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Marc Dion
Marc Dion
12 Feb 2016
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I live in a poverty-stricken former factory town of about 85,000 people. We are, they tell us, in the middle … Read More.

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29 Jan 2016
Dry Eye

I had to go buy a little bottle of artificial tears for my mother tonight. That's an odd thing to be buying … Read More.

The Old White Guys Mourn Romney in Silence


I'm an old white guy. I go to old white guy places. Diners. Cigar stores. Bars on side streets. Libraries. I carry a pocketknife.

This means I should have known Mitt Romney would be the next president, if only because the other old white guys told me so.

As a partisan of nothing, I dislike Mitt Romney because he reminds me of every corporate rump-smooch who ever sent me an interoffice email questioning my "commitment" to whatever stupid "initiative" the company was forcing into one or another of my tender recesses.

I dislike Barack Obama because he reminds me of these artificially cheerful, grant-money-sucking bums who invariably run most of the "youth outreach" programs in the country.

Ah, but many of my old white guy buddies made the Romney choice easily. Romney, after all, was going to knock those fat-assed black ghettoized Wal-Mart shoppers into line. Romney was going to hump the poor who, we are endlessly told, grow rich and happy on government money and housing. Ever been in a housing project? I have. I'm a newspaper reporter. It sucks to live in a housing project.

I don't object to people voting for meaningless, fact-drained slogans. It's your vote, Jimbo.

But, as someone who had no investment in either candidate, the idea that Romney would win was foolish. Tight popular vote. Romney massacred in the Electoral College. That was the line the day the betting opened and the line minutes before the final results came in.

And my friends — old, plaid-wearing white guys like me — weren't angered by Romney's loss.

They were smashed into silence, and in the weeks since the election, the silence has roared.

I've heard some grumbling, some dark muttering about socialism, but in general I've heard nothing but nothing, and all of it accompanied by jaw muscles drawn tighter than guitar strings.

Mitt Romney ran Ronald Reagan's old campaign, which was Richard Nixon's old campaign, which worked, both times, but which will not work anymore. Romney could have won a coup, but he couldn't win an election.

And my buddies, my poor, wounded buddies, they knew, someplace deep down, down where you believe in your wife's fidelity and your own sexual prowess, they knew Mitt Romney would win. Some of them presented me with elaborate scenarios detailing a Romney triumph in the Electoral College. Others based their pick on the fact that people's "eyes were finally open" about the stink of Kenyan/Muslim socialism they said followed Obama like the garbage smell follows a trash truck.

And when it came, when the numbers were in, they shut up, finally, sadly, jaw-grindingly stuck with the fact that, given a choice, the American people chose left over right, black over white, chose the inefficient, bumbling compassion of a limping, mismanaged government over the glitteringly cruel, equally mismanaged world of corporate America, which shouts "self-reliance" and whispers "screw the poor."

I took no particular joy in Obama's victory, but I took great joy in Romney's defeat, since it meant the defeat of the bosses, and I have had a boss all my life.

And I am achingly sorry for my friends who are now silently reckoning with irreversible fact.

Because I'm an old white guy, too.

To find out more about Marc Munroe Dion and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Marc Munroe Dion's books, "Between Wealth and Welfare: A Liberal Curmudgeon in America" and "Mill River Smoke," are available on iTunes, and Nook.



