I try to be open-minded. I try to think that, even when someone holds views different from mine or behaves in a way I see as harmful to myself or others, deep down they are OK people. Mitt Romney sure makes it hard to keep believing it.
By now the remarks Mitt made in the company of peers, among people he did not need to dissemble for, are old news. In his view, those in the lower 47% of income earners in our country are not worth worrying about. He views us as moochers, looking for a government hand out. He repeated the lie that those people do not pay taxes (if you get any kind of paycheck you pay Social Security and Medicaid, if you own a phone or buy gasoline you are paying a regressive sales tax on them, no one gets away from taxes.)
I am saddened, but not surprised by this display. I should not be surprised that a member of the top 1 tenth of one percent should turn out to be a sociopath. Even the decent ones are so far removed from our situation, so steeped in their own class privilege, that they cannot understand what life is like for those “beneath” them, or how their decisions affect the rest of us. What really saddens me though, is not the man himself, or his words, but how little impact those words will have.
So many of the 47% that he reviled will still gladly vote for the man. I cannot quite wrap my head around that. Oh, sure, the African-American, Hispanic and Queer votes will likely go the President’s way, but most of the poor, white voters will cast their lot with Romney. They will do so because despite the fact that he does not see them as one of his, they see him as one of theirs. He is not. He is not like us. He has never worried where his next meal will come from, whether he will have a roof over his head, whether he will be able to send his kids to college, or whether a random act of violence would shatter his world.
His worry is that he and his peers will not be able to slop as much into their trough as they would like. They will still be rich beyond most of our dreams, but they are the new aristocracy and to ask them to give anything back to the society that has been so kind to them is unthinkable. He truly thinks he is above most Americans. Why would you want to support someone who thinks so little of you?
So if you have been a Romney supporter so far, I want you to think of who is in that 47%, and whether or not you are one of them. Are you a military vet getting by on low paying jobs, or seasonal jobs? Are you the parent of a child with special needs? Are you in a semi-self employed trade, such as a hairstylist, who has to worry about paying rent on their chair as well as for their house? Do you not own a ten thousand square foot house? If you can answer yes to any of these (and probably a few hundred other questions I do not have the space for here) then Mitt Romney is not the candidate for you. He does not care about you, and he supports economic policies that have proven not to be good for you. If you are still thinking of voting for him in November after this, you need to do some serious self-examination.