Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Dear Mr. Romney

I just had to get this post out of my system... afterwards I will go back to unhappily watching politics as it is in America, unfold, and supporting the Republican candidate.  But as I began to see agreement with the sentiment that 47% of Americans are just lazy slobs, I had to put my two cents out there:

Oh Mr. Romney,

Perhaps I should preface these rambling thoughts by saying that I’m voting for you.  There’s very little on earth, short of you announcing that you’d sign the Freedom of Choice Act and referring to babies as “born fetuses” that would change that fact at this point of time. 

But could you perhaps ease up on the statements that make me feel like I’ll be holding my nose as I waddle into the voting booth (elections are within a week of my due date)?

I really wanted to not be offended when I heard that a shocking secretly recorded video had been released.  After all, we’re seen the press sound byte speeches to death, twisting what was actually said into something unrecognizable after a few minutes of editing.  The local news, however, announced late last night that they would be showing the video as a whole, and so I settled in, eyes tired after a long day of being a wife, a mom and a small business owner. 

And was I offended? 

Despite my best efforts to give the man that I hope will be our next President the benefit of the doubt, I couldn’t help but liking him significantly less than I did at the beginning of the speech.  You see, Romney began to win me over in Tampa.  I actually stopped hating the idea of voting for him for a couple of weeks.  I'm back to be being less than enthusiastic about my options.  

And so yes, I guess you could say that I was offended by the content of the secretly recorded video.

I couldn’t help but feel that Mr. Romney didn’t quite understand quite a few of his supporters, in that unfortunate moment, and was insulting them directly.

Here’s my problem Mr. Romney:  My family has been part of the 47% who don’t pay taxes for quite some time now.  We make about a third of what we made in 2008. 

I’ll freely admit that I would love to make enough to give something back to our country.  I really would.  I’ve worked my hands raw for the last years trying to do just that.  I stay up late at night, after everyone is asleep, doing my level best.  I’ve been seriously stressed out these last months because in this third trimester of pregnancy I find myself needing slightly more sleep to function, and so I can’t stay up until 2 am with my back killing me, pinning and cutting and sewing so that I have new items to add to my shop every single day, knowing that I’m going to have to be up with the little ones in a few hours and need to be ready for another long, energetic day. 

My husband applied for some forty jobs before he found part time work in our old county, where actual unemployment always seems to be lingering around 20%.  His employers were careful to cut him back from 35 hours a week to 16 hours a week whenever he got close to qualifying for benefits.  Still, we shuffled through, month to month on around $10,000 a year and didn’t think of ourselves as “victims.”  After all, we could see that we were much better off than a lot of people and felt kind of lucky for our lot in life.  I clipped coupons and scanned sales and opened three online shops where I sold the crafts I made to help make ends meet, although an emergency like a car in need of repair was a near insurmountable obstacle.

We knew we needed to make a change and that my BA in Politics and his BA in History weren’t hot commodities in the job market anywhere on earth.  So we moved across the country so that he could begin law school, praying that at the end of the three years, there would be job opportunities in the field that genuinely interests him.   

I knew that now that he was in school or studying pretty much all day every day I would need to work harder and so I did, although 10 trips to the hospital last year after doctors flubbed my diagnosis certainly made even moderate success more difficult. 

Still ,we’ve kept on pushing on, because that’s what life requires…  and two nights ago I was even thinking about heading on over to your website and donating a small amount to your campaign.  We couldn't give much but I wanted to show our families support by giving what we could to show that we believe in you.  

You see, there are people out there who are part of the 47% who don’t pay taxes (despite filing every year, like we do), who do take responsibility for their lives.  Recently we’ve moved to Michigan and I would say that there are quite a few people who really just want to get back to work, rather than playing the part of “victim” as your speech stated.  These people aren’t paying taxes because they hardly make enough to put food on their tables… and they certainly aren’t the lazy slackers that you seemed to be referring to in your speech. 

Hard working people around the country support you.  Of course, they weren’t the people you were speaking to at your $50,000 a plate fundraiser… but I think you can manage at least basic respect even when you’re behind closed doors…. Or maybe you can pretend to… so that it’s a little less painful for those of us who refuse to settle for the alternative, to vote for you. 

Your opponent has fumbled the job he’s been given, but even if he hadn't I would not be able to vote for a man who has such a fundamentally different view of the value of human life.  He’s made it impossible for many of us to vote for him.  In the wake of his first four years, many have turned to you for leadership.  So lead us, without insulting us or assuming that being unable to rise above the poverty level in this economy is some sort of character flaw that we’re joyfully embracing. 

