Thursday, September 20, 2012

Willard Romney Loman

After reading about Mitt Romney still being not just unliked but really unliked, I was reminded of the scene early in  Death of a Salesman when Willy Loman tells his wife, "You know, the trouble is, Linda, people don’t seem to take to me."

Several other comparisons suddenly seem quite obvious. Mitt and Willy change their minds about important matters frequently and quickly. In Willy's case the important matters are his family.  In Mitt's case, the important matters are every issue that matters to the American public. In his defense, one should point out that Mitt has never done a 360 in eight lines as Willy does as the play opens:

WILLY: The trouble is he’s lazy, goddammit!
LINDA: Willy, please!

WILLY: Biff is a lazy bum!

LINDA: They’re sleeping. Get something to eat. Go on down.

WILLY: Why did he come home? I would like to know what brought him home.

LINDA: I don’t know. I think he’s still lost, Willy. I think he’s very lost.

WILLY: Biff Loman is lost. In the greatest country in the world a young man with such — personal attractiveness, gets lost. And such a hard worker. There’s one thing about Biff — he’s not lazy. [emphasis mine]
Both also share the belief that money makes the man. Mitt's comment on the 47% stands for itself; Willy asserts,

How can he find himself on a farm? Is that a life? A farmhand? In the beginning, when he was young, I thought, well, a young man, it’s good for him to tramp around, take a lot of different jobs. But it’s more than ten years now and he has yet to make thirty-five dollars a week!
Like Willy, Mitt never "put a bolt to a nut." Most importantly, both are salesmen who don't seem very good at selling themselves

Willy is the protagonist who illustrates the plight of common man. He provides the classic tragic reminder "there but for the grace of God go I."

On the other hand, Mitt Romney does not remind us that a "small man can be just as exhausted as a great man." He's not "way out there in the blue, riding on a smile and a Shoeshine." If the world doesn't smile back, it's not an earthquake, and if he gets a couple of spots on his tie, he's got at least $400 million to buy a few new ones or send the stained ones to the cleaners. Willard Romney just provides the tragic reminder that a rich man can be just as lost and clueless as a the rest of us.

UPDATE: A commenter proves himself to be an excellent Charley.



Anonymous said...

That's perfect. Send this in to Chris Matthews.

Unknown said...

I hadn't seen or heard about your comment until I was googling this morning! I just posted a YouTube video on the same topic. Take a look. Clearly two great minds thinking alike.