Note: My little fairy tale was inspired by Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal,” the 1729 satire in which he suggested that Ireland could solve its problems with poverty if parents ate their burdensome children. Willard Mitt Romney seems to have a similar but slightly less gory plan for the 150 million Americans he finds burdensome.
Bishop Romney consulted his mirror, and it confirmed that he was the handsomest of all the presidential candidates.
Bishop Romney then consulted his magical undies, and they confirmed that God does, indeed, favor the rich over the poor, the healthy over the sick, the young over the elderly, whites over non-whites, Jews over Palestinians, heterosexuals over homosexuals, billionaires over union workers, and men over women.
Finally, Bishop Romney consulted his neo-con advisers, and they confirmed that even though the war with Iraq over weapons it did not possess was an unmitigated disaster attacking Iran for the same reason would miraculously usher in a new “American Century.”
Bishop Romney basked in the glow of the certain knowledge that he is a messiah destined to lead America to glory upon glory. But Bishop Romney had a perplexing problem. How, oh how could he achieve his two primary goals of helping his rich patrons avoid the inconvenience of paying federal income taxes, while helping his hawkish cronies resume their quest to usher in an “American Century” by launching war after war in the Middle East?
How could he reduce federal income taxes on the wealthiest 1 percent to less than 1 percent while raising military spending to $8 trillion over the next 10 years? The numbers just refused to add up.
Then Bishop Romney had his Eureka Moment. The parting of the clouds fogging his brain was like the parting of the Red Sea. Suddenly, he saw and understood! He could rid the United States of 47 percent of its population by claiming that food is an “entitlement.” Once 150 million Americans had been eradicated like so many cockroaches, by denying them food, there would be far less “flab” in the American national waistline.
Then the remaining healthy Americans could work night and day, toiling like drudges to paying all the nation’s bills, while the wealthiest 1 percent relaxed and lived the lives of opulent luxury they so richly deserved, just a Bishop Romney did himself. There would be plenty of money left over to fight unwinnable wars, once the poor had been purged. So the children of the drudges could fight war after war on false premises, and if they returned unable to work and pay taxes, they too could be starved to death. It was the perfect plan, and the answer to every fascist’s most fervent prayer!
Bishop Romney was so pleased with his Modest Proposal to kill 150 million birds with one stone that he blurted it out prematurely to some of his closest billionaire friends. Alas, one of those friends was a backstabber who did not agree that starving millions of Americans to death by calling food an “entitlement” is the proper path to national glory. The dastardly traitor blew the whistle, and now it seems that Bishop Romney may have sung his swan song.
Somewhere out west Paul Ryan popped his head out of a gopher hole just long enough to cry “Obviously inarticulate!” prophesying the delay of the new American Century until he heads the ticket, then vanished from sight again.
But perhaps all is not lost, because there are already rumors that Bishop Romney will outsource his Pauper Eradication System Template (PEST) to China, where other super-rich fascists can employ it, in return for hefty royalties. As always, Bishop Romney will profit, as other people’s heads roll, till the Cayman Islands and Bermuda finally vanish like Atlantis beneath the weight of his tax-free banknotes.
Michael R. Burch is a Nashville-based editor and publisher of Holocaust poetry and other “things literary” at www.thehypertexts.com.