest content. So for example if one dreams about the woman one loves as a huge spider with her face in a web obstructing one’s passage, one might wonder why she was metaphorised into a spider in one’s dream, unless you have read Freud. The hermeneutic principles he has given us help you realise that the operation of displacement has transformed the true object of one’s anxiety – marriage – into the web in which the spiderwoman sits. That is your fear of marriage as an institution of entrapment has been displaced onto a spider’s web, which does not occupy the central position in your dream, but is the true locus of your misgivings; not the woman as such.

Isn’t it striking that the hidden camera in the Romney-and-friends video rendered an image which uncannily resembles a dream where the frame – that which is NOT central to the video’s purpose or aim (the serving instruments and passing waiters’ faces and muted voices) – is more revealing than the focal point, namely Romney’s head and the donors’ backs, together with their voices. And what it reveals, like a dream interpretation along Freudian lines concerning the meaning of “displacement”, is that what has been displaced in this video footage – the taken-for-granted, cynically ignored, in Derridean terms “dangerous supplement” of the ordinary workers in America – uncovers the truth about Romney (and his ilk) as would-be president of the US, namely that he (together with his constituency) doesn’t care a hoot about ordinary people.

If elected Romney would represent mainly the interests of the super-rich and whatever government aid to the poor and dispossessed Obama may have negotiated during his term in office would probably soon be eradicated. The message of the video, in other words, lies in what has been displaced, “framing” Romney and his buddies in a way that discloses the truth about their cynicism unmistakably.

Author

  • As an undergraduate student, Bert Olivier discovered Philosophy more or less by accident, but has never regretted it. Because Bert knew very little, Philosophy turned out to be right up his alley, as it were, because of Socrates's teaching, that the only thing we know with certainty, is how little we know. Armed with this 'docta ignorantia', Bert set out to teach students the value of questioning, and even found out that one could write cogently about it, which he did during the 1980s and '90s on a variety of subjects, including an opposition to apartheid. In addition to Philosophy, he has been teaching and writing on his other great loves, namely, nature, culture, the arts, architecture and literature. In the face of the many irrational actions on the part of people, and wanting to understand these, later on he branched out into Psychoanalysis and Social Theory as well, and because Philosophy cultivates in one a strong sense of justice, he has more recently been harnessing what little knowledge he has in intellectual opposition to the injustices brought about by the dominant economic system today, to wit, neoliberal capitalism. His motto is taken from Immanuel Kant's work: 'Sapere aude!' ('Dare to think for yourself!') In 2012 Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University conferred a Distinguished Professorship on him. Bert is attached to the University of the Free State as Honorary Professor of Philosophy.

37 Comments

  1. Lennon Lennon 31 October 2012

    Romney is merely pandering to the so-called conservatives in the US just as Obama has done to the “liberals”.

    You won’t see anything change if Romney wins. He will simply do what Obama did, which was to carry on where Bush Jr left off.

  2. Rich Brauer Rich Brauer 31 October 2012

    “whatever government aid to the poor and dispossessed Obama may have negotiated during his term in office would probably soon be eradicated.”

    Dunno what you’re referring to, because the fact is that Obama hasn’t done a whole lot to aid the poor and dispossessed, either. Inequality has continued to rise, corporate profits are *way* up while most Americans stagnate, and not one person associated with the rampant frauds perpetrated in the run-up to 2008 has been prosecuted.

    Moreover, it’s not just the super-rich. I vividly recall my wife inviting me along to a dinner party around 2004. She was working at a very progressive NGO, raising money for campesino rights, Palestinian cooperatives, etc. Very forward thinking.

    Some of her co-workers and friends had organized a party to highlight food inequalities worldwide. At the party, we would draw lots. A few of us would be the “rich”, and be seated and served, and dine to our heart’s content. The rest of us wouldn’t get to eat or drink at all, and have to wait on the “rich” all night.

