Romney’s Side Course of Culture
nytimes.com — When Mitt Romney asserted last week that “culture does matter,” he settled into a pose that was more triumphalist than anthropologist. Romney had begun by asserting that culture explained the difference in G.D.P. between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, but soon he was claiming that culture also made the United States “the greatest economic power in the history of the earth.” His attempt to define American culture settled in on vague attributes like “patriotism,” “family orientation,” “honor and oath” and “freedom,” a list that seemed cribbed from Ron Swanson’s Pyramid of Greatness. Is it worth noting that America, itself, was secured from its aboriginal tribes through centuries of oath-breaking, through a malleable regard for freedom, and through the auctioning of families?