3 Comments | Post Comment
I'm a young white guy and I am mourning the continuation of stupidity.
Comment: #1
Posted by: Truth never fails
Fri Dec 7, 2012 1:32 PM
Sir;... No one ever ran a youth outreach program without a desire to save the world...Any sort of experience with the youthful jackasses of reality is usally enough to make such people consider saving themselves first...Ideals are principals, and in reality, in practice have about the same half life as antimatter in contact with matter...As much as it is possible people should live without ideal because they are about as pointless as they are useless...If we try to build principals out of moral understanding we find we have none...All ideas represent a bit of knowledge... The idea of a dog is what we know about dogs... Kant said Knowledge is judgement, so it is we can judge dogs by what we know of dogs, and dogs in relation to all animals... But ideals are often handed to us whole, and if we try to grasp them we find we are holding a cup of trembling without the cup...
We have seen the tyranny of ideals, and we are not done yet since so much of what happens in government is justified by principals and ideals often generated by churches or economic values that do not take humanity into the slightest consideration...Humanism may seem like such an ideal, but as ideals go it is at least willing to judge the practice by the results... People looking at the economy as some abstraction say good is the result because it must be the result...
Speaking from experience, one does not simply trade ones labor for ones living, but ones health and welfare as well, when the effects of that practice will not be seen till years later... No one is paying me for the pain if feel today, and I worked fast, hard, and smart; never suffering a moment on workman's comp or disability...But God forbid that I would ever have to support myself with the body my labor has left me... Mr. Obama may seem idealistic, artificially cheerful, and even optimistic; but if he has a brain, that idealism went out of him years ago, and now it is simply a matter of pragmatism, enough political support to drive through what he feels will be best for the country...
Was it not Lincoln who said that without the support of the people nothing was possible, and with the support of the people everything was possible??? This is a people that needs to be reminded of their own power, and they are so used to having a vote that is meaningless, that does not seem to offer them any control of their government, that as a matter of fact, their government seems to have much more control over them than they have over the course of government... It is true, and even when the object is good, as with Obamacare, that it should have been brought before the people, even knowing that the rich would pulverize it with the money they have so available, even knowing that the churches would pulverize it since no one should help the poor unless the poor have renounced their sins and accepted the dogma as written...
The people need more than a reminder of their power, but the power in fact, and no one is worse or better than the democrats for their distrust of the people, and the low opinion they hold of the people's reasoning and knowledge... First of all, and not ideally, but people often do fine with the choices they are allowed... For everyone misled, there is some one trying to mislead them...For every bad choice people make there is some one presenting that bad choice as a good choice... For government to deny choice, and deny power to people in their lives is not better than they being able to do and undo with government that good they think good...It is a crippled idealism that seeks to do good for people feeling they are good and worthy of good while denying them the ability to do good for themselves, directly and without the middle men of government...
Comment: #2
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Mon Dec 10, 2012 5:22 AM
Re: Truth never fails;... You should not confuse your youth for your immaturity, or the age of old republicans for their immaturity...It is immaturity in old age that envies and hates the frolic, the foolishness and the immorality of youth, that wants to fit the energy of youth to the yoke of their own financial security...We could all be richer if the poor were not so poor, and were not like the skinny cows of Egypt eating up the fat... The poor are not our responsibility, and neither are they their own, because people can only do for themselves what is in their power... If forty men take forty days to install an automated system in their factory, and then all are laid off because their labor is no longer required, how soon will the general prosperity that results from less labor and more automation lift them from the poverty they are tossed into, and offer them a better condition of labor???...The correct answer is: never...
Part of the reason we fought our civil war was the simple understanding that slavery at once devalued free labor and displaced it... Without the industrial use of slaves, the South would hardly have lasted long enough to put up a fight...Atomation does the same thing with labor, devaluing it and displacing it, and so those people are freely dispossed of to be supported in poverty by those still working, and who- is really responsible??? People do what they must for their profit and without profit must join the working class and what future is that??? People stuck in poverty are denied jobs paying a living wage, and the few workers working are taxed into poverty to support the poor... Are we going to see ourselves all working like machines to compete with machinery??? Are the Robots going to support the government in supporting the poor people??? Are the rich controlling the immature, spoiled, thoughtless republicans going to support the poor; or let them languish and die to exercise their power...
There was a time when the Wealthy of Rome had to be taxed for every old slave they emancipated and so made citizens of Rome, elegible for the grain dole... Well, Truth, your rich friends will not pay, and they know that you being forced to pay will drive you into reaction sooner than it will drive you into a certain knowledge of the economy you suffer from, so they win either way... My guess is the capitalism is a bust, that sooner or later the cost of production considered all together exceed profits all together, so that profit can only be had by hook or crook or slight of hand...The obvious fact is that profit demands consumers or foreign markets, each having its own unique expense, but with the advantage for the rich that armies required to conquer foreign markets are easily turned upon native population... That is why the republicans demand defense, because it is offense they desire, the ability to destroy that part of the population they have made superfluous with their automation...

The rich pervert democracy today, corrupt the government; but out of necessity they will squash democracy, and turn their military loose on us to do their damndest...Children of all ages are invited to enjoy their demise...
Comment: #3
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Mon Dec 10, 2012 5:58 AM
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