I know what you’re thinking. Impossible. Insane! In violation, not just of common sense, but also of several well-regarded laws of physics. How could Mitt Romney, former financier, former governor, current Republican nominee for president, be the caped crusader of comic book lore?
Let’s start with the facts. Mitt Romney, on top of several exceptional acts of heroism, has an estimated net worth of $250 million. A generous inheritance from his statesman father, along with his own shrewd investing, has made Romney one of the wealthiest presidential candidates in history.
More facts: Mitt Romney is athletic. He might not have a three-hour marathon time like his vice president, but just look at him! That towering stature, those broad shoulders, the ramrod spine … Whether he’s charming Wall Street donors, labeling his enemies as Marxist sympathizers or burying his fist into the solar plexus of Gotham’s criminal underbelly, Romney strikes an imposing presence.
But don’t let that winning smile fool you — Mitt Romney is holding something back. As the only presidential candidate in the modern era to withhold his tax returns from the American people, the man has a well-earned penchant for secrecy. What does he have to hide, the voters wonder? A sub-10 percent effective tax rate? A history of tax evasion by way of the Cayman Islands? A high-tech black-matte missile-firing armored car? I know, I know, this is ridiculous — where would he put the damn thing? Perhaps it is more than coincidence that in March of this year, Mitt Romney began construction of a California mansion that will include a subterranean four-car garage with a — wait for it — car elevator. Is Mitt Romney building an extravagant, indulgent, tone-deaf tribute to his wealth … or a top-secret crime-fighting cavern? I report, you decide.
One more fun fact: In high school, Mitt Romney had a well-known hobby of impersonating police officers and “pranking” friends by sticking a light on his car and pulling them over. I can’t make this up.
Hold on, you’re saying. So what if Mitt Romney is athletic, fabulously wealthy, strangely secretive, has a bizarre history of dispensing vigilante justice, and is literally in possession of a giant underground lair? That’s not all Batman was! Batman was brave. Batman was dedicated to protecting the innocent, and sacrificing for others. All I hear about Romney is that he has no soul!
Let’s examine the record. In 2003, Mitt Romney was relaxing at his summer home in Wolfeboro, N.H., when two women sunk their boat in a nearby lake. As they were drowning in the dark water, Mitt Romney commandeered his son’s jet ski and raced to the middle of the lake. He rescued the two girls — and their dog!
Romney’s heroism extends onto dry land. In 1996, the daughter of one of Romney’s Bain Capital partners disappeared in New York City. Romney immediately closed down Bain Capital and flew every one of his employees to New York City. He enlisted his workers and associates in a massive effort, knocking on doors and stapling fliers to telephone poles. His efforts made the evening news, leading directly to the discovery of the girl, who was found shivering in a basement after a massive Ecstasy overdose. According to one doctor, she “might not have survived another day."
Romney’s tax plan is baloney, his cuts to Medicaid inhumane. But political differences shouldn’t distract us from an obvious truth: The man is personally brave. A hero that America might deserve, if not the one it needs right now. As the election enters its home stretch, let’s keep the attacks policy-based and intelligent. Let us not assail the quality of the candidates’ characters, but instead examine the logic of their budgets. He might not get my vote in November, but there’s no one I’d rather have clearing my streets of scum and villainy.