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One of the things that stuck out at me over Mitt Romney's fundraiser was just how reminiscent the unguarded Mitt sounds to his Ayn Rand-devoted vice presidential choice. How angry and full of persecution his words were. How it stopped this side of advocating "going Galt". There was so little understanding of the realities of life for most people...all he could muster was a righteous indignation of how these people who couldn't support him were clearly losers. This glory of selfishness that Ayn Rand championed is getting more and more prominent, and it's become a malignancy in our political process. Our buddy Rich Eskow noticed it to, and wrote this for CAF:
Their resentment is as great as their wealth. It seemed like an unfortunate slip from an unpleasant individual when another hedge funder, Steve Schwarzman, compared the loss of his tax breaks to Hitler's invasion of Poland. But we now know that this sense of outrage is shared by many, if not most, of his peers: Hedge funder Daniel S. Loeb. The unnamed CEOs of Fareed Zakaria's acquaintance. Scandal-ridden bank CEO Jamie Dimon.
You'd think they'd be kissing the ground Barack Obama walks on, given their embarrassment – or what should be an "embarrassment" – of riches.
But they're enraged. Why?
Because it isn't enough.
At no time in modern history has the top 1 percent – or the top 0.1 percent, or the top 0.01 percent – owned more of our wealth or paid less in taxes.
But it isn't enough.
The Wall Street executives who broke laws weren't indicted, and those who ruined their own businesses were saved – their wealth and incomes protected – by the very people who are being financially destroyed by their actions.
It isn't enough.
Our government relaxed the regulations, razed the rules, and leveled the laws so they could ruin both the economy and the Gulf of Mexico, and has left us vulnerable to their ongoing predations.
It isn't enough.
What do they want?
They want more – more tax breaks, more protection from the law.
And they want adoration. From the looks of it, nothing short of an Roman Imperial cult – complete with their apotheosis as state deities upon their death – would satisfy them. Obama's corporate-friendly policies, which have protected their wealth and protected them from judgement, aren't enough. They want him to pledge his fealty on the White House steps – or they'll destroy him.
This election--by virtue of the revelation of Mitt's speech--has become a referendum for the kind of country we want to have. Do we want a country of Randian Objectivists? Or are we confident that this wealthiest nation in the world has the power and the obligation to raise the living standards of every citizen?