Thursday, January 19, 2012

Overcoming privilege and wealth somewhat similar to overcoming racism

Yes, I think that's the case that Seth Mandel is making today. Because Romney is really wealthy, he's a minority that will have trouble overcoming the prejudices of a majority of Americans who are unlike him:
If Romney is the Republican nominee there is no chance Obama would refrain from the class warfare rhetoric he has already outlined. But the ironic thing about this line of attack is that it must insinuate, because to say it plainly–that Romney is unlike most voters–would outrage many Americans. Obviously Romney’s election would not carry nearly the same cultural significance as Obama’s, but Romney would nonetheless face a challenge somewhat similar to the difficulty Obama had in explaining himself to voters.

If Romney is elected president, it won’t be quite so dramatic, to say the least. But it will mean he had overcome a parallel challenge: his story, that of an honest, hardworking family man who built a life for himself and his loved ones through effort, education, skill, and yet more effort, is also a classic American story.
Well, sure. Mitt Romney's story goes to show that you can start out as the humble son of an American car company president-turned Michigan governor-turned cabinet member and rise to really make something of yourself despite the dearth of opportunity! Brings a tear to my eye.

In fairness, Mandel suggests that Americans aren't really buying the idea that we're a classless society anymore, and that pretending we are might have electoral consequences. But I think he reaches too far with this comparison.

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