    At the time, I was a bartender routinely working 12 hour shifts. It goes somewhat without saying that I was unamused by the prospect.

  3. Momma Cyndi Momma Cyndi 31 October 2012

    Modern democracies don’t have leaders – they have figureheads. If Churchill had to put up with today’s bureaucratic red tape, we’d all be speaking German today.

    If any president wants to change something, he has to go through a whole list of challenges (not least of all getting his own party to agree). I suppose that is why we chose the best liars for the top positions – they have to be able to baffle brains to get anything through.

    When Obama came in, he was naive. Everyone knew he was never going to be able to do much and, as a result, no he couldn’t

  4. HD HD 1 November 2012

    Good piece. I agree with your analysis if you apply it more generally to the political elite. I don’t, however, agree that this particularly applies to Republicans. In fact your last paragraph just gives away your own bias.

    Obama regularly speaks in front of wealthy donors – your Freudian dream-work analysis would apply just as well. In fact in the previous election Obama got more donations from Wall-Street than all the other GOP candidates put together – maybe they just want to back a winning horse?

    Obama has expanded and extended most of the Patriot Act provisions, set a principle for murdering US citizens without trail (al-Awlaki), expanded the drone program, skipped Congress authorisation for the Libya intervention and deported more illegal immigrants than any other US president. His economic policies will also ultimately bite the poor first/most; whilst bailing out the rich and affluent.

    You need to look past the rhetoric. You need to look at unintended consequences and not just concentrate on benevolent rhetoric and good intentions. Obama is no friend of the poor, destitute and vulnerable…he is just another self-righteous politician. (I mean the man has written two books on himself before coming president)

    To think that similar bubblegum left nonsense is indoctrinating young impressionable minds at universities across the world. No wonder these 18-30 year olds all support Obama.

  5. Enough Said Enough Said 1 November 2012

    What interests me about the US electorate is the similarity to the South African electorate.

    In the US the Tea Party vote Republican which is totally against their working class interests, and in South Africa, Julius Malema has a very strong following among the working class, despite him being nothing more than an arch crony capitalist, who definitely does not have working class interests at heart. Julius like Romney spit on the working class and use them as door mats. Unfortunately the working class, whether in America or South Africa are easily hoodwinked.

  6. Lyndall Beddy Lyndall Beddy 1 November 2012

    Good Post – but the whole of American Politics is based on a Mythical History of America including that the “Cowboy” pioneers and Robber Barons succeeded by innovation and hard work- not by means of genocide, theft and exploitation (in days before trade unions and labour laws).

  7. Sterling Ferguson Sterling Ferguson 2 November 2012

    @Enough Said, you got that wrong in the US the people can elect the president, members of Congress, mayors and governors of each state. In SA there is nobody elected to office and accountable to the voters. If Obama would take million of dollars and spend on his personal home both parties would vote to impeach him however, Zuma can do this and nothing is done to him in SA.

  8. Sterling Ferguson Sterling Ferguson 2 November 2012

    @Beddy, two great writers of fiction punched holes in that myth, James Cain said that some Americans will roll up their sleeves and work hard to succeed and others will rob, become corrupt, steal, extort, blackmail and even murder to go up the ladder. Two of his best works were “Mildred Pierce and ” Postman always ring twice” both of these books were made into blockbuster movies.

    Raymond Chandler was another writer that wrote similar worsk that punched holes in this myth. He wrote the “Thin man” that was made into a movie.

  9. Lyndall Beddy Lyndall Beddy 2 November 2012

    Sterling

    The People do NOT elect the President in the USA. A whole complicated Electoral body of States does so – and it is an expensive, time wasting Pop Idols contest., The Prime Minister system of the Western European,Scandinavian and British Democracies is both less costly, and does not continually lose institutional memory with fixed Presidential terms.

  10. Anti-Stupid Anti-Stupid 2 November 2012

    @Ferguson – you obviously don’t know the difference between ‘electorate’ and ‘electoral system’.

