People have drawn the connection between Mitt Romney and Patrick Bateman before. Bateman, in “American Psycho,” talked of concealing himself beneath a “mask of sanity.” Bateman was, quite literally, a blank canvas upon which all other characters projected who they thought he was: a preppy, Marcus Halberstram, an asshole, Paul Allen, grumpy, a Harvard graduate, etc. The same is true of Romney. He is whomever you need him to be—a Mormon, a liberal conservative, a job creator, a corporate raider.
None of them are accurate, though. Romney’s identity is so fragmented that he could easily be a Thomas Pynchon creation. None of this is really news either.
It has been my thought for some time that Romney is, beneath it all, a psychopath who is just barely able to conceal his real face—his shadow self, to get Jungian for a moment. What we have below is four-year old campaign video evidence of that real Romney. This Romney is sublimated in order to make money and gain political power to make more money for him and his friends.
Watch the video, in which an AP reporter reminds Romney that his ’08 campaign was run by a lobbyist, and tell me if you cannot see that Romney’s shadow is aching to break out of his meat suit and beat the living shit out of the reporter. Romney’s face says everything and it is truly terrifying. Romney’s mask disappears and we are shown the psychopathic rage on which his entire business career and political ethos were founded: a blank expression concealing total rage at everyone in the world who doesn’t agree with him or whom he finds socially inferior.
Romney, not willing to be upstaged by a plebeian who called bullshit on his lie, finishes the press conference then circles back to the AP reporter for a second round. Watch his face and his eyes: they practically darken.
It is, quite simply, the psychopathology of privilege.
And that is the man who wants to run this country.