Born in the U.S.A: The Manchurian Candidate

Voters going to the polls on Tuesday have a clear choice between a candidate that has overseen four years of economic growth and recovery, of good-paying jobs made right here in the U.S. and between a “Manchurian Candidate,” that is, a candidate who isn’t exactly who he seems to be.

The “Manchurian Candidate” in this case is Mitt Romney, for a number of reasons. The term itself comes from a 1959 book by Richard Condon of the same name wherein an arch-conservative politician was in actually a Soviet agent.

Far be it from me to suggest that Romney is a foreign agent intent on destroying American democracy, but I think the comparison is apt, especially in the sense of the 2004 adaption of the book, wherein a seemingly progressive Democrat is, in actuality, a corporate plant.

Now Romney, as we all know, is no progressive, but, corporate plant? It’s not all that far-fetched. Romney claimed the nomination of the Republican Party largely thanks to donations from the financial sector.

In spite of initial opposition from the Republican base concerning his past sensible stands on women’s issues and marriage equality, the Republicans have warmed up well to the candidate that Wall Street has chosen to represent them Tuesday.

If it speaks like a corporate plant, walks like a corporate plant and quacks like a corporate plant, it might just be a corporate plant. Romney has consistently advocated policy positions that would loot the public sector and drive our common wealth into the hands of the financial elite, as in his own proposals to privatize Social Security and voucherize Medicare.

Romney talks a lot about trade, but he’s with Wall Street on the importance of “free trade,” arguing that protecting American jobs in the face of unfair Chinese labor practices was the wrong thing to do. Beyond that, how seriously can we take Romney to “get tough on China” when he’s spent his entire life making money by ripping up companies, destroying communities and then offshoring the jobs to China?

Should the American public vote for a man that has made his money preying upon American businesses and then moving his money to the Cayman Islands and Switzerland to avoid paying taxes?

The American people are the ultimate arbiters of what happens in Washington. The choice on Tuesday is clear – will we re-elect a president that stands up for American jobs, or one that stands up for Chinese jobs?

Column by Devin Griggs, Opinion Editor. Devin serves as vice president of finances for the Murray State College Democrats.