I am fucking weary right now. I'm weary in the way that a lot of women and people of color and poor people and people in the middle and people on the bottom are weary. But I'm not weary of struggling (to whatever extent I manage) against the massive, entrenched systems of disenfranchisement in our often shitty country—that struggle is my job as a compassionate human being with a brain. Nope, what I'm weary of is the pervasive (and successful) campaign of obfuscation and misinformation perpetuated by conservatives to convince people that the thing they are struggling against doesn't exist.
They insist that disregard for women's bodies is actually regard for "life." They destroy families in the name of "preserving families." They claim that people who point out racism are racist for acknowledging race, rebrand blatant exploitation as "the free market" (the gall of putting "free" right in the name), and position themselves as down-home folks "of the people," when in actuality they think that the people are fucking stupid. The right's propaganda game is on point.
And that's why Kevin D. Williamson's staggeringly offensive essay in the National Review is the best thing I've read all week. Titled, "Like a Boss: When it comes to being a rich guy, Mitt Romney should own it," the piece is a groveling, borderline homoerotic* paean to Mitt Romney's wealth, ruthless business practices, and super-sperm. It is everything we know conservatives are thinking but will never admit, and it is right there in the open for us to point at and say, "See? See? We are not crazy." It is condescending, elitist, heteronormative, misogynistic, anti-intellectual, smug, and utterly devoid of value. But it is honest.
In America right now, it's like there's a dragon in the room, wearing a Mitt Romney button, and the GOP is pointing at the dragon and saying, "That? Calm down, that's just a lizard. And anyway, there's a lizard on me too! And anyway, YOU'RE the dragon!" No. I am not a dragon. Quit lying. And fuck off.
But look! NOW THE DRAGON WROTE A FUCKING OP-ED.
Williamson opens with the rickety old notion that "men select mates for fertility, while women select for status" — that's how Donald Trump can get laid, and that's why women over 50 are garbage. And Mitt Romney, he says, has the status thing nailed down:
You want off-the-charts status? Check out the curriculum vitae of one Willard M. Romney: $200 million in the bank (and a hell of a lot more if he didn't give so much away), apex alpha executive, CEO, chairman of the board, governor, bishop, boss of everything he's ever touched. Son of the same, father of more.
That "Son of the same, father of more," part is significant—it's the first of one million times Williamson will herald Mitt Romney's powerful son-producing wonder-dong. Case in point:
It is a curious scientific fact (explained in evolutionary biology by the Trivers-Willard hypothesis—Willard, notice) that high-status animals tend to have more male offspring than female offspring...The offspring of rich families are statistically biased in favor of sons...Have a gander at that Romney family picture: five sons, zero daughters. Romney has 18 grandchildren, and they exceed a 2:1 ratio of grandsons to granddaughters (13:5). When they go to church at their summer-vacation home, the Romney clan makes up a third of the congregation. He is basically a tribal chieftain.
(I'm sorry, aren't we currently spending billions and billions and billions of dollars to blow up tribal chieftains?)
Our president, on the other hand:
Professor Obama? Two daughters. May as well give the guy a cardigan. And fallopian tubes.
Yes. Because we all know that femininity is laughably weak, that being a woman is the opposite of being rich and powerful, that "professor" is a pejorative, and that "you throw like a girl" is the worst insult you can lob at a swollen alpha douche. I'm sure Barack Obama—literally the most powerful man in the world—is simply devastated that you questioned his potency by pointing out that he, uh, has kids. Tasty burn.
And here's where Williamson really gets going:
From an evolutionary point of view, Mitt Romney should get 100 percent of the female vote. All of it. He should get Michelle Obama's vote. You can insert your own Mormon polygamy joke here, but the ladies do tend to flock to successful executives and entrepreneurs. Saleh al-Rajhi, billionaire banker, left behind 61 children when he cashed out last year. We don't do harems here, of course, but Romney is exactly the kind of guy who in another time and place would have the option of maintaining one. He's a boss.
First of all, not all women are attracted to men with money, because not all women are attracted to men.**
And second of all, do you know how you can tell that this bullshit about "evolutionary biology" isn't true? Because it ISN'T TRUE. If, "from an evolutionary point of view," Mitt Romney "should" get 100 percent of the female vote, then Mitt Romney would get 100 percent of the female vote. But he isn't, and he won't, because women are not idiots, we do not "flock," money does not function as a vaginal lubricant, and anyway, the lubrication level of my vagina is not what directs my decisions in the voting booth. I am not biologically obligated to vote for Mitt Romney just because I have a vagina and he has a horse.
Whether he's "owning" his wealthiness or not (more on that in a minute), women already know that Romney is rich. This is not a secret. This is not Joe Millionaire. And yet, strangely enough, most of us manage to override "biology" and take our votes elsewhere—not because we don't vote with our genitals (although "repulsive warlord" is not nearly as attractive a look as Williamson would have you believe), but because we do. I, personally, take them with me everywhere. And Romney is staunchly against women's genitals. The idea that women would forgo their own interests and their domain over their bodies—and that they "should"—just because some dude makes a bunch of money is a paternalistic fantasy.