Stick to the values that draw so many hearts and minds to your party and leave the insulting condescension for those who believe that we really do need a nanny state to help us make it through the years, both good and bad.  Tell us what you believe that we are capable of, and not that you don’t think that we’re even willing to try.  

And please remember that even behind closed doors there's a chance that what you're saying will be heard by the world at large.  This is an ugly campaign and there are people who are determined to twist whatever you say and do.  Don't hand them ammo on a silver, $50,000 a plate, platter.

Edited to add:  This is the quote that I found so troubling.  The entire video is actually quite long.  This was the intro to the part that I found so troubling, because it isn't clear, at the start of this tirade, that he's only speaking about Obama supporters:  "And I mean the president starts of with 48, 49... he starts off with a huge number. These are people who pay no income tax. Forty seven percent of Americans pay no income tax. So our message of low taxes doesn't connect." 


  1. Have you seen Anna Smith's response on First Things to the video? I thought it was quite good!

  2. Not having TV, I have not seen the video either, but I am assuming we are part of that 47% as well. I don't care for Romney or his politics and have never been comfortable with him being Obama's opponent. But his video just shows his true character. It is what is said behind closed doors that reveals the most about people. I would have liked to see Santorum running, but of course that would never happen in this country.

  3. Romney should not have made that comment, and I'm not trying to deflect attention from the topic, but for every humble, hardworking family like yours, how many are out there scamming the system, selling their food stamps, abusing the free and reduced lunch program, who DO sit around and collect benefits even though they are able-bodied? Meanwhile, Democrats demonize conservatives for not caring for the poor and ask for billions and billions MORE from the middle class, when the War on Poverty is obviously a failure! What is wrong with expecting people to show a willingness and effort to work and take responsibility for their families in order to get help? If you even bring up "work-fare," you are pegged as the most cold-hearted, racist, piece of crap on the earth, when in reality, it is LOVING to expect folks to become self-sufficient. Such is politics, I guess, and I wish I could just wake up on November 7, good or bad. Honestly, both sides are full of phonies! Again, I am NOT referring to your family at all- I've followed your blog for years and know and admire the hard work and sacrifices y'all have made.

  4. I wish you would publish this somewhere else, as well, to a wider audience. It has such a ring of truth.

  5. Cam,

    I think you partly misunderstood Romney. What he meant was that he's not "worried about" people with and entitlement mentality as far as voting goes - not as far as they go as human beings. He just knows that most people who are on the dole aren't going to vote for a man who wants to take away some of their freebies. It's just practical. The vast majority of people who want freebies and don't want to support themselves vote for democrats.

    You and your husband have made some life choices that have made money extra tight. I applaud you for working to support yourselves instead of taking from the system. I wish all families had that drive and sense of responsibility and initiative. I wish all husbands and fathers took responsibility for the financial security of their families. I wish all people had pride. But many do not, and happily and without shame take, take and take without ever a thought of repayment or giving back. These are the people Romney was talking about. Living in Southern California, I see them every day lined up to get their free health care, their free housing, their free food, their free booze, their free education, their free EVERYTHING.... Bringing their gaggle of overweight children with them in a weekly educational field trip on how to game the hardworking taxpayers out of their earnings. "Look kids, this is where our food comes from - people who bust their rears working give us money so that we can sit around and do what we want!"

    I do not mind paying taxes for those who truly cannot meet their basic needs. The elderly, the mentally ill, the widows, the severely disabled - these are people we need to make sure have their needs met. It's the otherwise healthy young folks who have baby after baby that they can't support and have no shame in picking up their free groceries and getting their subsidized medical care while the husband is loafing around the house all day or pursing his "dream" without a moment's thought to how he could be improving his family's situation or contributing to his country's well-being.

    You would be surprised at how many people think the world owes them a living, no matter how many poor choices they make in their lives.

  6. Hi Cam,

    Romney wasn't trying to insult families such as yours.

    The quote from Romney is as follows:

    "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."

    I don't think Romney was talking about families such as yours. He is talking about those people who blindly follow and love Obama and who expect handouts from the government and who aren't willing to work hard. Those things don't describe you or your family at all.

    Romney said, "...these are people who pay no income tax". He didn't say "people who pay no income tax expect handouts from the government and aren't willing to work hard".

