As bad as Mitt Romney's campaign for president was, and it was quite dreadful, it pales in comparison to his classless explanation for his shellacking, given a week after he disappeared behind the gates of one of his spectacular residences. He simply trotted out the scurrilous GOP talking point that surfaced within hours of President Obama's overwhelming Electoral College and 3.4 million popular vote margin: it was all due to the "free stuff" the President promised the less fortunate.
Examples he cited included administration efforts to reduce onerous debt on student loans which has become an anchor on our educational system; access to contraception for millions of women in need; and ability of young people under 26 to stay on their parents' health insurance plans. Romney remains oblivious to the trillions of dollars in undeserved tax cuts showered upon our wealthiest citizens, including Mitt himself, during the past 11 years and actually campaigned on increasing this unconscionable largess. Romney's "free stuff" manta quite simply echoes the entire GOP playbook of using code to imply that all the non-white and non-wealthy folks are being bribed away from supporting a candidate and a party dedicated to "getting it all" for America's entitled ruling class. He even singled out African Americans and Latinos as the targeted groups to be bribed for their vote.
When a presidential election is over, it is critical that the loser display class and grace to help heal the inherent divisiveness a campaign brings. Having followed every presidential campaign since 1952, I was shocked and disappointed that Romney was the first to jettison this time honored hallmark of our democracy. At a time when America must heal its divide to surmount its economic malaise, Romney poured gasoline on the fire of class division he campaigned upon. He need only go back four years and view a tape of John McCain's display of class and grace in his concession speech after America elected our first African American president. Sadly, in all his 65 years, Romney has failed to grasp the concept that character is revealed less in how you handle victory, but in how you act when the battle is lost and progress requires honesty, healing and acceptance.