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    Romney's Speech Goal Tonight: I'm Not Caledon Hockley

    Most Americans are fascinated with the wealthy and the uberwealthy.  At some level the fascination is with envy - hence the obsession with some with the lotteries.  At some level it is  a fascination that one has for any culture one does not have access to - be it the mafia or a tribe in Papua New Guinea. 

    But the problem Romeny faces is that deep down in the fabric of the American cultural views is an animosity toward the uberwealthy.  Probably there is no better embodiment of this stereotype than the character Caledon Hockley played by Billy Zane in the movie Titanic.

    Now just about everybody will grant there are decent folk amongst the uberwealthy. But the basic belief is that they are few and far between.  The majority of the very rich it is assumed believe themselves to better than those who are in the third class cabin rooms. 

    Romney is Hockley by default.  He has to prove to the Americans tuning in that he is exception to the rule. 

    The big land mine he faces in attempting to express this is that he reinforces to the conservative base he is really that Rockerfeller Republican he was when he was governor of MA.


    As Wolfrum showed us a while back, we've got lots of rich archetypes from Gordon Gecko to Bruce Wayne. Real people too, from "brilliant entrepreneurs" (Ford, Gates) to"ruthless businessmen" (Rockefeller, Murdoch) to "aristocrats" (FDR, Bush I) to "playboys" (Hughes, Bush II).

    If Romney has a Hockley problem, it's not because rich people are Hockley by default. It's because Romney seems more like Caledon Hockley than he does Bruce Wayne.

    I would counter that if someone was just given a photo of Romney and told how much he was worth, having never heard a word or seen a video of him speaking, most Americans would have negative reaction to him in terms of how he sees the masses.

    I would be interested in hearing from you what popular entertainment show shows the rich as bleeding heart liberals - beyond Different Strokes.  The orignal tv show Dallas as well as the current one, to name one, revolves around their desire control and to do "whatever it takes" to come out on top - because that is their birthright.

    Watch the movie 2012 - it is the privileged, namely the rich, who are the boats to survive the disaster.  And so on. 

    And to be quite frank, the masses tend to relate to Heath's joker more than they do to Bruce Wayne.

    Rich bleeding heart liberal is an uncommon archetype, but somehow I don't think Romney wants to present himself as a bleeding heart liberal.

    The point is that Hockley is only one of many rich-guy archetypes, a number of which are sympathetic. It's like saying every psychiatrist needs to prove that they're not Hannibal Lecter, or every principle needs to prove that they're not the Ferris Bueller guy, or every galactic warrior needs to prove they're not Darth Vader.

    Every politician (and galactic warrior) has to avoid negative typecasts, but no one attribute determines the default typecast.

    yes there are many archtypes, but the question is what the knee reflex.  I say "trust fund baby" and what do you feel in that first second.  it doesn't matter how many kinds of trust fund babies one can develop, the issue is what surges to your mind in that first second I say the phrase. 

    we are talking about the low information voters, the ones who have not already made up their minds, and the high info voters who see no difference between Romney Republican and Obama Democratic.

    Caledon Hockley.  Yes, there does seem to be something of him in Mitt or once was if the bullying story is accurate.  

    I forgot about the bullying story, but that plays perfectly into narrative. 

    In the end, I just don't see Romney waiting his turn to get into the lifeboat, let alone going down with the ship so that others may live.  I really don't Obama, I can't see in his heart, but I do believe he would make sure others were in the boats before he himself got in.  Call me a Obamabot.  For the record. I would also see Hillary Clinton doing the same thing as Obama. Which is probably why I am a Democrat.

    On this front, Romney totally failed. He might have scored some points on some fronts, but he is still the one born with the silver spoon in his mouth,

    My impression is that some-maybe many- aristocrats behaved well on the Titanic standing on the deck smoking their cigars as the last life boats were loaded with (some of ) the women and children.

    I hasten to add that I haven't a clue about the actual facts so that impression may purely reflect a fable created by those who control the media.

    But if so, they've been successful:my gut feeling-however it was developed-is that at least with respect to the proportions who behave with bravery the rich,poor and in-between are much alike.

    An interjection:skip if you feel like it.


    At least in the case of England the early battlefields were littered with the bodies of Eton graduates.Working in England I used a company flat near Paddington which was available for use of directors-who seldom availed themselves. But one evening I returned from dinner to find one of them ,deep in a bottle of gin. He'd been briefly famous during WW2 as Montgomery's chief of staff "in the desert" thus his directorship.  He was in a mood to reminisce and I kept my mouth shut and listened. He said in 1914 he went completely untrained- straight from ,yes, Eton to the front and-as he put it-fortunately was wounded almost immediately. "Fortunately" because he then was given some basic training before returning to the war whereas most of his classmates died in the early fighting.

    He finished by saying , in latin, those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make crazy.

    Again reflecting  gut feelings not facts, I feel there are other virtues and vices which are not equally distributed: I think the rich are more apt to behave dishonestly and less apt to be moved by the conditions of the poor.

    Applying this to the presidential candidates, I believe that Romney is more apt to be a decisive, tough-minded leader and  Obama more anxious to improve the lives of the citizens. Since I'm a bleeding heart myself I unhesitatingly support him but see many around me who make the other choice.

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