If patriotism is production, no one is more American than Mr. Romney. “The business of America is business,” President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed at the onset of the Roaring Twenties. “This is business. This is the American Way,” declared Wesley Snipe’s crime lord character in the courtroom at the end of the 1991 film New Jack City. And who could forget Horatio Alger and Willy Loman? Mr. Romney sure hasn’t.
So, for the Republican candidate to equate running the federal government to running a company is only natural; businessmen see investment in any venture, just as attorneys see opportunity in an accident or as doctors see diagnosis in any illness. This language should not come off as foreign to most Americans: Any person who works a full-time or part-time job is part of some company complex, be it a store, university or office building.
In that sense, Mr. Romney is speaking America’s language.The country as a corporation is nothing new, too. This is the neoliberals’ MO in the modern age of Wall Street haute couture: to boost productivity, the financial beast of Washington constantly needs to be downsized, outsourced and tamed. The presidential job listing was almost made for a businessman.
However, in regards to his perception of governance, Mr. Romney is leaving out a key part of his vision: What kind of company does he want us to imitate? His assumed title of “job creator” from his days at Bain Capital is the campaign’s economic centerpiece, but private equity is not the only option we have at our disposal. America is full of businesses that are just like you and me.
Maybe Mr. Romney is referring to Google.
The search engine titan from Mountain View, California seeks to incorporate a “work hard, play harder” theme in its workplace. On a normal day, Googlers – the name given to its employees – can be found playing Xbox 360 or constructing Lego landscapes between meetings.
If that were the case, Mr. Romney’s America would be a playground of sorts, where middle class mediocrity is combated with fitness balls to bounce on and the 47 percent of tax evaders are left to fend for themselves in the kiddie ball pit. In the end, everyone’s a Googler and the only entitlement you’re getting from your government is fun.
Or maybe Mr. Romney is implying that he wants America to look like its private sector flower child, Wal-Mart.
Governmental functions are neatly streamlined (“What’s Left of the EPA, Aisle 8!”); everything has the “Made in China” stamp of approval on it; and the lowest stage of employment guarantees you $8.85 an hour but, hey, you’re lucky you’re not making minimum wage!
And, finally, a place for all the retirees entering into co-CEO Paul Ryan’s “voucher” Medicare system come 2020: one senior citizen stands on the shores of America, happily welcoming its newest customers, while another stands on the Mexican border, happily reminding every deported immigrant to “come back soon, ya hear?!”
No, no, no, he must be talking about McDonald’s, right?
With over billions and billions served worldwide, nothing shouts out efficiency more than those Golden Arches. Fast food would translate into fast government, vomiting out cheap bills like Big Macs. On his first day, Mr. Romney could zip into the executive drive-thru and order his promised repeal of Obamacare and a side of tax cuts for the One Percent without waiting behind a long line of chatty Democrats. Anything could happen when America is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Don’t worry, there’ll be transparency: like the menu’s calorie count, you might not know where it came from but you’ll know how much it costs. Hopefully, for Mr. Romney re-election’s sake, every American doesn’t end up like Morgan Spurlock in Super Size Me – overfed, nausea and unable to function properly by Day 25 of Mr. Romney’s company politik.
If that’s not it, let us look to NBC’s mockumentary, “The Office,” for guidance.
The Dundler Mifflin company and our economy already share the same vicious cycle: they both artificially create paper to make some sort of profit, which is then used to artificially create more paper. And, with Mr. Romney as America’s Michael Scott, our nine-to-five cubicle culture will be electrified by the excitement of those conversations no one is happy sharing with others.
Women can attend seminars where their boss explains why Roe v. Wade is just not working for the company anymore (any disagreement is met with a “That’s what she said!” joke) and the debt-laden student can be comfortably reminded that another teeny loan to pay for a $50,000-a-year education really can’t hurt that much at this point. If we’re all in this together, as one working national entity, we’re going to need to know each other just a little bit better.
To govern is to manage, whether it’s an office slacker or societal sucker. This country birthed businessmen like Mr. Romney so, this time, we’ll switch that equation around and trim her by the edges like true patriots.
God Bless America, inc.