Romney's net worth is more than that of the last eight U.S. presidents combined. He set up a trust for his grandkids and kicked in about seven times Barack Obama's net worth, which at $11.8 million is not inconsiderable but probably less than Romney's tax bill in a good year. If he hadn't given away so much money to his church, charities, and grandkids, Mitt Romney would have more money than Jay-Z.
What's that? Only $11.8 million? Ugh, I'm dry as a bone right now. You might as well crumple that $11.8 million into a ball and plug up my vagina forever.
It is time for Mitt Romney to get in touch with his inner rich guy.
Yeah! It's about time for Mitt Romney to stop living in that trailer park, stop not having enough food to eat, stop dying from preventable diseases because he can't get health insurance, and stop cutting one bean in half with a knife and fork and sharing it with his raggedy dog next to the garbage fire. News flash, Mitt: You're RRRRRRICH!
Some Occupy Wall Street types, believing it to be the height of wit, have begun to spell Romney's name "Rmoney." But Romney can do better than that—put it in all caps: R-MONEY. Jay-Z can keep his puny little lowercase letters and the Maybach: R-MONEY doesn't own a flashy car with rims, R-MONEY does billion-dollar deals with Keystone Automotive and Delphi.
The rest of this paragraph is so painfully unfunny and embarrassing that I am just going to skip ahead and daydream about Quantum Leaping into the body of a person who has never had to read it.
Romney is forever saying—and God bless him for this—that we shouldn't punish success, that we shouldn't discourage risk-taking and entrepreneurship, and that we shouldn't resent wealth.
Oh, fuck that ancient red herring. Nobody resents wealth. NOBODY. People don't despise rich people. People despise selfish people who exploit the vulnerable for personal gain. For the most part, people don't despise Warren Buffet or Bill Gates. And as Williamson smugly points out later on, nobody despises Jay Leno for having 400 cars. But that's because Jay Leno didn't acquire 400 cars by dicking millions of people out of their cars and then running them over with a car and making them pay their own hospital bills. The fact is that Mitt Romney has accumulated garish wealth by exploiting the poor, and now he's trying to trick the poor into voting against their own interests by pretending not to be wealthy.
Now Romney should quit pretending that he's an ordinary schmo with ordinary schmo problems and start living a little larger. He should not be ashamed of being loaded; instead, he should have some fun with it.
I completely agree. Let's hug.
Barack Obama was never in charge of anything of any significance until the delicate geniuses who make up the electorate of this fine republic handed him the keys to the Treasury and the nuclear football because we were tired of Frenchmen sneering at us when we went on vacation.
Elections are not about public policy. They aren't even about the economy. Elections are tribal, and tribes are—Occupy types, cover your delicate ears—ruthlessly hierarchical. Somebody has to be the top dog...Reassuring arch-patriarch—maybe one with enough sons and grandsons to form a pillaging band of marauders? Hillary Rodham Clinton told us that it takes a village, and Mitt Romney showed us how to populate a village with thriving offspring.
Again with the sperm. Jesus. This dude is literally masturbating to a picture of Mitt Romney masturbating to a pile of money.
Look at his fat stacks. Look at that mess of sons and grandchildren. Look at a picture of Ann Romney on her wedding day and that cocky smirk on his face. What exactly has Mitt Romney got to be insecure about? That he's not as prodigious a patriarch as Ramses II or as rich as Lakshmi Mittal? I bet he sleeps at night and never worries about that. He has done everything right in life, and he should own it.
A tribal chieftain. A pillaging band of marauders. The United Fiefdoms of America! Of course Kevin D. Williamson wants to regress to some kind of feudal warlord society—of course he does. Because do you know who really thrives in that kind of a system? FUCKING WARLORDS. Warlords and their Kevins. And do you know who it's not so good for? Literally everyone else. Sorry, but I don't want to live in the ancient past, because I am a big fan of not getting eaten by lions.
The fact that we don't use superstitious witchcraft to determine our leaders anymore? That's a good thing. That's progress. We don't campaign on the power of a man's seed or how many concubines he can knock up and we don't predict election results by reading the magic chicken bones of a one-eyed widow. And only the most credulous rube on earth actually believes that having more money makes a person superior.
So thank you for this article. THANK YOU. Progressives, this is what you're up against. Conservatives, we see you.
Posture and strut and spout emasculating biological theories all you want, but Barack Obama is the fucking president. And this November, he's still going to be the fucking president and Mitt Romney is just going to be another dumbass businessman who threw a bunch of money in the garbage to make a fool of himself. Mitt Romney is going to lose. And I hate to break it to you, Kevin, but nobody wants to fuck a loser.
*Seriously, this is some straight-up 300 shit.
**Also, regarding the "insert your own Mormon polygamy joke" joke: Goddamn, conservatives are bad at jokes. (Unintentional comedy aside, natch.) See, the problem is that jokes are a way to deal with the horrors of existence, so if you are personally a horror of existence, your joke isn't a joke. It's just sour, hollow cruelty. Stick with what you're good at, bros. (Like punitively wanding the vaginas of rape victims!)