    There's a difference...

    Yes the media will twist it...and yes he is generalizing quite a bit...but he wasn't intending to insult hardworking families who are trying to make it. He was talking about people who "mooch" off of the government and who take unemployment benefits and don't even bother looking for work and who only vote for Obama because he'll "take care of them" and give them handouts.

    Anyway, bless your heart for your hard work! I wish I lived closer to you so I could meet you in person! :)

  7. The interesting thing about those stupid comments is that I don't think they're necessarily reflective of who Romney really is; it's actually hard to tell, as he has been on every side of every issue. It was Romney playing to that particular audience, as the Romney we've seen all through this hideous campaign has been playing to the radical right wing fringe of the party.

    I think that this has got to be the worst-run Republican presidential campaign I can remember. Romney is forever putting his foot in his mouth (along with that silver spoon) and has no filters whatsoever. He is completely tone-deaf when it comes to realizing what the media will do with every utterance; it has been painful to watch. Any Republican who isn't about 15 points ahead of this president, given these conditions, is a truly awful campaigner.

    My 92 year old, WWII vet Dad, who lives in Massachusetts and enjoys the benefits of Romneycare, would be one of that 47%, and has been for a number of years. Mitt, use your head before opening your mouth, for Pete's sake!!!

    This is an excellent analysis of the situation:


  8. See, I think a big part of the response in support of what he said, is that a lot of people are wishing he had said "people who depend on the system" or clarified that he was talking about people who feel the world owes them a living. But that clarification wasn't there. If it had been, I wouldn't be taking issue with his speech and feeling like it showed a total lack of connect with part of his base.

    A lot of people abuse the system. A lot of people don't. Romney doesn't differentiate at all. His words (what he actually said, not what I wish he'd said) plop together everyone that makes so little they don't pay taxes. Whether they're hard working or not. If he'd actually stated "people who don't want to work" I wouldn't have written this post.

    Because in my experience MOST people do want to work. Sure lots don't (at least that's what I've been told) but most of the actual poor people I've known were desperate for some kind of employment to bring money home...

    And in this case, it's actually not our "life choices" that are making things tight right now. Things were tight when Paul was working. We're making the same as we were before he started school (after the recession started and we took the cut that wasn't a result of him starting school). He went to school when there weren't any other options out there. The only difference is that now we have a shot at upward mobility and before we were stuck making $10,000 a year without a chance of making anything more.

    Just wanted to clarify, because I think in the old economy where you actually had a choice and could find a job, that statement would be correct. But after watching the job search and the options that we had... it really wasn't a matter of choice. We could make $10k working and living month to month of we could make roughly the same with him going to school... There wasn't a whole lot of actual flexibility involved in the decision...

  9. Oh Mary Jane I do hope you're right in terms of what he meant and he just stated it really poorly (I've watched it twice and I just couldn't get a separation being made between people expecting to have their entire lives paid for and people who are just too poor to be required to pay taxes).

    And honestly, as Dixie Eagle points out, I'm not sure how much of it is actually what he means and how much is pandering...

  10. Hi Cam,

    Mary Jane here again...just wanted to say that I am only voting for Romney because the alternative is way worse.

    I also wanted to say again that Romney wasn't talking about families like yours. He prefaced his statement with "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..."

    If you look at it like a math problem (think order of operations), he's first talking about the group of people who are voting for Obama (and clearly you are not in that group). Then of those people he made the rest of the statement (dependent on the government, believe they are victims, etc). So, y'all aren't included in that group...

    The rich, wealthy Obama supporters who are not reliant on the government are actually the ones who should be offended by what he said...if you think about it... ;-)

  11. I agree with Cam--in this economy many people who paid taxes all their lives are finding themselves unemployed or underemployed or like Cam's family taking a shot at a better life, and they are in no way taking advantage of the system. Can Romney make this distinction, that's the question.

  12. Romney has asked that the full video be disclosed by the party who released it because he wants the full context revealed. I don't know if that changes much but it at least demonstrates that this position isn't a "secret" one. I think he made a mistake by lumping all welfare recipients into the 47% but he did first say that he was referring to Obama supporters. That would exclude Cam entirely.

