Following, from Italy, the Obama/Romney debate the other day I was dismayed about how simplistic was it all.

Some of the most relevant claims used from a side or the other are a constant in all political debates, in most countries I guess. On top of this, there seem to be a much greater attention in the US, about the “form” over substance. Who smiled the most, who sounded more secure of himself, who kept more control of his facial expressions. So it is a rather obvious claim I’d make: it wasn’t a “political” debate. The politic I heard from both parties was fake. It was instead just a show, theater.

A simplistic analysis could cover all the meaningful points. For example it is very obvious to see Romney’s weakness by just looking at his speech patterns:
“I know what it takes to…”
“I understand what it takes.”
“We must…”

He affirms the obvious, without ever saying HOW. Or WHAT. It evokes politics without ever saying something concrete. Every phrase he says is missing one half: how he intends to carry out the things he promises.

The “intention” is manifest. Romney intends to tell American people whatever it takes to win. It is that simple.

The entire deal stops there. Romney is not interested in explaining what he’ll do if he’s elected. He’s interested on winning the elections. Generalizing: the “now” is more important that what will happen afterwards.

This idea crosses over to the political idea. You need energy and more jobs? Then Romney gives them now. Drill more for more oil. Exploit all the natural source America has left. Squeeze it all out, right now. Because he isn’t in the least concerned to what happens long-term. Obama shows more concern for long-term impact of his choices, but long-term doesn’t pay off in a political election. Most people are selfish and think short-term by constitution.

The rest of the political debate is about the game of the three boxes:


The relationship between these three “boxes” is not political. It is not a subjective thing. It’s simply factual and depends on the real world. If you want to lower TAXES overall and still want to keep the same level of SERVICES, then the DEFICIT goes up. If you want to lower TAXES without affecting the DEFICIT, then you’ll have to cut SERVICES.

Romney promises that he’ll lower taxes across the board for EVERYONE. That the deficit will go down, and that he’ll provide excellent services. This is not a political plan, it’s simply an objective FRAUD. So let’s call things with the proper name empty of rhetoric.

When he brings up the example of some desperate woman without a job asking him if he can help with her situation, he says “Yes, that’s what I can do.” This isn’t just a lie, but it is speculation on other people’s suffering for personal interest. It’s a sign of how ruthless he is. It is unacceptable, disrespectful and criminal. Because the grater the NEED, the most careful and honest you HAVE to be when you promise a solution. Because not only he won’t be able to help that woman, but he’s also doing it for a personal advantage.

But Romney isn’t interested on being earnest. He’s interested on *appearing* as earnest. He’s not himself. He plays a role. He doesn’t say what he thinks, he says what you want to hear. Whatever you want to hear. He’ll say something to someone, and then the exact opposite to someone else. Romney will say that he’ll help exactly the % of people in front of him right at that moment, because it’s convenient. He can say one moment that he’ll work for 100% of people and another moment that 47% of people are govern-dependent victims. It’s absolutely logical. Why? Because when he was speaking in the second circumstance he was in front of people that wanted to hear just that. Romney says what you want to hear, so you vote for him. And that’s why a lot of the debate with Obama ends with a sort of “me too”. With the difference that Obama at least tries to restraint his political idea within the boundaries of reality, whereas Romney will say exactly what he think people want to hear. No matter how completely absurd it is. To win the elections you need to make people dream.

Romney will create more jobs, lower taxes for everyone, cut the deficit, make America autonomous with energy, take care of the environment, strengthen the use of green power, reduce criminality, crack down on China and cure cancer. Because he believes he can say whatever the fuck pleases him. He’s burden free, responsibility free. He only wants one thing: your trust and your vote.

The model he uses for himself is a winner. Real politics is about people getting involved. And not observing things from far away and nodding their approval. But the great majority of people don’t care about politics and won’t get involved. They want to delegate the choice-making and responsibilities to someone who takes charge of EVERYTHING. They want the holy savior. They want to have faith on a President that will take care of everything. And then, one day, they’ll want someone to blame for everything so that this wheel will make another turn. They do not care HOW things will be done. They only want them being done, right now. Romney knows this. He knows that people voting for him aren’t interested in HOW he’ll lower taxes, create more jobs and everything else.

On the bottom of all this there’s some real politics. One handhold Romney has is that a way to rig the game of the three boxes above is economical growth. Economical growth brings more jobs, lowers the deficit and can lower the taxes for each, because it increases directly the volume of money that those three boxes deal with. But usually economic growth requires money being spent to jumpstart it, the deficit increasing, and America can’t afford that kind of program. So if he can hope of achieving something similar then it is about removing all rules. Deregulate everything and let businessmen go wild. Let everything loose so that there can be a net earning. Go after profit AT ALL COSTS. The lack of rules can offer a short term advantage and, again, long term is not a problem because he won’t be President by then. Some people will be crushed underfoot by this process, but that’s the price to pay. They’ll be guilty of not being rich and not having taken advantage of all the opportunities America offered. The American dream is paved with bones.

The other handhold Romney has over Obama is what Obama himself exploited to become President. When Obama was elected the first time, he was something new staked against a system. He could promise change, and he won because of those promises. But today Obama IS the system. He’s stuck in a role and he can’t promise changes. This pattern is the same no matter in what country you live. The current political party is always at a disadvantage against the competitor. And that’s why Romney gains points whenever he focuses his arguments on what Obama has or hasn’t done.

On top of all this, Obama has his hands tied, whereas Romney is free to take advantage of every opportunity. For Obama this is like playing a game of chess where your opponent plays with a different set of rules. And that’s why I think Obama’s strategy should be to overturn the whole table. This is not a game where the two players are in their own fields. Obama has NO HOPE of describing a political plan that can look better than Romney’s plan, because Romney isn’t playing by the same rules. It doesn’t need to “add up”. You can’t win that kind of match if not by accepting to do the same. And if that happens then there’s zero difference between Romney and Obama. So what Obama should do is not focus on his own plan, but focus on the rules and the game that Romney’s playing. He should treat Romney as a parody to show exactly how Romney’s agenda is working. More simply: he should expose how simplistic, self-focused and dishonest is that plan.

And to do that he can’t simply state “Romney’s plan is”, and Romney then saying, “Nope, that’s not my plan, my plan is.” Because that kind of back and forth establishes the kind of balance where Romney PROSPERS. Obama can’t play the politically-correct game, because that’s where Romney built his own strategy.

Romney will keep a relevant advantage as long America continues to focus on the participants, and not on the rules.

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