There are plenty of people in this world who seem intent on insisting that things — our politics, our culture, our moral code, you name it — are irredeemably terrible.
This is often the defeatist posture assumed when people talk about racism or bigotry against black Americans and Americans with Hispanic bloodlines. The exaggerators exaggerate, and this results in a second phenomenon: Others learn to raise their guard every time they hear a complaint, reflexively resisting almost any dire characterization.
Surely, there are many hucksters who present themselves, no matter how irrationally, as race leaders or civil-rights leaders, and who profit by portraying the world as a moral cesspool.
Yet there is a level of morale that works against this. All in Washington is not about the “do nothing” Congress. More is definitely being done. Our morale is affirmed when we see surprising but disturbing actions countered by steady, patient, careful effort.
We don’t need hot air and vitriol. We need focus.
This is exactly what we got when the Justice Department won a $175 million victory for black and Hispanic loan borrowers from Wells Fargo. The bank steered the borrowers into more expensive subprime mortgages even when they qualified for better products. The charges were so strong, Wells Fargo had to back down while denying any sort of conspiracy.
Numbers and dates are independent of ideology, no matter how they are spun, which appears to be one of the reasons there is so much nervous blood in the water or on the campaign trail of the Republican candidate.
He is clearly worried about how all of the money and numbers may detrimentally add up.
There is reason to believe in the power of an honest and responsible press examining everything that Mitt Romney says is true. For instance, in a story published last week, The Boston Globe pulled another mask off of Romney.
For many months now, Romney’s story has been that he retired from Bain Capital in 1999 to run the Salt Lake City Olympic Games. As the Globe shows, federal filings make clear he did not leave until 2002.
This is not another chink in the Republican candidate’s armor, it is a big hole — and further documentation of how far away from the truth Romney is willing to be.
Why has Romney been firmly denying he had a role in top-level decision making in those final years at Bain? Could it have anything to do with the fact that, among other things, the company invested at a company called Stericycle, whose services included the disposal of aborted fetuses? We will see. It is understandable why Romney would be happy to distance himself from this.
So, too, would he like to stay at arm’s length from Bain’s involvement in shutting down a steel plant in Kansas City, Mo., and a whole range of other decisions that he might not enjoy answering to.
If the buck stops at the president’s desk, does it also stop at the CEO and chairman’s desk? Good question.
Romney recently told multiple news divisions that in early 1999, he ended all management responsibilities with Bain Capital to run the Olympics full time. His name was on those official documents as CEO, but he had had no role whatsoever in making any substantive decisions.
We’ll see if that explanation holds up.
Stanley Crouch can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.