    Perhaps it's because I live near a large (relatively economically depressed) city but the majority of people I know on welfare are not like your family. They work when they want to work and then get bored of it and get checks for a while. Then they go back to work and start taking free classes at a local college and then start skipping work because they are tired. Then they quit or get fired and then they quit school... and then they go on the dole again. They generally wear decent clothing and have some designer labels in their closet. They have computers and cable and fancy cell phones. They have a tendency to blame others for their woes and they are voting for Obama almost without exception. Am I generalizing? Yes. There are a million variations on that stereotype but the stereotype is based on a statistically significant group of people. There is a problem when one half of the population is saying "I can't find work." and the other half is saying "I can't find dependable employees." There's a huge disconnect there and it's very real in my area.

    Obama has expanded welfare in an unprecedented fashion and it has been deliberate. That is a bad thing... to sucker people into giving up their freedoms for a handout. In context, Romney's statement was clarifying that Obama's reelection campaign has targeted those people. There's really no question that he's doing that.

    My sister-in-law is one of the few people in this country who legitimately have a claim (I believe) to public welfare (ie other people's earned income) seeing as she can't even brush her own teeth or cook her own food. Obama would like to convince the rest of us that our "needs" are significantly broader than what they are.

    I will hold my nose when I vote for Romney, but this statement of his, sloppy as it was, doesn't particularly bother me in light of other issues. He knows Obama's base. And we all know, Cam, that you are not Obama's base.

    Like the other commenters here, I applaud your work ethic and commitment to your moral convictions. God bless you and your beautiful family!

  13. Class warfare seems to be increasing in popularity.

  14. Spot on, Baron. Shades of the seeds of the bloody French Revolution. Except that most Americans don't realize that they're not actually that poor or victimized. The most pitiful moments of the Occupy movement for me have been watching college students protesting against the cost of college. Our modest homes (even our rentals) would be like palaces to so many people of the world. Mother Teresa served those in real poverty. Only in America are the poor obese and the jobless carrying designer purses. Let's all google Great Depression images to remind ourselves what real American poverty looks like. Then tighten our belts, hold our noses, and cast a solid vote for anyone who is any degree less damaging than Obama.

  15. I know our family is part of that 47% that don't pay taxes...because we have 5 children and have lower incomes. So I wasn't offended, I guess. I know that I don't scam the system for anything, I simply file my taxes and receive the benefits provided in the tax code for having children. That will end when they are grown...

  16. I would clarify that the warfare goes both ways. As much as the hatred is incited against the "1%", contempt for the "99%" is cultivated in response.

    Welfare versus Taxes is a very effective way to create a emotional divide that the political class can use for their benefit.

  17. Just wanted to add this quote, because this was the part of the speech that preceded the parts that I've heard quoted so much, that I found troubling:

    "And I mean the president starts of with 48, 49... he starts off with a huge number. These are people who pay no income tax. Forty seven percent of Americans pay no income tax. So our message of low taxes doesn't connect."

    And then he launches into the part we keep seeing all over the place...

  18. I think a lot of people are fed up with their very hard-earned dollars going to every social program imaginable because people make poor choices (out of wedlock pregnancy, dropping out of school, ill-advised marriages, rampant divorce, etc.)

    Do I send my husband off to work every morning to endure a tough, grinfing 10-hour day so that other people can have free stuff, do nothing to improve their lot in life, have no goals toward independence and generally act like bums?

    I wish I didn't. But I do. And honestly that money I give to the losers of the world is the money I SHOULD be using to put my kids in Catholic school, pay for music lessons for my kids, or donate to my parish.

    And we are still paying off 100K in student loan debt.

    Cam, you guys are in the minority. There are MILLIONS of people who are masters at taking without giving.

  19. Being flamboyantly Canadian, I've always been oddly excitable about American presidential politics. Presumably it has a lot to do with America's uncontested dominance in military might (at least, during my life time) and the increasing irritability of their politicians - in a country that I can see from the roof of my house on a clear day.

    This year though... I just can't get excited. Obama was my guy last time around - but he is disappointing me at the moment. Romney has next to no interest for me either.

    Maybe it's our own politics, or maybe it's the "lesser of two evils" problem. Hard to get excited about the guy who says he's against the things it'd be good to see, and the guy who says America needs things he won't provide.

    Granted, a lot of that has to do with what I understand to be divided power at the moment... but between general disillusionment and actual political battles to be fought here at home, I haven't really been paying attention.

    As far as the quote goes, well - I know just as well as most everyone that poverty is rarely a choice. While I often identify with the Republican idea that work ethic needs to be taught a bit better this generation, I also know that there's quite a bit of circumstances.

