Mitt Romney's AMERCIA: No Laughing Matter

When will we get down to the business of choosing the next leader of the free world?

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Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney should have been doing a victory lap the day after clinching the Republican presidential nomination. Instead, he became the object of ridicule.

When Americans woke up this morning to a new Romney mobile app that misspelled "AMERICA" as "AMERCIA," the jokes immediately began rolling in.  Memes proliferated. "The Simpsons"  was referenced. And the Twitterverse  hasn't stopped laughing.

The campaign has said it sent a corrected version of the app to Apple.

Some may have wrongly assumed that with the  more-ridiculed GOP candidates out of the way, voters could get down to the rather serious business of choosing the next leader of the free world. Especially with the country  deeply polarized over its current president.

But this is 21st century America, where the meme culture prevails and almost everything is material for a joke.

When comedian Jon Stewart held a mock political rally on the National Mall in 2010, the Washington Post's Alexandra Petri  described our generation this way:

"What binds us is not a common experience. ... It's our mindset—a staunch and unstinting refusal to take anything seriously. ... Sum up our lives in a phrase? The Importance Of Never Being Too Earnest.

We know what happens to people who take themselves seriously. They become bent and broken with care and develop arterial plaques. Sometimes they're elected to political office."

The repartee is all good and well, of course, until it distracts from issues of importance. Does anyone know how Romney would have dealt with the recent massacre in Syria as president? (Romney put out a statement today saying the U.S. should "increase pressure" on Russia to stop supporting Assad and "work with partners" to arm the opposition in Syria.)

Petri concluded her piece by quoting poet Ogden Nash, whose words decidedly make the AMERCIA mobile app not so funny. In 1936, Nash wisely said: "How can anyone accomplish anything immortal/When they realize they look pretty funny doing it and have to stop to chortle?"

Elizabeth Flock is a staff writer for U.S. News & World Report. You can contact her at eflock@usnews.com or follow her on Twitter and Facebook.