Mitt Romney’s and his campaign adviser’s words in London this week that insulted an entire nation (perhaps our closest ally) confirmed what we knew all along; he’s not presidential material. Imagine Romney hosting a dinner at the White House with heads of nations from around the world; we’d be at war before dessert was served. What I find troubling is that Romney’s actions speak about a much deeper problem than any lack of diplomacy or foreign policy ability. Unless Romney has some rare form of turrets syndrome wherein he has no control of uttering untimely gaffs and insults with a conservative political tone, or some sort of psychological disorder that forces him to self destruct when speaking publicly, his arrogance is off the charts.
This isn’t Romney’s first time out of the U.S. Someone with his education, travels, and exposure to other cultures should know better. He should not need a script writer or a cadre of staff to write and rehearse him in advance of his every word. Moreover, his campaign adviser that said to Brittain’s Telegraph, “We are part of an Anglo-Saxon heritage, and he feels that the special relationship is special,” … “The White House didn’t fully appreciate the shared history we have,” [….] is of no value to Romney, or anyone else, since he or she displayed equally arrogant and unbecoming behavior.
Only arrogance and some perverted sense of white privilege could cause Romney’s campaign adviser to exclude all other citizens, i.e., those not of Anglo-Saxon heritage in either country. Besides, it’s a stretch to call upon a shared-heritage, referring to the West Germanic tribes (Angles, Saxons, and Jutes) that settled in Britain from the 5th century ad and were dominant until the Norman conquest in about 1066. Perhaps that’s not the “shared heritage” his adviser was talking about.
What Romney and his campaign adviser could have referenced is our shared values and beliefs that if a person works hard and is responsible, no matter their heritage, they can succeed in either country. Or, our shared value to build a better global economy for all citizens, and not some. Or, our shared value to live in a nuclear arms free world; the U.K., among others, signed the nuclear non-proliferation agreement in 2010.
Being the leader of a country is not an “us” versus “them” situation. It’s about being able to put forth policies and precedent, including one’s words, to create value in the lives of the people you serve as their leader. That kind of shared value is what people want everywhere. Romney and his campaign adviser created no value for others or themselves this week. My apologies in advance to the citizens of Israel and Poland.
- British media revel in Romney’s day of gaffes (cbsnews.com)
- Romney Hints British Anglo Saxons Would Likely Lose if They Retried War of 1812 (elections.firedoglake.com)
- Romney camp denies “Anglo-Saxon heritage” comment – CBS News (cbsnews.com)
- The ‘Anglo-Saxon’ connection (maddowblog.msnbc.com)
- Advisers Say Only Romney Fully Appreciates ‘Anglo-Saxon Heritage’ U.S. Shares With Britain (nymag.com)
- Romney Adviser: As an African, Obama Doesn’t Appreciate ‘Anglo-Saxon Heritage’ (littlegreenfootballs.com)
- Brit papers blast Mitt Romney – CBS News (cbsnews.com)
- How Else Has Mitt Romney Insulted Jolly Olde Englande? (wonkette.com)
- Can Romney interact with ANYONE without insulting them? (dailykos.com)
- Brit govt says no way Romney will carry Olympic Torch after today’s insults (americablog.com)
- Romney’s ‘No Apologies’ Diplomacy in Action as U.K. Trip Turns to Public Spat (theatlantic.com)