(The Root) — The Republican candidate for president of the United States, Mitt Romney, apparently really, really dislikes people like me. My opinion isn't based on his having cussed me out or anything. (He's Mormon. He's not allowed to curse.) Mitt Romney, the man known for flip-flopping when it's to his political advantage, refuses to modify his message for people like me.
Minority. Nonwealthy. Progressive.
If you happen to share any of those qualities, then there's a solid chance that Romney doesn't really care about you, either. He'd love your vote, but he's not going to make a genuine attempt to actually get it. For the GOP presidential candidate, you have to prove yourself worthy of him, as opposed to him being worthy of you.
In the last year, we've watched the former Massachusetts governor consistently fail to reach out to anyone outside the GOP base. Many people say, "This is to be expected." I ask those people, "Why?" Why is it that no matter the situation, whether it be the GOP primary or the general election — which we happen to be in right now, in case Romney wasn't aware — he continues to throw his middle finger up to so many Americans he wishes to serve?
He might as well say, "I want to be your president, but I don't respect you."
The videotaped comments made by Romney at a May fundraiser don't shock many of us. His assertions that 47 percent of Americans don't pay taxes and depend on the U.S. government, and hence they'll vote for President Barack Obama, is a direct quote from the Republican Bible (the book of Socialism, Chapter 3, Verse 7).
The shocking part about all of this is that Romney, in the midst of all his current blunders, has magically found his ever-elusive backbone.
Last week, when Romney attacked the Obama administration over a press release from the U.S. Embassy in Cairo before he had all the facts, he followed it up with a press conference where he doubled down. This week, when the tapes surfaced showing him disparaging half of America, claiming that minority heritage helps in presidential elections and more, he followed it with a press conference, where, again, he doubled down on the comments. When Romney was booed at the NAACP conference, he explained at a fundraising event that if those people want free stuff, they should vote for the other guy.
In attacking the underprivileged and underrepresented, Romney has finally found his ability to be strong.
Gone are the days of flip-flopping Romney. Now he stands by his convictions. Are you insulted, black people? Too bad. Are you insulted, elderly folks who don't pay income taxes? Sucks to be you. Are you insulted, poor people? Don't answer — no one in this campaign is listening. They're not even sure how you got this questionnaire.
This GOP presidential candidate is steadfast and will not pander for your stinking votes … which he wouldn't get anyway, but whatever! Mitt Romney is a man of strength — and as long as you aren't a likely voter for him, he'll continue to take a crap on your ideals and explain why you simply hate America. This is what they call "leadership."
And while Romney's recent comments clearly show his mindset and the spirit of his campaign, the commentary from conservative politicians and pundits who have rallied around him is equally problematic. Erick Erickson of RedState, who has been very anti-Romney in the past, says that he wishes this were the Romney on the campaign trail, and the conservative consensus is that Romney was right.
The party that so angrily yells about class warfare has had zero problems attacking the have-nots and labeling anyone who might support the current president as simply freeloaders. An entire political party in the year 2012 has adopted a platform of disdain for half of America.
But the election is still very close. Even with Obama's postconvention bounce, he has only an average 3-percentage-point advantage. With an opposition that has contempt for virtually half of Americans, the Democrats still haven't been able to lock up a strong lead. This is still anyone's game, and I find that frightening. How is it possible that a party led by a gaffe-prone, attacker-of-the-poor, cartoonishly out-of-touch rich guy still has a chance to control this country?
I don't have an answer. All I have is a cold shiver in my soul and a rough business plan drawn on a bar napkin about starting a pork-and-rum shack on an island somewhere around January 2013.
Elon James White is a writer and satirist and host of the award-winning video and radio series This Week in Blackness. Listen Monday to Thursday at TWIB.FM and subscribe on iTunes. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Tumblr.
Elon James White is a writer and satirist and host of the award-winning video and radio series This Week in Blackness. Listen Monday to Thursday at 1:30 p.m. EST at TWIB.FM and watch at TV.TWIB.ME/LIVE. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Tumblr.