Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Inside Romney's Head: The Dead Zone

According to Mitt Romney, I'm a freeloader with a victim mentality. I'm not alone; forty-seven percent of Americans, Obama supporters every one, are as trifling as I am.

Addressing guests at a private fundraiser earlier this year, Romney declared:
There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax. (Secret Video--Mother Jones)
As an Obama supporter, I think that Romney may be talking about me. I need to stop paying income tax and demand that the government hand over my entitlement. You should too, if you're an Obama supporter.

According to Romney, Obama supporters in addition to being trifling, lazy folks with a victim mentality, have developed a notion that "...the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it."

Now, where would any of us get such a notion? Well, I'll be darned! Maybe it's from those socialist Founding Fathers.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,"--The Declaration of Independence (emphasis added)
Interesting concept that the purpose of government--the reason that "governments are instituted"-- is to ensure access to those unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that health care, food and housing are encompassed in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and that it is an appropriate goal for governments to implement laws and policies to further the goal of securing these basic rights for all of its citizens.

A good friend offered the following observation that further illuminates the purpose of government under those founding documents that Romney and the conservative right purport to follow:  Look also at the words that appear in the Preamble to the Constitution. We, United, union, common, general, ourselves, our. "Us" is our thesis. Not an "I me mine" to be found.--S. Gordon

Romney has refused to retreat from his disavowal of governmental responsibility to promote any efforts to mitigate financial inequity and economic injustice. Instead, as expected, Romney supporters have dragged out a 1998 video of President Obama in which Obama states:
The trick is figuring out how do we structure government systems that pool resources and hence facilitate some [wealth] redistribution -- because I actually believe in redistribution, at least at a certain level to make sure that everybody’s got a shot.--Barack Obama (Obama 1998 Loyola Speech)
Apparently, we are to be shocked by this statement and declare Obama a socialist. Oh the horror! President Obama thinks that it is important to ensure that every American has a shot at fulfilling the promise of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness noted in that most American of documents, The Declaration of Independence.

Don't you? Or do you prefer the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few with little or no chance for the advancement of most? It's about redistribution of opportunities. No one, least of all President Obama ever said that the plan is to take money from some to give it to others; the oft expressed paranoia of those who buy into Romney's vision of freeloading, do-nothing, Americans sitting around waiting for government handouts.

Redistribution of wealth is about providing grants for students to attend college, or low interest loans for small businesses. It is about providing food stamps to mothers and children who have insufficient funds to buy food. A single parent of two who earns $10 per hour for 40 hours per week nets $1600 per month before taxes. Ten dollars per hour is more than minimum wage (federal minimum wage is $7.25) but it still isn't sufficient money for rent, childcare (if you are a working parent, you need childcare), food, health insurance, clothing, transportation, and food.

As a country are we really so heartless and stupid that we can't understand that trickle down economics is a grand pie in the sky lie perpetuated by the haves to insure that the have-nots waste their time worrying about nonexistent threats of impending socialism and don't notice class inequities?

Mitt Romney has made it clear as to what he thinks of nearly half of all Americans. In his own words: "[M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives." (Secret Video...)

In November, we have a chance to tell Mitt Romney what we think of him. What will that message be? Will we support his view that nearly half of Americans are shiftless, unwilling to work freeloaders, waiting on a government handout? Or will we take a look at ourselves, our family members, and our neighbors and recognize that demanding that all of us have fair and meaningful access to the opportunities that this nation provides is the rightful purpose of government? The answer is up to us, the governed.

Note: Romney stated that he wished that the entire video had been released to place his remarks in context. Mother Jones has obliged. Someone should have reminded Romney of the adage, "careful what you wish for." Link to the entire video.


Lisa :-] said...

As I commented on an earlier facebook post, food, housing and health care are basic needs to which everyone is "entitled," and an enlightened society makes sure that these things are available to everyone--even the poorest of the poor. Mitt Romney and his ilk would have people freeze, starve and die of disease if they can't afford to provide these things for themselves. THAT will teach them to "take personal responisbility."

Mark said...

Romney's unbridled venality has laid bare the depth of the "otherization" of America. The have-mores must find a way to feel this is a result of their superiority as human beings, and so demonize the have-lesses. This philosophy was considered settled social science of a sort back in the days of feudalization and the aristocracy--then I remember a little something called the enlightenment, and the French and American revolutions. Oh yeah and the Civil War, the defeat of Nazism, and the Civil Rights movement.
We'll you're right, Mitt, I am the "other." I'm a gay HIV+ man on disability trying to get off it by going to school. I'm on Medicare. I couldn't imagine life with out my black friends. I find most rich people fairly horrible. I hope you're scared of me, or all of us "others." You and your ilk should be scared, because if you steal this election, you'll have a revolution on your hands.

Sheria Reid said...

Power to the people! Mark, you are my choice for leading the revolution.

Phyllis ZG said...

One of the best entries you've composed, Sheria. People who use the Constitution to bolster their arguments should actually read it. I can count on your impeccable research skills to go to the primary source for your reasoning, as you did with the ACA - you actually READ it! And you viewed the controversial anti-Obama documentary instead of simply railing against it without having seen it. I wish we could make a rule that folks on both sides need to follow your lead before they open their mouths. If they don't, they should sit down and hush until they do.

Ken Riches said...

Love the title of the entry.

I could not believe when he said that $200K is the middle class. He has no clue.

Beth said...

I never did get around to writing my entry about this (although I haven't given up on it yet), so I was happy to read yours.

It's hard to explain how I feel about this. It's hard to vocalize the sheer disgust I feel at his and his cronies' attitudes about those who are less fortunate than them. The complete disdain for the millions of people in our country who do not have large bank accounts, multiple homes, boats, and elevators for their cars.

This lack of empathy and understanding is dangerous. This is the sort of thinking that leads to "Well, they're not just freeloaders...they're sort of...LESS than us, aren't they? In fact, you might even say...subhuman." And I'm not exaggerating.