Pundits debating who “won” the second Obama-Romney debate, are mostly giving it to Obama. Romney talked fast but said nothing new, not even which tax loopholes he’d close. Obama, less “polite,” pointed out mis-statements, policy reversals, investments in China, and took offense at Romney’s charge that he’d not cared about the Benghazi attack. Obama made strong points on women’s issues, but his killer line was that gasoline prices were low at the beginning of his term because following the Bush crash, demand was low, asking if Romney would lower gas prices the same way. To understand Romney’s flips, flops, and lies, one need understand that he’s applying “Game Theory” to his run for the presidency.
Game Theory is "the study of mathematical models of conflict and cooperation between intelligent rational decision-makers." Rigorously taught at Harvard, Romney applied it with great success in Bain Capital. In Game Theory, lying is not forbidden, it is a tactic. When he said, “I like to fire people,” he meant it. A Game player who empathizes with his opponents will lose, and in Game Theory, all are opponents, and losing is Original Sin. Romney believes Game Theory can be applied to his presidential campaign, and to running the U.S.
He points to his long successful marriage, loyal wife, stalwart sons, and how he gave himself to his church as missionary, bishop, and to succor those less fortunate. Assuming this is true, in Game Theory, truths are also tactics. The real question is: can a man be selfless in one context and heartless in another?
In Germany, in 1985, I met a university student of political science, who said, “I need to understand why the generation of our fathers became mass-murderers.” Today he is a professor, whose PhD is on “compartmentalization,” of governments and human souls. Extensive studies show that Nazi extermination camp guards who in the course of a day’s work beat people to death, could go home at night, listen to Mozart, and be dutiful husbands and fathers.
So, yes, a person can be a family man in one context, icily cruel in another. Within his church community, Mitt Romney is a staunch family man, outside of it, a Game player who will do whatever it takes to win.
Were Romney President, would the Game relieve suffering as he uses it hoping to speed up a slowly recovering U.S. economy? And how would he do against the unelected leaders of China, Iran, and other countries whose leaders got there by playing the Game, and whose chips are cowed populations, deadly arsenals, and zero regard for human rights? Remember that Stalin and Hitler were successful Game players.
Finally, will American voters give Romney a chance to play his Game in the White House where his chips would be the 1%, the 47%, the 99%, and command of the world’s greatest military?
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