If you haven’t heard about the “Mitt Romney on Obama Voters” fiasco by now, Google it. It’s easy enough to find.
The controversy centers around statements made by the governor that 47 percent of Americans will vote for President Obama no matter what because they are “dependent upon government.”
The comments were based on the non-partisan Tax Policy Center’s findings that 46.4 percent of American households paid no federal income tax in 2011.
I could sit here and rip Romney apart on these comments on multiple levels. I could start with the overused tactic of labeling him an economic elitist, a plutocrat out of touch with the American people.
I could claim that his analysis is based on a very limited interpretation of what the Tax Policy Center’s study says, and that a closer look would reveal that the tax situation in America is much more complex than his oversimplification suggest.
I could argue that it’s downright offensive to claim that “the 47 percent” feel that they are victims, to suggest that they have no desire to take responsibility for their lives, or to even make the generic assumption that anyone who gets government assistance will vote for Obama because of it.
I could note that after refusing to speak frankly with the American people throughout his entire campaign, it took a secretely-recorded video posted to YouTube to reveal Romney’s true colors.
I could make the case that Romney’s utter lack of tact even in private discussions, as is evidenced by this recording, is completely unbecoming of a presidential candidate who may someday become Diplomat-in-Chief.
I could spend an entire column on an analysis of Romney’s lesser known but equally infuriating comments from the same conversation about the conflict between Israel and Palestine, including the suggestion that the Palestinians “have no interest whatsoever in establishing peace.”
But to me, those are all small potatoes compared with what I consider to be the greatest philosophical difference I have ever had with an American politician.
My disagreement centers around Romney’s statement that, “There are 47 percent who are with [President Obama], who … believe that 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.” By demonizing this 47 percent, Romney seems to suggest that Americans are wrong to believe that the government exists to protect the least among us.
Earth to Governor Romney: that’s one of the primary purposes of our government. I recognize that there are serious problems with our welfare system, and that there are plenty of individuals who have taken advantage of taxpayers by abusing entitlements. Believe it or not, my opinions on the subject are more complex than my position in the “liberal media” might suggest. But Governor Romney appears to imply that those on welfare are not only lazy, but undeserving of food, shelter and medication – a philosophy that I fundamentally disagree with.
I am reminded of Matthew 25:40, which reads, “whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” If the public does not protect the least of our fellow Americans, who will?
Without programs like public housing, food stamps, Medicaid and now Obamacare, millions of Americans would literally starve, dying of disease in the cold. Mr. Romney, if you truly believe that’s just, that’s your business, but I won’t be voting for you.