`Trading Places': Mitt Romney and Thomas Malthus

Yahoo Contributor Network

Mitt Romney has been characterized as and compared to exceptionally unpleasant rich guys ranging from Thurston Howell, III to Scrooge McDuck. What is missing from most of the comparisons of Mitt Romney to funny rich guys from Richie Rich to Mr. Burns is a definite lack of Malthusian darkness. Deep within the black heart of Mitt Romney exists the worst of all possible evolutionary scenarios: that Malthusian imperative toward the necessary destruction of the lesser to ensure the survival of the greater. Mitt Romney may not outwardly express belief in evolution, but he cannot hide behind his Etch-a-Sketch view of politically conservative necessity the very real sense that he clings heartily to concept of survival of the fittest.

What those who want to choose a comedic figure to which Romney is best compared are missing is this very clear and sincere reality that Mitt and Malthus are twin sons of not-so-very-different mothers. Two more offspring of this baby mama are those characters played by Ralph Bellamy and Don Ameche in "Trading Places." If you really want to search through a long history of despicable comedic representations of the worst that capitalism has to offer, you cannot do much better than the Duke Brothers of this Eddie Murphy comedy.

If you haven't watched "Trading Places" lately-or at all-then you really should. In order to fully appreciate the John Nash-like scientific patterns of game theory-esque coincidence, you should make a double feature of the evening by pairing it with the leaked video of Mitt Romney speaking to a roomful of donors who could easily be confused with one or the other or both of the Duke Brothers.

"The power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the Earth to produce subsistence for man."

That's not a line from "Trading Places" which is funny in one sense of the word. It's not a line from Mitt Romney's address to the super-rich donors which is funny in other sense of the world. It is from the writings of Thomas Malthus, which is only funny to guys like the Dukes, the Romneys and every single donor who ever was privileged enough to hear Mitt Romney speak straight from the heart before he was forced to let the rest of us become so privileged through circumstances beyond his control. What it means is that the vast majority of us are easily sacrificed to ensure food for the privileged.

Watch "Trading Places" again but put yourself outside the events taking place this time and stick yourself right into the characters played by either Eddie Murphy or Dan Aykroyd. It would be even better if you were to acquaint yourself with the theories of Thomas Malthus. If you can do all that, you will realize that "Trading Places" is one of the least funny comedies of all time and it will go a long way toward helping you understand why a great many people fear the result of Mitt Romney's overlords controlling the direction of this country.

Mitt Romney is counting on your not being able to do that. Mitt Romney needs you to find "Trading Places" just as funny the next time you watch it as it was the first time you watched it.

For more from Timothy Sexton, Yahoo!'s first Writer of the Year, check out:

Was Thomas Malthus Wrong or Just Too Quick to Judgment?

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