Mrs Romney—Ann—was the star of the show last night (Tuesday) at the Republican Convention in Tampa. She did ok too.
She’s auditioning for First Lady, so it was only fit and proper that she got emotional. About love, actually—the love between herself and her husband, our candidate.
See the video at Ann Romney tells Republicans Mitt ‘will not fail’
Peggy Sue was one of the most popular girls in high school, enjoying life with her friends and her boyfriend Charlie. It was the typical high school dream, until she finds herself married to Charlie and becomming a young mother. However, her life takes a serious turn, leaving her depressed and facing divorce when Charlie runs off with another woman. At her high school reunion, Peggy Sue faints and wakes up back in high school. Despite her confusion about what has happened and how to get back to her own time, Peggy realizes that she has a chance to start her life over, to avoid her depression and her marriage to Charlie. However, just because she knows the future, does that mean she can really avoid it? Source
That was no republican convention. No, that was a high school reunion. And that’s not who we think it is either—it’s Peggy Sue Romney, in her senior year at high school, taking us back in time to the 1950s when life was sweet and love true.
Like America, she has the chance to start over again. She chooses him and America should too.
Note that America is cast in the female role here. Mitt Romney is courting her. He is one of two suitors for the hand of America. He’s got the bashful smile. All he he needs is a bunch of flowers.
Peggy Sue provides a character reference. She tells us that he is a good man who can be trusted. America—he will not take advantage of your innocence. ‘This man will not let us down. This man will lift up America.’
It was a touching, heartfelt performance. I don’t doubt that Mitt and Ann are a devoted couple. But that’s no qualification for being president.
This is the romance of nostalgia and I doubt that Americans will fall for it. (Although it worked for Reagan).
‘Nostaligia’ comes from ‘nostos’ meaning ‘return home’ and ‘algia’ meaning ‘longing’.
We’re nostalgic for something real. We long for a sense of belonging, for a home in a quickly moving society of atomized post humans. When she says Mitt ‘will take America to a better place’, that’s what she’s getting at.
But the ‘real’ is gone. It can be recreated only in a movie, Peggy Sue. We live simulated lives, with simulated emotions. There is no home to go back to. We have to move forward and create something fresh, something authentic.
There is something more.
The Romney’s live in Belmont, a suburb of Boston.
Belmont (a suburb of Venice?) is also the home of Portia in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. Portia is a rich, beautiful and intelligent heiress. Her choice of husband is bound by the stipulations of her father’s will. Potential suitors must choose one of three caskets, of lead, silver, and gold. He who choses the right casket win’s Portia’s hand in marriage.
What, then, does the right casket contain? It contains Portia’s portrait.
Perhaps, the United States is like Portia. They are both a little weary of the world.
PORTIA By my troth, Nerissa, my little body is aweary of this great world.
Like Portia, America must accept the suitor who follows the stipulations it inherited. Like Portia, America derides each suitor. In both cases, it is a lottery.
America will choose the casket which contains its own image.