Mitt Romney’s weapons of mass anachronism
In one brilliant moment in last night’s US Presidential debate, Barack Obama was able to take a Mitt Romney soundbyte – that the US Navy is smaller today than it was in 1916 – and turn it into a meme-beating-meme of his own. Which led to a lot of spin-off memes. But in thinking about it, I realized: Mitt Romney has a lot of reasons to look back fondly at 1916.
Background for non-political junkies
Here’s Barack Obama’s one-liner lampooning Mitt’s fixation with 1916 – as Tweeted by the @Obama2012 team:
POTUS: “You mentioned the Navy and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets.”
— Obama 2012 (@Obama2012) October 23, 2012
Which of course, went viral on social media almost instantly. So last night, hoping to add to the viral feeding frenzy, I posted an infographic (at right) about Mitt Romney and his binders full of modern ideas.
But 1916 was a really interesting choice for Romney to make in many, many other ways. I’ll give you 10 – with my tongue firmly in cheek of course.
10 Reasons for Mitt Romney to like 1916 so much.
- American “manifest destiny” dreams were at their peak. American troops occupied Nicaragua, Panama, Haiti, the Philippines, and a bunch of others. Sure it was expensive. But it was cool.
- The US Navy had WAY more boats in 1916 than today. Okay, they looked like this (below), but there were LOTS of them!
- The US invaded the Dominican Republic. They installed a puppet dictatorship, then spent years fighting grumpy insurgents. Mitt should try that somewhere. It could work!
- Republicans were pushing the US to go to war with Mexico! That would have been awesome!
- Massive military buildups between the world’s superpowers over the previous decade meant that in Europe they were having a Great War!
- It only cost $17 million to build 375 new “aeroplanes” in 1916. In the F35 fighter program that would buy you a floor mat and two barf bags.
- The rich were doing just fine.The Rockefellers and Carnegies were at their height and the richest 1% held more wealth than ever before in history!
- Blacks were allowed to vote, but sneaky tricks were used to keep them away from the polls! Forget photo ID laws. Those 1916 voter suppression ideas were even more radical!
- American women couldn’t vote yet. That would totally help Mitt’s chances!
- A popular Democrat named Woodrow Wilson won a second term running against a completely forgettable Republican opponent. That guy was named… um…
Oh wait. Ignore that last one Mitt! 1916 is totally the year you should focus on!