Monday, October 15, 2012

Why the 47% Matters

In this country we ask our elected officials to represent our best interests. While we may not all agree on the best strategies or policies to move us forward, we believe that no matter who gets elected, that they will remember that we are the “United” not “Divided” States of America.  Last month at a fundraiser for the presumably 1% of Americans, Mitt Romney wrote off almost half of the constituents for the office that he seeks. To some this was a pandering to specific donors who were prepared to contribute to his campaign. Yet to others, it was a cautionary tale of like-minded plutocrats who like Mitt Romney, feel that 47% of Americans are entitled. This of course is a stark contrast in opinions over the controversial speech, one that undoubtedly splits across the party lines. If we take his word for it, Mr. Romney is remorseful and regrets the comments he made. More probable, is that like Joe Biden’s past gaffes; he meant what he said.

I can’t pretend to get into Mitt Romney’s mind as to what would prompt such arrogant and unfounded language. I can only tell you who these 47% are in my own life and why yes, they absolutely matter.

The 47% is one of my co-workers. He is a good, capable and honorable family man. He has deployed several times because of his commitment to defend this nation. The 47% is my teacher friend who educates the children of North Carolina and sacrifices weekends to do classroom prep work despite having had a pay freeze for the sixth consecutive year. She earns $1800 a month. The 47% is a friend who is now in his 4th year of graduate school and is pursuing a PhD. The 47% is my grandmother who worked her entire adult life as a nurse practitioner. She looked after the sick and at times the dying. She has never missed paying her taxes nor would she be ashamed to show her statements to anyone who asked. Mitt Romney said that “these people,” refuse to take responsibility for their own lives. Yet ironically, when pressed he didn’t take responsibility for his own comments.

I can see how politically wise it might be to court the rich donors of the 1%. With their money, Mitt’s campaign will surely outspend his opponent.  We are not a country of the 1%. We don’t just represent the people who think, act and look like us. We are not a country club. We are a Country! We are made up an array of socioeconomic classes and when all is said and done, we want to be neighbors and have a government that thinks not about 47% but of the totality of the 100%.

Based on his financial and gene pool inheritance, Mitt Romney believes he is entitled to the Presidency. On November 6th, let’s make the case for why he’s not. 

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