Tonight a friend and I were on the list for a Mitt Romney fundraiser at the Sheraton in Manhattan. We went, we saw, and we were a bit puzzled. First off, it was completely devoid of any ethnic group other than white; which is my own, and I am proud of it, but this is America and something so unrepresentative of the US public as a whole, that is trying to represent and govern the US population as a whole, is off pitch. It also had a very low percentage of veterans - in a room of about 500 people, when asked to raise our hands, only about three hands appeared; and one of them was mine. So do the math; it was a bit awkward. Lots of rich white people who had little or no military experience between them trying to get a rich white man into the position of Commander-in-Chief of the world's largest military.
Then Mitt spoke; actually somewhat well at first, let me give him some credit, he is not a bad speaker. But then he went on and on, reciting stanzas of the US national anthem, and seguing into a story about how he personally took a casket of a dead soldier to the grieving parents, and how everyone on the plane had their hands on their hearts etc etc etc. He jerked those tears a bit too much, and should have refrained from using this family's loss as his personal photo op. When I reached out my hand to him and mentioned that I was a former serviceman, his face went dead and he could not turn away from me fast enough.
I guess he likes his servicemen dead in a casket. That kind does not talk back; that kind does not tell him that America needs a better man than him to lead, as I did. I came at him live, and all I got for it was a ridiculous security detail telling me it was a crime to embarrass the candidate.
A crime? Well, maybe, yes, somewhere in the world I am sure it is. But this was NYC, part of NY state, part of the US of A. Not a crime. A right. Then they told me not to leave, and physically blocked me from leaving. Which, as any American citizen might well know, is a crime. I was on the way out. They had no right to obstruct my exit. They would have been in their rights to open wide the door and see me out into the night, tossing out the dissenter with various exhortations about going to the lower realms, but instead they tried to hold me and threaten me with arrest. But none dared call the police, as they knew damn well what would happen. The NYPD does not allow itself to be used as a silencing tool for politicians. If they had made arrests, it would not have been me.
So their tough guy antics just served as welcome comic relief after listening to Mitt Romney making long speeches about how he loves the military - probably in an attempt to block out the reality of his multiple deferments. He needs to cut that nonsense out and refrain from threatening servicemen if they show up and ask him hard questions. Which they have every right to do - they fight for that right to exist when they join up. Romney did not fight for that right; he fought against it.
Truth will out. And it will embarrass people like Romney. But thanks to the Constitution, everybody here, whether they were in the military or not, have that right....unless maybe Romney gets in and sics his goon squad on us.
So I hope he doesn't. And I also hope that the US gets a better president that Romney, hopefully someone with real military service.
So my friend, who they told to stop filming this, met me outside and we just had a laugh about the whole episode. Lots of clowns get lots of money and try to buy the White House but we're pretty certain this is not going to happen. Watch for Mitt Romney to get voted out of any states that have lots of servicemen or non-white populations. The GOP would do well to take note of his lousy performance in NY and start thinking seriously about a candidate with a wider base of appeal and military service.