Column: The GOP’s Daddy Issues

While running for president in 2012, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney was chatting up some students at Otterbein University about how they could get ahead in this world. He offered that his friend, Jimmy John, borrowed $20,000 from his parents to start a sandwich shop. “This kind of divisiveness, this attack of success, is very different than what we’ve seen in our country’s history,” said the candidate. “We’ve always encouraged young people: Take a shot, go for it, take a risk, get the education, borrow money if you have to from your parents, start a business.”

Yes, Romney, the son of a governor who also ran for president, knows how helpful parents can be. The U.S. has two Australias worth of impoverished people—23 million Aussies, 45 million Americans below the poverty line. This could all be solved if these dummies would just swallow their pride and ask Mommy and Daddy for some dough. Stop attacking success already!

Jeb Bush, who’s still unofficial in his bid for the White House, says he’s his own man, while two former presidents—his brother and father—raise money for the family’s super PAC. The battle cry of every trust-fund kid everywhere: I’m my own man! Jeb’s completely independent! He’s his own Decider. The only thing he needs from his family is their money, connections, former staffers, emotional support and name recognition. Other than that, he’s totally on his own.

Just like how paper is completely independent from trees, diamonds completely different from carbon, global warming not even related to pollution. You know, super hyper absolutely autonomous! Jeb’s like an island…floating in a sea of legacy admissions.

None of this even comes close to the obtuseness from the self-certified Senator Rand Paul in the wake of the Baltimore riots. Paul, son of former Congressman Ron Paul, said on Laura Ingraham’s radio show this week, “The thing is that, really, there are so many things we can talk about that I think it’s something we talk about, not in the immediate aftermath but over time, you know, the breakdown of the family structure, the lack of fathers, the lack of sort of a moral code in our society.”

Apparently the tipping point in B-more needs to be met with boilerplate from people running for president. Blah blah moral code. Blah blah family structure. Blah blah idle blather tax cuts Benghazi Monica Lewinsky ISIS.

It’s worth noting that as the family has “broken down” and there are more single Americans—single mothers, single fathers—than there ever has been before and the crime rate is also the lowest in decades. So the argument that we’re seeing rioting in the streets because more people aren’t getting married is disingenuous. The data could be telling us more single parents make for less violent crime. (It isn’t; that’s an oversimplification.) So stay single, folks, it’s for the good of the nation.

But let’s unpack this product of nepotism’s reprimand of the black community for “lack of fathers.” Now, there’s no debating fathers are awesome. Especially when yours was a U.S. congressman and perennial presidential candidate with a near-rabid cult following and you have proven yourself to not be too bright. Having a famous dad tends to smooth over a lack of basic civic knowledge. On Obamacare, Rand released a statement: “Just because a couple people on the Supreme Court declare something to be ‘constitutional’ does not make it so,” said the scion. “The whole thing remains unconstitutional.” Actually, Randal, that’s exactly what makes something constitutional: the people sitting on the Supreme Court—not you—saying so.

Paul also conflates the debt and the deficit, doesn’t know which side Russia is on in Syria and is vehemently against drones unless he isn’t. Plus he’s a noted Wikipedia (of all things!) plagiarist. He’s the classic “what dumb people think smart people sound like” candidate this season.

Thankfully he has a father who helped him get through college and land a government job.

But Rand Paul explaining to rioters—incensed by injustice and police brutality—that they just need fathers—would make even Marie Antoinette cringe herself to death.

Mainly because Paul’s 22-year-old son has been popped three times for unlawful drinking—including one assault on a flight attendant. This is, of course, just anecdotal evidence but maybe a father isn’t a panacea. Maybe you can have a father and still be a terrifying threat to public safety.

Or maybe Rand Paul just doesn’t want to let an opportunity to wag his finger at black people pass him by. Which is what dumb people tend to do, at incredibly stupid times.

@tinadupuy
Photo by PBS Newshour