  11. Sterling Ferguson Sterling Ferguson 2 November 2012

    @HD, very good comment, both of these parties in the US are controlled by the super rich and they give a lot of money to them. As a matter of facts, many of these big companies are giving money to both parties to be on the safe side. However, the Democratic party was the party that had all of the social reforms laws passed to protect the poor and working class people. The big question is why the poor whites living in trailer parks in the southern part of the US support Romney?

  12. Lyndall Beddy Lyndall Beddy 2 November 2012

    Sterling

    At least the American Robber Barons did not steal taxpayers money to get rich like all the ANC elite appear to have done. It would have been rather difficult for Americans to do anyhow because in those days taxes were minimum and politicians earned peanuts, and all needed to have second incomes, usually as farmers. The more taxes have increased, the more politicians have stolen or spent on themselves.

    Both my grandfathers were Members of Parliament during the Second World War in the government of Smuts. They got neither salary not pension – just travelling and entertainment expenses.

  13. Sterling Ferguson Sterling Ferguson 2 November 2012

    @Anti-Stupid, it’s a waste of time talking to you because you don’t understand the word democracy.

  14. Sterling Ferguson Sterling Ferguson 2 November 2012

    @Bert, this was a very good article but you didn’t talk about sectionalism in the US tht makes the US politic seem crazy to most outsiders. In the southern part of the US, the people are still fighting the civil war that ended in 1865. The southern part of the US is the poorest part of the country and most people don’t have health care insurance but, the law makers from these areas are against Obanacare.

  15. Sterling Ferguson Sterling Ferguson 2 November 2012

    @Beddy, the system is based on the number of votes a candidate gets in each state.

    Beddy, the Robber Barons were corrupted people just like the elite in the ANC. The only differences were tne Robber Barons were committing coruption to ehance their companies to create wealth. In SA the elite in the ANC are all talking money to ehance their presonal wealth.

  16. Anti-Stupid Anti-Stupid 3 November 2012

    @Ferguson – You still have not answered the question – do you know the difference between ‘electorate’ and ‘electoral system’? Which if one reads your comment addressed to ‘Enough Said’ you obviously do not.

  17. HD HD 3 November 2012

    @Sterling

    On that M&G article:

    (1) Gary Younge. Gary Young is about as rabid progressive as they come – look the guy up. His work is certainly not shy to play the “cultural wars” game and accuse republicans of being racist, stupid and ill informed. So just be wary of the partisanship at play here.

    (2) Ideology. Implying that it is self-evident that poor people are voting against their own interest is simply exposing his own ideological bias. That D policies cannot be wrong or unpopular to reasonable people. What proof does he offer?

    (3) Rhetoric

    In fact, both D & R policies overwhelmingly favor the middle class – regardless of rhetoric. Handouts on most social and public spending issues almost always benefit the middle classes disproportionately more…the poor suffers more from price fixing, mandates and insurance related schemes – healthcare being a good example.

    (4) Economics. Go and do yourself a favour and look at economic studies of a lot of these social issues. Good intentions don’t always (often not) match good policy outcomes.

    (5) Public choice. Public choice shows that the electorate at large suffers from “public ignorance. I think this article is a must read for any pol science 101 student:

    http://www.cato.org/pubs/policy_report/v21n4/cpr-21n4.html

    So this is not just a poor white or R problem.

    (6) History – you will be surprised that the social reforms and “progressive” policy intervention are not nearly as one sided as…

  18. HD HD 3 November 2012

    @Sterling

    In general I think one of the most frustrating things for me personally is the typical media coverage we get in SA of US politics. Our media houses tend to source their reports from the major progressive outlets and syndicate news cables (that also are tied closely to the D party / left-center politics). This has a couple of consequences:

    (1) We tend to get a one-sided view of debates. Do yourself a favour and go the site realclearpolitics. Compare articles from lets say the NY Times to WSJ ; or something from the Daily Kos, Salon Huffington Post to Breitbart, National Review or Red State. On some of these issues you would think these people life in completely different universes.

