I have referred to Mitt Romney as creepy. Perhaps I have been too kind.
Way back when kids were getting drafted, uniformed, and sent off to Vietnam, Mitt Romney, apparently yearning for an authoritarian outlet that didn’t involve combat, donned the uniform of the Michigan State Police and commenced pulling folks over for jollies.
So says Joe Conason, of The National Memo, who posted this story:
Did Young Mitt Romney Impersonate A Police Officer? Another Witness Says Yes
When Mitt Romney was a college freshman, he told fellow residents of his Stanford University dormitory that he sometimes disguised himself as a police officer – a crime in many states, including Michigan and California, where he then lived. And he had the uniform on display as proof.
The story is based on the accounts of Robin Madden, who happens to be a television producer and writer (among others, “Diagnosis Murder” episodes, as well as, ironically, episodes of “Walker, Texas Ranger”). Conason writes:
Said Madden in a recent interview, “He told us that he had gotten the uniform from his father,” George Romney, then the Governor of Michigan, whose security detail was staffed by uniformed troopers. “He told us that he was using it to pull over drivers on the road. He also had a red flashing light that he would attach to the top of his white Rambler.”
Hopefully, Mitt Fife kept his one bullet in his shirt pocket.
Seriously, I’m not all that surprised that Romney attempted to live out his authoritarian fantasies by impersonating a cop. Isn’t that the point of his presidential campaign?
Mitt’s personality, as revealed by his deeds, is pregnant with rigidness, severity, bossiness. Here is a guy—a committed, hard-core Mormon for starters—who assaulted a fellow student in high school who was suspected of being gay; he let slip that he likes firing people; he made lots of money practicing vulture capitalism; he loved the Vietnam War—just not enough to actually fight it. The revelation that he dressed up as a cop—and apparently acted as one—is just not that shocking.
The proprietor of Bungalow Bill’s, conservative Clay Bowler, found the above picture on the Facebook page of a man named David Overcast. Mr. Overcast happens to be an Ozark, Missouri, police officer. Yes, that’s right. The man who posted the picture above, a loaded gun aimed at liberals, is an officer of the law here in southwest Missouri.
Here’s what Mr. Overcast looks like, when he’s not threatening liberals he has sworn to protect:
In case you’re confused, that’s Mr. Overcast on the left, and obviously that is a liberal fish.
In order to fully get the picture of what kind of guy is Mr. Overcast, here’s three more photos from his Facebook page:
Okay, maybe those photos don’t tell us too much about what kind of mentality we are beholding, but perhaps these images from his Facebook page will:
Now, my point in all this is not to paint Mr. Overcast as the gun-toting, Obama-hating creep he is, but to raise the issue of why some people have a hankering to put on that law-enforcement uniform in the first place.
It’s no secret that some—some—cops get their authoritarian rocks off by throwing their weight around using their uniform and badge. Naturally such folks look for authoritarian traits in their politicians and thus tend to be conservative Republicans. And it so happens that today’s conservatism, as brilliantly explained by former Nixon man, John Dean, is defined by its embrace of such authoritarianism:
Authoritarianism’s impact on contemporary conservatism is beyond question. Because this impact is still growing and has troubling (if not actually evil) implications, I hope that social scientists will begin to write about this issue for general readers. It is long past time to bring the telling results of their empirical work into the public square and to the attention of American voters. No less than the health of our democracy may depend on this being done. We need to stop thinking we are dealing with traditional conservatives on the modern stage, and instead recognize that they’ve often been supplanted by authoritarians.
In the case of the Ozark bully-cop and the GOP wannabe-cop-president, we really don’t need any social scientist to explain that what is at work in the heads of David Overcast and Mitt Romney is nothing but a manifestation of the authoritarian impulse—despotic , dictatorial, domineering—the heart and soul of right-wing politics these days.
The only question is whether this November a majority of Americans will enable Mitt Romney to live out his ultimate authoritarian fantasy by giving him the badge and uniform of the presidency.