Yesterday, the Washington Post published a report on G.O.P. presidential candidate (and Baha Men enthusiast ) Mitt Romney’s high school years. “Bullying supreme” is how one of his former classmates described a particularly grisly moment when A$AP Romney and crew ganged up on a non-conformist longhair they suspected of being gay and chopped off his golden locks. A pretty awful tale — albeit one based on someone’s fifty-year-old memory. But a detail of the report caught my eye: Romney went to Cranbrook, which means he stalked the same hallways as Papa Doc, villain of 8 Mile (“ But I know something about you/You went to Cranbrook, that’s a private school …”).
It made me wonder — who would make a better President: a robotic, tin-eared politician who enjoys being able to fire people, or a local battle rapper who thought it would be cool to name himself after a Haitian dictator whose murderous reign resulted in the murder of about 30,000 of his countrymen. “ What’s the matter, dog/You embarrassed? ” Unlike Doc—real name “Clarence” — Romney’s probably proud of his silver spoon bona fides. They both defend the sanctity of the traditional family, the progeny of parents enjoying a “ real good marriage .”
Mitt is all about free markets; Papa Doc does him one better, as the leader of the Leaders of the Free World. (Then again, Mitt is down with the leader of Papa John’s . Free pizza!) Papa Doc has a weed carrier named Lyckety Splyt, while Romney thinks corporations are people. Both have been known to gang up on the meek. “ He’s scared to death/ He’s scared to look in his fucking yearbook /Fuck Cranbrook .” Doc is merely a “ halfway crook ” while his fellow Cranbrook alum is merely…“yo …yo. ”
Impressive credentials here. But what about that most nebulous quality of modern politics — “authenticity?” In one corner, a guy looking like wealth, a tradition-and-values romantic who simply can’t fathom that anyone wouldn’t aspire to live just like him. In the other, a guy play-acting Detroit fantasy, assembling his little crew and stomping out the poor and unfortunate just for kicks. Maybe they have more in common than we thought. “Fuck this battle, I don’t wanna win.”