    The D rhetoric has been especially nasty. You have to remember that Obama is the great hope for many progressives and the media elite – whilst his politics is in fact a fair bit left of the main body politics of the US. There is a lot at stake and I think it is really difficult to argue that Obama has not been treated extremely generously by the media – despite having a far less flattering record.

    The point simply being, be aware of the bias at play and the lenses through which these politics are being reported.

    (cont)

  19. HD HD 3 November 2012

    (2) We don’t get a lot of issues reported or rhetoric captured that dominates conservative / non-liberal outlets. How much in SA have we heard of lets say Obama’s handling of Benghazi, political track record, arguments against healthcare, cronyism in stimulus plan, Bob Woodward’s book criticizing Obama’s stubbornness and unwillingness to compromise and regularly get to read columns by respected R pundits and conservative/classic liberal (not the same) academics defending or outlining policy alternatives?

    The answer is very little. What articles like the recent Foreign Policy one shows (basically that the rest of the world will elect Obama) is just this same phenomena. That they also largely receive an one sided liberal picture of US politics. There is no reason to think that ordinary citizen across the globe are particularly more progressive or liberal than ordinary Americans. In fact just look at the SA electorate and the type of policies that are popular (or would be law if not enshrined in the constitution). Look how well conservative politics do across the world and how close many political parties really are in terms of policy (check politicalcompass.org).

    Much of a similar rhetoric is at work in academia – the locker room talk is liberal and progressive. But, this does not at all follow that liberal/progressive (left if you like) ideas are intellectually more superior…it says a lot about institutional issues (there is some great links I can give you on…

  20. Sterling ferguson Sterling ferguson 4 November 2012

    @HD one has to look at both the D party and the R party from a historical point of view in order to understand how these two parties evolved. The D party was started by Jefferson to protect the intrest of the southern land owners. The R party was founded to protect the interest of the business people and were anti-slavery. The R party felt the nation should have strong laws to protect the business people through traiffs. The D party theough that the government should be small and the states should run their states the way they please. This includes maintaining the slave system.

    As the industrial revolution spreaded from the East coast to the West coast after the civil war. The southern part of the US founded themselves getting poor and poorer and they were big supporters of the D party. However, in the southern part of the US the blacks weren’t allowed to vote because they were big supporters of the R party. You must remember this was the party that freed them from slavery. In 1929 when the depression started FDR came to power with the promise of the New Deal. This was a big victory for the liberals in the US because all of the social reforms were made during this period by the D party. When the ww2 broke out million of people came to the big cities and change the face of the US. The politic of the US changed along with the urbanization of the US.

  21. Sterling ferguson Sterling ferguson 4 November 2012

    @HD, the media in SA is doing a good job with the resources that they have to work with. In the US many of these news companies have large budgets to work with and in SA the media is not rich like the ones in the US. Some of the newspapers you named are right wing papers and part of the lunatic fringe in the US. It might be a good idea for the African countries to seup a news company to gather news around the world.

    You spoke of a dislike of the liberals, the liberals are the ones that created democrcy in the world and not the conservaties thinkers. In SA, it was the liberals of both black and whites that brought an end to the apartheid system in SA.

    Gary Young is just another voice in the US with no power in this liberal country and nothing else.

    Finally question, one of the mystery of history is why did the poor whites that didn’t have slaves in the southern part of the US, fight to maintain this system during the Civil war?

  22. Guinnessholic Guinnessholic 4 November 2012

    This Halloween Americans spent over $8 billion on candy alone. These candidates have collected (and will spend more) around $2 billion.

    Let’s have a little perspective (PROPER perspective) here please.

    I will comment on your framing reference and give my own framing account later this evening. (HD appears to be on the right track, seeing these Dim media shills for what they are).

  23. HD HD 5 November 2012

    @Sterling

    What papers are right-wing lunatic fringe papers?

