Romney Doesn’t Give a F * * K

Graphic but true words of wisdom from the late George Carlin.

I was in college in the 1970s, after having lived through the idealism of the 1960s. My first major was political science, and my dream was to enter politics and change the world. That was before I learned about lobby groups, fund-raising, compromise, and how campaigns work. It was before the epiphany that I lacked an essential prerequisite for elected office–I am not politic. I wanted no part of the public scrutiny, the dissembling, or what Joni Mitchell called the “cardboard cut-out smiles.” In candor, I realized that there are a lot of folks I just don’t like: stupid people, the selfish, the dishonest, religious zealots, the mean-spirited…. It’s not like teaching, where you deal with minds that (for the most part) seek to discover knowledge, not proclaim (perceived) truth from whatever soapbox has their name on it. I would have been a horrible politician, even if one accepts the doubtful premise that I could have been made electable.

But here’s the thing–politicians dissemble and curry favor, but they have to at least try to show (or cast the illusion) that they care about everybody. We live in a representative democracy in which officials are expected to answer to the electorate–not the impossible “all” of it, but as broad a swath as possible. If you can’t do that, get out of the game. Forget your personal ideologies for a moment and ask yourself a simple question: Does Mitt Romney care enough about the American people to be president?  The answer is a resounding “No!” That’s not my opinion; those are his words.

Mitt has been caught, metaphorically speaking, with his pants to his ankles. He’s been tone deaf all along. The median income in the U.S. is a tick over $52,000 per year, but Mitt thinks that $250,000 per makes you “middle class.” That would be nice, but if you have reached that lofty height you’re among the 3%, not the vast middle. Mitt also thinks he understands autoworkers because “Ann drives a few Cadillacs.” Good grief! Okay, that’s just cluelessness, but if you think Mitt Romney cares about America, what do you do with his statement that “47%” of Americans “are dependent upon government” and feel they “are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it.” He also expressed anger that the same 47% pay no income taxes.

Where to start? First of all, a man who refuses to release his own income taxes stands on the moral equivalent of quicksand when condemning the tax habits of others. (Romney is reputed to have paid no income taxes in 11 of the past 13 years.) I guess taxes are just for the unwashed, not the well-heeled. 1% of Americans making over $1 million pay no taxes; just .6% of those making under $10,000 paid none. Half of Romney’s 46% (the correct number) are those filing jointly with another person–as a married person or as a dependent, like college kids, for instance–so let’s knock it down to 23% to be accurate. Of that figure, over a fifth is elderly living entirely on social security. When we parse it further, we get a whopping 3% who are on “welfare” and pay nothing. Two-thirds of those “paying nothing” according to Romney, do pay SSI and/or Medicare.

Yeah, a lot of numbers, so let me cut to the chase. Yes, I think people are “entitled” to health care, food, and housing. In 1937, Franklin Roosevelt expressed outrage when he observed that one third of the nation was “ill-housed, ill-clad, ill-nourished,” not that poor people didn’t pay taxes. Mitt Romney thinks that it’s all right that millions go without life’s basics. I find that thought so outrageous that my visceral reaction is to shout out, “F**k you! Mitt.” I can say that; I’m not running for office. I don’t have to pretend to like Romney or any of the selfish little bourgeois piggies that think it’s just fine to let all the rich white boys keep their money while others suffer.

I can say this because, as I discovered decades ago, I don’t have what it takes to be a politician. Neither does Romney. I hear so many people say that they’re sick of all the divisiveness in American life, that they feel a yearning for unity. If you feel that way, the question is basic: Why on earth would you vote for a man who has just said, “F**k you!” to nearly half the American population. It proves he lacks the temperament, the patience, the compassion, or the wisdom to be president of the American people, all of them–not just his fellow piggies at the trough. About that “wisdom” thing… that’s what separates me from Mitt. I don’t claim to be a better person than he, merely one who is aware enough of his limitations to know I can’t represent the masses.   

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