    I'm not sure if I would down there, but this would be the first year, ever, that I don't actually get all of the income tax I paid this year back when I file the return... and I don't have nearly the overhead (nor the deductions) your family would.

  20. Everyone wants to believe that they don't need the government helping them out at all. But many of us went to government (public) schools, had doctors/teachers/professionals who were educated in public institutions, we drive on publicly funded roads, etc. No man is an island.

    Anonymous, are you aware of just HOW much of our national budget is spent on anti-poverty programs? It's a tiny fraction of your tax dollars being spent to make sure children don't starve. Those who 'scam' the system are an even smaller percentage of that, or would you care to bring up the racist image of the Welfare Queen? No one likes a system cheat, but's it's hardly fair to punish millions because of the actions of a small few.

    You're paying more to bail out banks that made bad decisions (that left so many people without homes and ruined the economy in the first place), then you are paying to support "the losers of the world".

  21. My husband just emailed me this wonderful assessment of the Romney campaign by Peggy Noonan. She, as usual, hit the nail on the head:



  22. I'm going to be honest, I was offended by the remarks he made. We don't pay federal income taxes, we 5 children and my husband doesn't make enough to offset the child tax credits.

    We are also on WIC (Women, Infants, and Children). I don't like being on it, it's a pain in the rear-end, but I appreciate the help it provides in allowing us to help supplement my children's meals since 1 of them is underweight and small for his age. It takes a lot of effort to keep up with it, and I look forward to the day when we can afford NOT to need the help it provides.

    While I do realize there are some, many even, who do abuse the system, I think few people realize just what kind of effort people put into abusing the system. It takes a lot of hard work and manipulation and staying on top of things (and most of the poor I've worked with who receive benefits in some way, shape, or form, often lose their benefits periodically because they are unable to stay on top of all the regulations and bureaucracy associated with the programs). If we could figure out how to convince those who are abusing the system that they would be a lot better off putting in the same amount of effort in a job, we would have a lot fewer abuses.

    The problem is, all of these social programs provide for people better than most jobs now-a-days. I agree that the social programs need to be cut-back, but at the same time, jobs need to be created and not just any jobs, but ones that will allow people to provide for their families.

    For the record, we a lot in state taxes, and more than a lot in property taxes - over half of which goes to a school system my children have never set foot in. I'm happy to do it (I'd be happier if our school district knew what to do with the money), but despite being on WIC we are hardly playing the victim, nor abusing the system, nor not paying our fair share.

  23. Yes, Baron, it does go both ways in our sinful world. But one particularly disturbing problem in America today is that there are an awful lot of people in the middle who do not understand how rich they truly are.The 99% in America are still among the richest in the world. I complained just yesterday because we don't have a shower for our family of 8, can't afford to pay for music lessons anymore for my daughter, and can't afford to cover up the concrete floor in my family room. Shame on me for my ingratitude. To most of the world, my home is a palace. And we do not go hungry. Whether I am a "have" or a "have not" is largely perception. This attitude can be (and is) fostered and manipulated by political machines. The question for America is, do we know we are actually rich?

  24. Cam,
    You are an awesome inspiration! I bet Romney would love to meet you and your family. He certainly made a mistake in communicating his point, and in being too general, he appeared to be lumping in hardworking poor with those who have a sense of entitlement and who give nothing back to society. And one doesn't have to pay taxes to give back to society. You are building up society by being good upstanding citizens, raising your children to be good people, homemaking, running a cottage industry, and so many more things! I would honestly love to read more about how you make such a small income work. Thanks for your blog and I hope your poor foot heals quickly and soon. God bless you.

  25. I forgot to add my name to my last comment here. Sorry! My comment was the one talking about how much you are giving back to society without paying taxes.
    I hope you can still publish my comment. I don't think I have a Google account to be able to post comments here yet.

  26. This isn’t related to Romney’s actual comment, but rather to the back-and-forth of whether there are many poor people in America who really don’t want to work or not. I think it really depends on where you live and your circle of friends. I know in my personal experience there are a lot who really want to do the minimum possible and scam the system, because that is my family (and such folks tend to congregate with folks like them so they don’t feel bad)! We really were the classic stereotype of white trash (I can say it because I have lived it). From my husband’s family I know now that there are a lot of hard-working poor, I just never actually met any until I started dating him! What rescued me from a life of irresponsibility was nothing more, and nothing less, than Christ. The Bible simply has no tolerance for laziness or slothfulness. Outside of God’s grace every man is tarnished by original sin, and will work that sin out in their lives. It is the classic difference between Christians and any other religion – we understand that people are “basically bad” without God’s saving grace, while the other religions think people are “basically good” and just have to try a little harder. Without salvation, some people will work out their sin through laziness and slothfulness, others (which the world calls successful) will work it out through arrogance, pride, and personal success at other’s expense. But it is ALL sin.