    What SA media companies have dedicated journalist covering US politics? Most just fly someone from their news desk to the US in the last week of the elections. The rest of the stories are sourced from the likes of CNN, NYT, Time, etc…all centre-left publications. I don’t think it is some conspiracy but, you need to be aware of the lenses through which these things are being reported.

    @Anti-Stupid

    Wow, these liberals are really smart – your googled article totally convinced me! Have a look at Jonathan Haidt’s page about partisanship in the social sciences:

    http://people.virginia.edu/~jdh6n/postpartisan.html

    There are plenty of articles dealing with these types of arguments. (see block E). There are studies that show free-market GOP/conservative correlates with higher scores. Studies that show liberals score lower in rational reasoning and economics theory etc…I personally don’t think these studies say much…

    By the way I am a libertarian, which studies show are the “smartest” – so that should really take the wind out of your sails :)

    (Haidt’s recent study on libertarians)

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1665934

  24. Rene Rene 5 November 2012

    Adorno and Horkheimer argued that the principle of exchange was transforming society even in the early 20th century, to its very roots, and that it was having a reifying and alienating effect on people. Which means they are letting themselves be ruled by money. Romney and company are perfect examples of this. One must get into the habit of listening to serious music (NOT pop), which Adorno believed was the only cultural activity where one could escape from these reifying relations, because music precedes the split between subject and object. Try it; it works, therapeutically.

  25. Brent Brent 5 November 2012

    Bert the reality of US life is that employment since 2008 has dropped from 138 million to 133.5 million to day and that people hooked on to the food stamp program (SNAP) has increased by 17 million, is this positive? Obama and the Dems outdo the Reps in getting funding from Wallstreet and the Banks. so who is in the grip of big money politics? It is interesting to listen to Emanuel Cleaver chairman of the Congress Black Caucus who recently said: ‘If Bill Clinton was in the White House and had failed to address the problem (talking about Black unemployment etc etc) we probably would be marching on the White House.” Obama pledged to cut the deficit in half during his term in office. Instead we see the first trillion dollar deficit ever in the US. Something drastic needs to be done, other than “Change you can believe in” and other meaningless clever statements. However the main stream media following the Dems lead refuse to debate the economic mess coming down the tunnel, prefering to talk about: war on women, leftish rubbish about what causes poverty, playing the race card (didnt count when a Black presidential hope was drummed out of the race on trumped up charges) anything but the economy because this is what would have shown Obama’s record as it is.

    Romney’s economic focus is on job creation not Dems for life, voter creation.

    Brent

    Bren

  26. Anti-Stupid Anti-Stupid 5 November 2012

    @Guinnessholic

    Both you and HD appear to live in a little make believe world of your own:

    “Team Romney’s war against facts”

    “….But the most significant quote last week, in my view, came from Romney’s pollster Neil Newhouse at an ABC News/Yahoo panel in Tampa. “We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers,” he said, because fact checkers bring their own “thoughts and beliefs” to the process.”
    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-09-01/site/ct-oped-0902-page-20120901_1_team-romney-checkers-mitt-romney

    I am sure you guys will think that Romney man Neli Newhouse is real bright fellow, I mean a quote like that could also have come out of our very own presidents office in South Africa.

  27. Brent Brent 5 November 2012

    Sterling F you history of the Dems/Reps looks good but you leave out one important point. The liberal/voting laws of the 60’s were pushed through Congress by a majority of the Reps Party vs a divided Dems party against these laws. This is now lost in US methology as the Dems have very successfully hijacked the 60’s push to equality and thus ‘stolen’ the Black vote.

    Brent

  28. Anti-Stupid Anti-Stupid 5 November 2012

    @HD

    There are Libertarians and Libertarians.

    “The Tea Party movement is an American political movement that advocates … The movement is generally considered to be partly conservative, partly libertarian …”

    And the Tea Party are a bunch of Rednecks all right, and I don’t know where they were when God was dishing out brains, but certainly not standing at the front of the queue.

