Corporations are people too, my friends. Mitt Romney
Anybody remember that old line from the Mittster? I sure as hell do. It was pundit gold, and along with his imbecilic “47%” comment from a closed fund raiser, sealed Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign as being conducted by a hopelessly out of touch 1%er with no regard for the rest of us.
I don’t have to remember that moment with crystal clarity, because I just saw a tape replay of it yesterday. Mitt Romney died on that particular hill that day, and he fought all the way to the end, continuing to try to explain why corporations were actually people, even while he was being jeered off of the stage. And when I saw that replay, and Romney’s passionate, logical, fervid defense of his statement, while boo’s cascaded down around him, it struck me.
Mitt Romney was dead serious when he said that corporations were people too. And in his mind he was right. Because, as Romney was trying so desperately to explain to the scoffing crowd, when you think about it, all of the benefits that actually accrue to a corporation are ultimately passed down the line to living, breathing human beings. Basically those “little people” make the corporation a viable, living, breathing organism. And nothing that George Orwell put into 1984 even comes close in the chill of its implication.
Long before Mitt Romney was a presidential candidate, and long before he was the Governor of the commonwealth of Massachusetts, Romney was a businessman, a venture capitalist. Or, considering the business practices of his Bain Capital, he was more accurately a vulture capitalist. He made his money by taking what belonged to others, mainly the failing companies he bought, and selling it off to keep the money for himself, nothing went back to the people who built the original company in the first place, except pink slips. And he was good enough at it to become one of the top-tenth-of-one-percent himself. The man knows of what he speaks.
When Romney told us that corporations were people too, he wasn’t just committing a gaffe, he was telling us the ruling philosophy of the Republican party. How do we know this? Because, while the Democrats love to tout themselves as the party of the “working man,” the GOP has more and more steadily become over the years the “business friendly” party. The GOP itself no longer even bothers trying to deny that it a wholly owned subsidiary of corporate America, mainly because nobody would believe them. And Mitt Romney’s ill advised statement is exactly how corporate America thinks.
This explains so much about Donald Trump, it’s not even funny. In Donald Trump, the oligarchs of corporate America have their dream president. Donald Trump is the real life political equivalent of Governor William J. LePetomain, Mel Brooks zany character from Blazing Saddles, who famously stumbled out from behind a curtain in his office, his pants around his ankles, because his Attorney General, Hedley Lamar, had interrupted him fondling his secretary back there. If you can’t see that for yourself, there’s nothing that I can say that would convince you.
Trump is the perfect ventriloquist dummy for corporate America in the White House for two reasons. First of all, like LePetomain, he is a totally compliant idiot. Just like in the movie, you stick a piece of paper under his nose, and he signs it. Work, work, work, that’s all I do all day. Hello boys! I missed you! Trump’s tax law is a perfect example. In the original bill, there were several small kitty treats thrown in there to make the bill more visually palatable to the rest of us non 1% slobs, but almost all of them were yanked before passage, to increase the take for corporate American and the other rich shitpokes.
The second reason that Trump is such a useful shill for corporate America is that he is a total moron about business and finance. Trump is an abject failure at business, not only indicated by his multiple bankruptcies, but also by his own bragging admission of being the “king of debt.” Trump himself produces nearly nothing, he is nothing more than a name to be slapped on the sides of buildings. And what he does own is mortgaged to the hilt. If the state of New York ever does prosecute Trump under their version of the RICO statutes, and wins, by the time they’re finished selling every asset he “owns” to pay the fines and restitution, Trump won’t have enough money left over to buy a lousy tin cup for his street corner vigil.
Which is what is so damn useful for corporate America. Being a business ignoramus, Trump is susceptible, either directly from corporate moguls, who know exactly how to play their mark, conning him into thinking they’re treating him as their equal, and giving him sage advice, or through words whispered in his ear by their lock-stock-and-barrel owned Senators and House members. As they say in the Bible, Thy will be done. Trump’s stupid, senseless trade war with China is a perfect example. Big agra is raking in money hand over fist from Trump’s subsidies, without having to hassle with growing stuff, and they will always find ways to sell off their excess stock. Meanwhile, more small farms will shortly go belly up, allowing big Agra to snap them up. And big business is using Trump’s tariffs as a way to jack up the prices on their own products, as well as selling more of their own products domestically, due to the increased rices of the tariffed imports.
This may also explain the extreme dearth of political willpower among GOP incumbents to criticize Trump. 40 of them lost their jobs last November, and more will likely lose their jobs in 2020. Trump is killing them, and yet they remain as silent as the tomb. But their corporate overlords are just as happy as pigs in a wallow with the way things are going under Trump, and the word filters down to their tamed tabbies that they had better toe the line, then so be it. Facing the wrath of Trump’s drooling idiots is bad enough by itself, but facing them without the contributions of their corporate lords and masters makes survival impossible.
Ain’t life a kick in the ass? You take what was once nothing more than an amusing anecdote from a political candidate, uttered at an inopportune moment. Nothing to it. But then, you look at it again seven years later, with all of the wisdom of time passed, and the knowledge of what has come since, and suddenly it seems to make a whole lot more sense. And another thing. It ain’t so goddamned funny anymore. This has to be a part of the Democrats economic argument in 2020. True, four more years of Trump may well wreck the social fabric of this country beyond repair. But four more years of Trump may well usher in a permanent corporate oligarchy that will be impossible to dismantle after he’s gone, if it isn’t already too late.