Mitt Romney may or may not be a job creator, but he [or his campaign team] sure knows how to create a hot new phrase. Under scrutiny for the discrepancy between his SEC filings and his avowals of having left Bain Capital in 1999, Romney has now declared that, in 2002, he climbed into his corporate time machine, went back in time and “retired retroactively” from Bain in 1999.
Brilliant! It’s tempting to pro-actively call Mitt Romney a 21st century Marty McFly—but he’s not. You see, McFly, in “Back to the Future” was worried that his adventure in the souped-up Delorean would screw up his family—and his own life—by altering history. This is not a concern for Romney. In fact, Romney’s “retroactive retirement” gambit is specifically designed to alter history.
When I first heard the phrase, my reaction was that it doesn’t pass the giggle test. But on further consideration, I’ve decided to endorse the concept of retroactivity, because I like the benefits. For example:
If Mitt Romney can rewrite his resume—and history– and retire retroactively, why can’t the rest of us:
-Graduate retroactively with the 4.0 GPA we had after freshman year?
-Retroactively declare Al Gore the winner of the 2000 Presidential election?
-Retroactively not eat that piece of pecan pie with whipped cream topping?
-Tell the police officer that you retroactively did not run through that red light?
With a good imagination, a willingness to suspend disbelief and a group of friends and advisors willing to say anything, the possibilities are endless. For all of us who have histories we’d like to amend, I hope the concept goes viral.
Gloria Shur Bilchik is a freelance writer and community volunteer in St. Louis, Missouri. She is the editor of Occasional Planet. She views the preservation of progressive values as vital to making the US a humane, livable place for her children and grandchildren.