  29. HD HD 5 November 2012

    @ Anti-Stupid

    On the contrary I think you are doing well in proofing my point!

    On facts, to borrow from a Cafe Hayek article today:

    “…there are a lot of dots in the universe. You can connect them any way you want to tell a story. The question isn’t whether the dots you’ve connected are really there, it’s why have you left out the other dots? ”

    These so-called “fact-checkers” have to decide on context, interpretation, timelines, contradictory studies, parse evidence, partisan think tanks etc…The social world is complex – anyone that claims neat & simple answers on complex issues is likely to be looking at the world through an ideological lens…

    I find most of the fact-checking to be pretty superficial, although I agree there are plenty statements from both camps that would struggle to pass as something resembling a “fact” – but hey it is politics!

  30. Sterling ferguson Sterling ferguson 6 November 2012

    @Brent, you are right about the northern R party supporting the civil right movement but, it was the D president that signed off on these bills. The D party became popular under FDR when he came out with the new deal for everyone in the US. However, you shouldn’t forget Eleanor his wife, that went to the black communities and spoke with them. Helen in some ways remind me of Eleanor with her outspoken ways.

    Brent just like the blacks dumped the party that freed them in the US, the blacks might dump the ANC for the DA party. Politic makes strange be fellows.

  31. Sterling ferguson Sterling ferguson 6 November 2012

    @Brent, part of what you wrote is true but you didn’t tell the whole story. When Reagan was the president,he started the FTA that open the door for the companies in the US to outsource whole industries to the Asian countries. This led to the death of many towns and cities in the US.

    In a debate with Reagan and Mondale, Mondale was able to point out the danger of free trade and how it would impact the job market in the US. The people elected the movie star to office and what you see is the failure of Reagan’s economic policies.

    To make matters worst, The R party along with the D party repealed the Glass Steagall Act and this led to widespread gambling on the stockmarket with the retirees pension funds. When the bubble burst the US had a 22 T dollars meltdown. Many people that had homes worth $500 thousandth dollars are now worth $150 thousandth dollars.

    When Obama came to power his focus has been to keep this ship floating and not let it sink. Both parties along with the media have not been informing the public about the meltdown but, it was serious business. In these debates, none of the parties talk very much about the meltdown. He also was face with two wars that costed the lives of our soldiers and five trillion dollars. Guess who started these wars?

  32. Sterling ferguson Sterling ferguson 6 November 2012

    @HD, the denifination of liberalism doen’t have an universal meaning. What is liberal in England might be considerd conservative in the US.

  33. Anti-Stupid Anti-Stupid 6 November 2012

    @HD

    I will leave you, your Tea Party Libertarian friends and Mitt Romney with your Romnesia on the subject of facts.

    Romnesia – “The act of forgetting a statement or belief that you had previously expressed the opposite point of view with regards to.”

    OR

    “If you say you’re for equal pay for equal work, but you keep refusing to say whether or not you’d sign a bill that protects equal pay for equal work — you might have Romnesia.”

  34. Enough Said Enough Said 6 November 2012

    The working/middle class get conned every time, whether in America or South Africa, yet they vote for the guys screwing them everytime , here is a US perspective: “A Vote for the Republicans is a Vote Against Yourself: 5 Reasons Why”
    http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/11/05-0

    >>

  35. LittleBobPete LittleBobPete 6 November 2012

    @Lyndall Beddy

    Bud, you are so far off the mark you don’t even realise it. The Robber Baropns have for years “stolen” money from the government and its people. Tax Evasion is exactly that. Read Treasure Islands and then come back with an argument. The very recent bailout of various Corporates due to the credit crunch is exactly the same thing. They got bailed out with the electorates cash, then promptly paid themselves massive bonuses. How many of them have lost their jobs, been prosecuted etc for it all.
    Boy oh boy……you have missed the bigger picture ;-)

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