April 21, 2017 / From the Editor
In a moment when so much information is unreliable and even more distressing, we feel …
September 22, 2014
From Dan Rhodes :: Editor-in-Chief.
In a recent interview, Mitt Romney once again displayed how sore a loser he is by emphatically declaring that had he been elected president he would be doing a much better job than Obama. It is clear that his ego is matched only by his inability to conceive of things not going his way.
The fact of the matter, however, is that things have been going quite well for Romney and his ilk, a fact iterated in the recent finding that the top 3% in America now own 54% of all wealth. This is a rise of nearly 3% since 2009, and probably remains a conservative estimate given the widespread practice of the extremely wealthy to skirt taxes by hiding their booty in tax havens overseas.
More to the point, in relating his dissatisfaction for the Obama administration’s performance, Romney is merely repeating a neo-liberal utopianism that Karl Polanyi noted several decades ago. As a result of neo-liberal policies only the top 3%’s yachts have risen quite dramatically while the majority of Americans have found themselves drowning in a sea of debt and sinking wages. This cannot be because neo-liberal policies don’t work, or so the story goes. Instead, like all utopian dreams, it must be that there is some other factor corrupting its purity—some external component disrupting the gracious flow of this system.
Romney has only seized upon this utopianism for his own personal vendetta—charging Obama for the imperfections while wagging his finger to the public for (a fact still incomprehensible to him) not electing him. “I told you so.” While we can’t really know what life in America would have been like under a Romney administration, one thing we can be sure of is that some other culprit would have sneaked into the society to corrupt the utopian ideal. That story never changes.
Dan Rhodes is Editor-in-Chief of The Other Journal. He is also Minister of Political and Missional Life at Emmaus Way in Durham, North Carolina, and the author (with Tim Conder) of Free for All: Rediscovering the Bible in Community (Baker Books, 2009). He is currently a candidate for the doctorate of theology at Duke University Divinity School. He lives in Raleigh with his wife, Elizabeth.