With accumulated “gaffes” all tallied up at the end of Mitt Romney’s world tour, we now know what it was all about. It wasn’t really an opportunity for the former Massachusetts Governor to shore up his foreign policy credentials as much as it was an attempt to restore a very White and very old school world order.
Does this make Mitt Romney or his campaign “racist?” Not necessarily – but, it shows that some Republicans (not all) may be more concerned with promoting certain cultural signals than winning an election. What do Republicans and conservatives really want? Is this really about clinching a triple play on the House, Senate and White House? Or, is this some very adolescent, whiny attempt at bringing old beats back? There is an air of punky prep school prankiness
When called on it, many GOP leaders abhor the accusation that they are unnerved by the presence of “the first Black president” simply because the all-White-male-club winning streak was snapped. But, recent statements on the short-lived Romney world tour speak otherwise, confirming an ugly racial underbelly to the whole affair. Comments from an anonymous senior campaign advisor are not entirely a “gaffe” – in fact, we love that word so much now that we’re misusing and applying it as a way to absolve politicians of owning honest statements. Indeed, it’s a reflection of Romney World or, at the very least, the people around him who believe in a certain world view that was, to them, unceremoniously “mugged” by the once unidentifiable Black male now in the White House.
But, why make icky statements about “Anglo-Saxon” heritage and the supremacy of Jewish culture in the Middle East? If anything, the trip did indeed accomplish what it set out to do. It was their opportunity, albeit sloppily executed, to signal the desire for wholesale re-alignment of Western values and preeminence.
The problem is the Republican candidate was unable to match his actions with such a tall order. There was no real swagger there, no real crowds – nothing like Candidate Obama’s highly stylized, MTV-like tour from 2008. Not much excitement – with the exception of an occasional Euro-zone passerby who follows American politics enough to recognize the mannequin White guy with hair perfect enough to cast in a commercial.
That’s remarkably sad, an addition of insult to injury given the worsening fiscal situation in Europe. The continent, once a military and economic jewel of the world, is now limping its way along and unsure where it will end up next. Countries it once dominated are only distant colonies by language and cultural habit. Now, they are the “emerging economies.” The Republican candidate, well-intentioned in his mind, failed to offer much in the way of a pep talk. So, there goes Europe adrift in the New World Order.