What Would Romney Say about Me?
I usually try stay above the fray of our political system. There are far too many reasons to try to delineate, so I’ll keep it to my top three:
- American political discourse is puerile. I don’t know if this is because the we, the people are childish and stupid, or enough politicians/pundits/astroturfing web-commenters think we are childish and stupid. Probably both, and both are in stark contrast to what I believe is the answer. Raise the debate, the rest of us will follow.
- Most people are just ‘rooting for the laundry’. Readers of this blog, will surely remember my incoherent ranting for a constitutional amendment to ban political parties, so I’ll end this bullet point….here.
- The last two were negative points, so here is a positive one. I truly believe that the history of who we are is NOT found in our political history, but our cultural history. Politics do have a place in deciding how that happens, but in writing the story of my life, I don’t want to spend too many words describing the political elites and all they accomplished or how they failed us. Too many eons of human history are described this way already.
“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. … [M]y job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”
Without getting into all the fact checking and ways to parse this statement, what would he say to a guy like me. I grew up fairly poor. My mom gave up her career to raise me. It is fairly traditional, wouldn’t you say? My father worked for the State of Maine Department of Human Services. Before that he was drafted and went to serve his country in Viet Nam. His life’s work has been in the service of others. At one point, even as an employee of DHS, we qualified for the food stamps that my dad’s office gave out to people that needed help.
The last few years have been hard on the state worker. I watched the news coverage of people slandering government workers and their unions. It is hard to watch these people effectively call my father greedy and dishonest, for I know he is not. My parents are actually irritatingly moral, and raised me to behave the same way. It is a great party conversation starter. “Hey, you better put that back…”
I couldn’t afford college. A good deal of my college was paid with grants, and loans and various government assistance. I wouldn’t be where I am now without help. Where am I? Well, I’m not managing my own trust fund. See, I took what help I got from everyone around me, and used it to build a career. A fairly good one. Yes, I understand I am white and male and did have a leg up, but I didn’t think for a second I deserved anything. (OK, there were a few seconds from age 16-19 or so, but we are all bratty at that age, but you are supposed to grow out of it. As an additional aside, I always thought the Randian objectivists behaved like I did when I got that first paycheck and saw taxes taken out. Waaaah, but that was mine…)
That’s what makes this statement so galling. To hear a man that made his fortune off of destructive acts that produced only wealth, strike that, siphoned money out of businesses tell me that I’m a victim? I’m a moocher? Mr. Romney, gaze into your looking glass of delusion and apply every sentiment to yourself and your entitled country clubbers. You are talking about yourself. Not me.
I see it as an investment. Will all investments pay off? Of course not, but I’m betting investing in things pays off a whole lot more than NOT investing in things.
So what would Romney say about me? I’m sure I’d be told some bullshit platitude. What would I tell Romney? I don’t know if I can tell him to do that to himself.