    The great thing about this country has been (though it seems ALL the politicians are trying to destroy this) is that it is entirely possible (though not guaranteed) to pull yourself up by your bootstraps in a generation. I studied hard, got stellar SAT scores, found Pell grants for my first year of college until I had enough of a record to earn merit scholarships, and graduated first in my class from college with a BS in Chemistry and Physics and a minor in Math (in four years, despite taking an overload every semester to fit two majors in, working full time with school part time in the summer, and part time work full time school during the year, plus odd jobs (painting houses) on weekends and breaks to make extra money for books and food). I managed to get a full stipend for my PhD program in Chemistry from a combination of public and private merit scholarships, and have proudly paid back every dime (plus quite a bit) the government gave me for my education since in taxes. Of course, I was lucky to find a good job right out of grad school, and keep one since through the recession – though to find jobs my husband and I live in the DC area, which has low unemployment, but the downside is the high cost of living. A 3 bedroom 40 year old townhouse with no yard and a 45 minute commute to work is 400K in this area, so even with good jobs our kids will likely never have a yard. My husband is from MI, and whenever we visit I am jealous of how low all the costs are – I buy all our kids clothes there, and stock up on meat to bring home in our big cooler, because even groceries are half of what they are in DC. But we have jobs here – so MI is a dream for retirement after we get our kids through college (a date that gets reset with each muchkin we add)!


  27. Hi Cam,

    Thank you for providing the part of the quote that troubled you. I still do believe though that Romney was talking about Obama supporters. He said, "...the president starts off with 48, 49....he starts off with a huge number." Romney is saying that the president has support from 48 or 49 percent of voters. That doesn't include you, as you clearly don't support Obama. ;-)

  28. Hi Cam,

    One other thing I thought of. Romney knows he needs the support of ever conservative in the country in order to win against Obama. It's not likely that he would endanger his presidential race by insulting good republican families. Something to think about.

    God bless you!

  29. On a very unpolitical note, would you be able to do a post on living simply and on a very strict budget? That's skills!

  30. I will also state, I am also familiar with the concept of the "non working poor". My mom's ex-husband tried to get me to go on food stamps/benefits as soon as I turned 18...not because I needed it, but because as far as he was concerned I was entitled to it. I never understood that mentality (and didn't apply, since I was both employed AND a student). He had other issues as well and I'm incredibly glad he's no longer even remotely in my life.

    But my experience has been that such people truly are the minority of the minority. Most people really *do* want to work. Those that are on disability struggle to get by because it really is a difficult living, especially combined with the judgment we inflict on people who receive government benefits.

  31. I wish Bobby Jindal was the Republican Presidential Candidate...

  32. My (unpublished) letter to the editor of a major newspaper:

    The press made a big brouhaha over Governor Romney’s aside that he thought 47% of people receiving government benefits were unlikely to vote for him. What the governor was implying is that 47% of the people are bribe-able --- which seems to be a fact of human nature.

    Given Alternative A which gave you something vs Alt. B which took away something, which would you choose? It’s natural to choose A, something for your benefit. The alternative our country is faced with, however, is an Alt. B which would take something away from you AND be better for the country, your neighbors. Looking at things this way, the simple question is: “How selfish are you?” or another way, “Are you bribe-able?” Does your self-interest trump your patriotism or any commandments about loving your neighbor?

    If you would respond: “But I need those benefits,” well then the question is: “How much are you willing to sacrifice for your neighbor?” We have a Vice-President who donates $500/year to charity; we know how much he is willing to sacrifice. But sacrifice is an alternative we will all face, for like it or not, Alternative B is coming to our country at some point. If you say you are NOT bribe-able, then the question to honestly answer is: “Which candidate will most likely fix the problems we are facing, best helping our neighbors AND us? Which has demonstrated he can fix problems?” And perhaps as a role model, “Which candidate is making a sacrifice to run for office, versus NEEDS to be in power?”

    If you are not bribe-able, answer the questions and then, like him or not, that is the candidate you must vote for.


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