Point of View: Painful Capital

I’ve commenced a War on Error

   If you believe that a multimillionaire who did well for a small group of wealthy investors by putting money creation ahead of job creation actually is a champion of the middle class, I’ve got a fridge I’d like to sell you — one whose vertical freezer section we can’t get into.
    Mesmerized by the refrigerator’s stainless steel exterior, Mary and I, in our collective wisdom, failed to take into account its design, whose faults soon became evident once we’d squeezed it into the hole between the counter and the sliding glass door. It looked good — it still does. Perhaps it is fitting that the freezer section is pretty much stuffed, not with frozen food, but with various-sized ice packs for the alleviation of pain — the valueless repository, if you will, of pain capital.
    It’s been a long time since I’ve nodded my head in assent when someone refers to “the collective wisdom of the electorate.” To the contrary, I have found that, since Reagan (another candidate who looked the part), we have not collectively been very wise. The income gap has become since Reagan an abyss, a dislocation that poses a dire threat to our national security. Will only the wealthy henceforth be effectively educated? Will only the wealthy be able to pursue happiness? To afford medical care? Will only the wealthy be spared the corrosive results of environmental degradation? Will only the wealthy continue to call the shots?
    When an acquaintance of one of my sisters-in-law said she might well vote for Romney because he was good looking, and was duly assailed on that count, the acquaintance said, “Well, Obama hasn’t done anything.” He had done things, my sister-in-law replied, and if he hadn’t done as much as he’d wanted in his first term, she continued, it was because cynical Republicans had blocked him at every turn. They had made a mockery of governing.
    I, for one, had hoped he’d do more. He had the bully pulpit, if nothing else. Latinos are right t0 wonder whatever became of his campaign promise of immigration reform. Workers are right to wonder why he did not do more to stimulate the economy, and why the palms of progenitors of the crash were greased. Those weary of our military’s overreach are right to urge that we begin to put our own house in order (the present financial mess having been caused in large part by “war on terror” profligacy) and insist that our allies step up.
    I’ve commenced a War on Error. The first order of business is to puff out the cheeks, purse the lips, and blow hard into the hole made by a closed fist whenever Mitt Romney says he’s an advocate for the middle class. I’ve got $10 that says he’s not.