- Politics and Social Issues
Romney shoots self in foot with comments about the 47 percent
Mitt Romney oops moment, caught on tape dissing the people he claims he will help most with new jobs
Mitt's oops moment may have cost him votes
Rhetoric: the art or science of the specialized use of language to make a point, including figures of speech, such as the term - to shoot oneself in the foot by dismissing the very people you are claiming you will help if elected to office; namely, out of work or underemployed Americans who are struggling to provide food for their families and have to rely on Social Security or Welfare programs to prevent being kicked out of their houses, starving or not getting health care for illnesses that could cause long term suffering and death; also known by the Republican mainstream as free loaders and government dependents.
Let's be fair to Romney. He thought he was talking among friends and that it was okay to let his guard down. He was speaking Republican Speak so to speak, which includes terms like entitlement, government spending and Obama-care (which, like the term pro-choice, which sounds a lot better than baby killers, covers up what it really stands for, which is reduced cost health care for all who need it, no matter how expensive it is to cover it, but that's another story).
While Romney said a lot of things wrong in the audio-tape published by Mother Jones, this is probably the worst of it:
"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."
Now, just to be clear on things, let's publish something else that was said by government officials about the same subject.
In 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was formed after the atrocities of WWII, to ensure that people all over the world would be given the right to have an adequate standard of living.
Article 25 of that declaration states:
- (1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
- (2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection
Does this sound vaguely familiar to you?
So, is Romney then saying that human beings do not have the right to basic care, food, shelter? Is he against human rights?
We'd like to think he was only buying into his own party's rhetoric and doesn't really think it is okay to let people starve to death if they can't work, and by the way the same articles; article 23 to be exact, state that everyone has the right to free choice of employment, something many of us feel is being denied to us because of the poor economy.
So, here's the rub. Romney states that he will do a better job than President Obama by improving the economy to put people back to work again and this is his main platform to win the election, but... do you see where this is leading...who are the people that need the economy to improve in order to get off the government dole and get back to work again?
Yes, they are the very same people Romney says he is not interested in wooing, because they want to stay dependent on government care.
As one of the 47/% who paid into federal taxes last year from a measly part time temporary paycheck and got all of it back and more, I can tell Mr. Romney, that I did not enjoy living in poverty and wondering how I was going to buy food, put gas in the car, pay the electricity, etc.
I can tell him that it was 94 degrees in my house this summer, but that I suffered through it because I could not afford to pay the air conditioning bill. I can tell him that I grew my own garden and that it supplied over 1/2 of my food for the summer and that I bought fifty cent loaves of day old bread and nearly expired soy and almond milk and buy one get one free boxes of cereal when they went on sale, while forgoing overpriced watermelon, soy ice cream, peanuts, crackers and cookies and not going out to eat at restaurants or buying any fast food or convenience store goodies.
I can tell him that I could not afford new clothes to go on a job interview and that even though I applied to over 200 jobs, I only got one interview and they literally turned their nose up at me the moment I told them I was there for the interview and brushed me aside as if I were diseased because I did not fit their idea of what an employee working for them should be?
I have listened to my Republican friends tell me that I did not deserve health care because I did not pay into it, while they received over $150,000 in health care, yet only paid in about $150 a month themselves and were irate that the insurance company tripled their premiums and increased their deductibles making it hard for them to get the care they deserved.
To be honest it is hard not to be bitter at being left behind and criticized as lazy because you can't find a job, even as a midnight baker for a fast food chain that made you observe and work a 9 hour shift and then refused to pay you for your training time or even call you back to let you know they were not interested in you after you mopped the floors and cleaned the dishes for them, while wistfully wondering what good it did you to graduate with honors from the university system.
There is a little something in the bill of human rights about dignity and life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness and how those things should not be denied to any human being, yet it is being denied to them every day and not just in the US and politics really has nothing to do with it, but if presidents or presidential candidates want to win the votes of people who are hurting, they need to understand where that hurt is coming from and address it, not sweep it under the rug as unimportant to them.
Our health, food, shelter, sense of worth IS important to us and we want to put politicians in place who will work to improve life for ALL people, not just the middle class and/or the wealthy.
People who live in poverty don't enjoy being there. They want out as much as anyone else, but when you start from nothing, it is hard to make something of yourself and when you have everything you have worked for taken away from you through no fault of your own, it is hard to survive and impossible to thrive without someone stepping in to give you a hand up, not a hand out, and that is all most Americans are asking for - just a chance to feel like a dignified human being with value and worth, and someone who is appreciated by all people, not shoved aside as "someone it is not my job to worry about."