Look. I don’t begrudge Romney’s having had his college tuition and living expenses paid for with family money. Mine were too. My background, though not as fancy as Mitt or Ann Romney’s, was privileged enough. But the guy should just come out and admit it: “I was a child of privilege and have my parents’ wealth to thank for my education. That said, I worked very very hard in business, and the vast majority of my fortune I earned myself.”
But there is of course a reason he can’t say that: such a statement is customarily followed by an expression of gratitude and a willingness to give something back to society. And gratitude and a willingness to give something back are precisely what Romney lacks—in common with the party he’s aspiring to represent.
There is a cheese ball term for this type of sentiment — Pay It Forward. But regardless of the cheesy, vague-new agey, karma-esque foundation to it, there is a fundamental decency embedded in this philosophy. A decency that is almost wholly absent in today’s GOP which is founded on anger and greed.
I don’t know Mitt Romney. I am not sure anyone really does. Maybe he really is the Gordon Gekko archetype he seems to channel. Or maybe there is something else there. But it really doesn’t matter, because the party he hopes to lead is made up a two core constituencies — angry middle class whites, railing about how immigrants and other brown-skinned people are mooching off them and the unholy alliance of wealthy and elderly who chant in unison, “I Got Mine, Fuck You.”