Vote for Romney; Join a Harem

You’ll be able to read far and wide this year without finding a sicker piece of political writing than Kevin Williamson’s paean to the awesomeness of Mitt Romney’s alpha-maleness, now up on National Review Online.

Williamson’s central argument is that the wives of Romney and his sons have huge litters, consisting mostly of males, while Obama has only two daughters. That proves that Romney, who’s basically a “tribal chieftain,” is manlier than Obama, whose two daughters mean that he practically has “fallopian tubes.” (No, seriously. I’m quoting, accurately and in context.)

Moreover, Romney is really, really rich, and since all women, deep in their 23rd chromosome pair, really want to be part of some sheikh’s harem, “Mitt Romney ought to get 100% of the female vote.”

Now, if I were like Kevin Williamson, I’d point out that admiring alpha males is purely a female trait; the other males mostly want to kill them, or at least replace them. And then I’d draw the natural conclusion about Williamson’s masculinity, perhaps with Romney’s own signature “Attagirl!”

But I’m not at all like that, so instead let me remark that Williamson’s post defines precisely the difference between the extreme right and normal people. Monogamy, which redistributes reproductive opportunities from high-status males to the rest of us, is a fundamentally egalitarian idea. Polygamy is the Randian alternative: equality of opportunity, not equality of result. Just as Romney says children ought to get “as much education as they can afford,” on Williamson’s account every man ought to have as many wives and children as he can afford.

If you are a woman who longs to share a disgustingly rich husband with a dozen or so co-wives, or a man rich enough to afford to keep a harem, or, like Williamson, a pathetic lickspittle of such rich men – someone who would sacrifice his manhood to be a harem guard if the pay were good enough – you should definitely vote Republican.

Else, not.

[Cross-posted at The Reality-based Community]

Mark Kleiman

Mark Kleiman is a professor of public policy at the New York University Marron Institute.