Saturday, July 28, 2012

What went SO WRONG for Mitt?

One of Obama's great strengths is that all his life he has cultivated mentors.  And this, to my analytic mind, suggests both humility and a capacity to make use of the wisdom of others.   Thus, when Obama recognizes that we all build on the shoulders of others, he isn't just stating an assertion, he is recognizing his debts to society and to those, along the way, who have dealt him a helping hand.

Mitt Romney, on the other hand, mocks such wisdom.  He asserts that success is the measure of one's personal efforts alone.   Now I used to think that this was just one more of Mitt's political nostrums.  But it's clear now, after Mitt's self-inflicted London skewering, that Mitt truly believes and acts as if his own counsel is all he needs.  Mitt needs the limelight.  He doesn't want to share it. He doesn't seek mentors.  And, from all accounts, he regularly over-rules not only his own campaign advisers but his own party's offers of wisdom.  Refusal to release his taxes being just one unwise example.

If you look back in Mitt's life, it's clear he prefers to be the leader of a gang.  And he makes use of such leadership to prey on others.  Fellow students.  Companies.  Opponents.  Such leaders require subservient accomplices.  We call such people bullies actually.  And bullies do not take direction.  They do not take advice.  They do not share the limelight.  They do not seek mentors.  And they don't second-guess themselves.  Or apologize.

This is exactly the kind of behavior we saw on display in London.  Mitt went there with only a small team.  He ignored the advice of his own campaign strategists to stay away from a foreign trip.  He must have trusted his own instincts for how to handle himself when he arrived there.  For he didn't seem to have a plan for how to behave or what he was trying to accomplish.  So what did he do?  He put his own self-importance on display:  His MI6 gaffe.  He couldn't share the limelight:  So he ridiculed the Brit's Olympic preparation.  He couldn't apologize - despite being given many, many opportunities to do so.  And he left most of his advisers at home, so he had no one to turn to...  as he lurched from gaffe to gaffe.

Hour after hour in London Mitt just made things worse for himself.  But he carried on, as if in denial of his totally self-inflicted humiliation.  Indeed, he seems to be a man who is incapable of recognizing his own errors - while all too ready to pin those same errors on others.  Just watch how often he does this.  How so many of his lies are based upon projection, that is seeing in others the sins of oneself.  It requires a certain level of delusion to fail to see one's own faults, while at the same time bullying an opponent with false accusations - of the disavowed sins of oneself.  This is Mitt to a "T"!

So what went wrong for Mitt in London?  First of all, he was a man without a gang.  A man ready to go it alone.  A man ready for a prize-fight.  And with no one to stop him, he threw punch after punch.  What happened, when the British press went after him, when even British politicians joined in, was the kind of pile-on Mitt has dealt out to others from high-school on.  The amazing thing when you think about it is this:  Due to his own arrogance and spitefulness, as well as to his lack of humility and inability to cultivate and use mentors, Mitt's Misbehavior actually sparked a gang of opposition.  The opposite of what he's experienced all his life.  So instead of him being the gang leader, he offered himself as a perfect target.

As I've said before, the man has serious character flaws.  Flaws which prevent him from cultivating or following the wisdom of mentors.  Flaws which were all too much on display in London.  Flaws which may be covered up when he is surrounded by a gang of sycophants.  But sycophants, like Uriah Heep, have agendas of their own.

There are all too many hidden agendas within the campaign of Mitt Romney.  Some of them pertain to his own flawed method of leadership via gang attack - based on disavowed flaws within himself, which he projects onto others.  Some of them lie within the sycophants he cultivates, people who give him money or people who fawn.  A man with character flaws such as Mitt's is all too easy for others to manipulate.  He views himself as the sole architect of his own success.  But while he avoids mentors and rejects wise advice, Mitt's need for the limelight - his need for a gang of sycophants - opens the door to (covert) manipulation.  Could be foreign:  As he makes himself the tail to Israel's dog. Could be domestic:  His need to appease the right wing, the evangelicals, the libertarians, and the monied.


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