The Washington Post

Friday Rant: Entitled edition

Every writer likes to write: The OVERLOOKED but MOST IMPORTANT part of the whatever whatever is.....

I can play too. The most important but overlooked line in Romney’s monumental, tour de force performance as an out-of-touch rich soon-to-be-former-presidential-aspirant was when he said that the 47% believe they are ENTITLED TO HEALTH CARE. Entitled! How dare they? Health care? You mean when they are sick?? Note he didn’t say health insurance. Just health care. The nerve of them! And food. He said food too. Not so much as let them eat cake for those unworthies. Entitled! As in, you know, human beings who don’t want to be left standing on a curb somewhere holding a child with a dangerous fever. Entitled!

But the main thing I want to say today is that he got this sense of entitlement COMPLETELY BACKWARDS. You know where the REAL, and new, sense of entitlement resides? I’m glad I asked! It resides in that AUDIENCE he was speaking to. Here’s the biggest mistake regarding letting so much wealth flow to the top .1%. They will NEVER give it up. Those golden 1950’s they pine for? Oh, except those tax rates that made being rich really harder. And a lot less rich. Don’t want THAT part back. The shared prosperity that brought the rosy glow to the cheeks of all those American workers who Norman Rockwell used to paint? Don’t want that part back. It’s not a matter of good times, bad times, ebb and flow of fortune. No, it’s self-definitional. I AM A RICH PERSON AND I DESERVE IT. This thought takes about 5 seconds of low-wattage cognitive activity to become an unbreakable conviction, and what follows is this: Whatever it takes to hold onto their status is what they are going to do. Play roulette with the national financial system to jazz up huge returns? Where’s the guy who will do that for me? Define everyone else as untalented and lazy? Pretty obvious! Buy a president who will cut my taxes AGAIN? Well, there he was at the lectern, bought and paid for. He delivered the commissioned performance, with the conviction that comes from being one of them.

Tom Toles is the editorial cartoonist for The Post and writes the Tom Toles blog. See all of his cartoons here.


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