5. Misrepresentation of his experience in the private sector.
Mitt Romney’s job experience in the private sector does not include entrepreneurship or running any business that provided a product or service (with the exception of consulting being framed as a service). In as much, he is not the job creator he would like voters to believe he is. What he has created is a story of hard work being the sole key to his career success. Unfortunately it’s not the type of physical labor and/or sacrifice most of us equate with working our way to the top.
In reality, his experience at Bain Capital consisted of being a key player in identifying companies ripe for turnaround. The typical scenario involved acquiring and leveraging controlling shares of said companies, then gutting the companies by cutting operating costs, in turn increasing the immediate bottom-line profits for the share holders. Contrary to creating jobs this more often meant eliminating jobs (unless you consider those created in foreign countries through outsourcing). In many instances, over the long haul the companies in question were leveraged right into bankruptcy after CEOs and other high level executives appointed by the major shareholders took millions in salary and bonuses. To add insult to injury, Bain Capital also received millions in consulting fees.
Matt Taibbi said “What most voters don't know is the way Mitt Romney actually made his fortune: by borrowing vast sums of money that other people were forced to pay back. This is the plain, stark reality that has somehow eluded America's top political journalists for two consecutive presidential campaigns: Mitt Romney is one of the greatest and most irresponsible debt creators of all time.”
4. Lack of empathy.
Mitt and Anne Romney are grossly unsympathetic to those less fortunate. The Romney Family is completely removed from the average citizen’s experience and it seems, even more unwilling to make any attempt to understand a life without privilege. Anne’s romanticized story of their lean years, going to college and struggling in their small apartment with a crazy quilt of carpet remnants on the concrete floor, is about as sympathetic to the typical American experience as is the likelihood of money ever growing on trees.
The Romney’s cashed in stocks to pay for college expenses. Are they really so ignorant of the masses that they do not comprehend most of us do not have those financial reserves? Anne Romney talked about both of them being jobless students and, again, is ignorant that being able to go to university and not have to work at the same time to pay your way is a privilege the majority of us will never know.
Instead most of us struggle through college, working to support our basic needs – rent, food, transportation, while endeavoring to maintain both grades and work performance that will keep us from being booted out of school or fired from our job. Budgets are stretched so thin that, if they were fabric, one could read their text books through it in a dark room. When unexpected expenses break the budget, there are no extra hours in the day to take on an additional part-time job, nor parents, other relatives or friends who can help out.
Going to school without the pressure of having to work even one job is living on the gravy train. The Romney’s just don’t get that.
3. Denial of safety net factoring into choices.
Even beyond their college years, they have never known what it feels like to take a risk without a safety net there to catch them should things not turn out so rosey. This is not to say they have always fallen back on that net as they did when cashing the birthday present stocks to pay expenses in college. Rather it speaks to the very fact that Mitt has been able to bravely and boldly take the kinds of capital risk that produce wealth, knowing that he will never go hungry, homeless or gravely ill without the resources that protect against these misfortunes.
Neither do I imply they live a charmed life of privileged leisure, free of any worries or sorrows. They do share the common struggles and fears of all couples, all parents, of all humans who are frail in ways where money provides no immunity. They simply do not know the real, sometimes paralyzing fear of facing these everyday realities as one who is poor and disadvantaged in the U.S.
As proof that they earned everything they have the old fashioned way, The Romney’s cite the fact that Mitt donated the inheritance from his father entirely to charity. Right out of the chute that gives him a sizeable deduction on his taxes which contributes to his personal bottom line of taxable income while at the same time, not having come out of his own coffers. The donation is inarguably a good thing, but the virtue of its goodness and the benefits it provides to many others does not erase the benefit it also provides to the donor.
Further, his belief that having the ability to donate such a windfall equates to not being privileged in the first place is ludicrous. When you have reached the point in your career of being a billionaire, no amount of donation to charity can erase the fact that you started at an advantage over the average person. Nor can it negate the very real probability that, without such a leg up in the beginning, you may not have achieved the same level of success in the same time-frame.
Either Mitt Romney is truly ignorant of his exceptional privilege, or he truly believes that he can convince the average voter his family’s money was in no way a contributing factor to his success. If the latter, he is insulting my intelligence and I would guess that of many like me.
2. Truth (or lack thereof) in packaging.
As his campaign has progressed over the past eight years (remember, he tried this the last election round and his words from that Republican bid for presidential candidate in2008 are on record), Mitt Romney seems more interested in packaging himself to elevate his numbers in the polls, than he does on unwrapping himself for the voters to see beyond the hyperbole. In short, he is the worst kind of waffler, a purveyor of half-truths and qualified statements so far removed from the original truth that even he believes the current marketing mix.
Sadly, this penchant for packaging, and then consequently believing the package, has spilled over onto his opponent. As Ilyse Hogue says,
“The three seconds that Mitt Romney stared dumbly as debate moderator Candy Crowley corrected his assertion that the president had not quickly identified the Libyan attacks as an act of terror felt like an eternity. As his insistence visibly turned to uncertainty then to confusion, the entire fallacy of this GOP strategy was illuminated on live national television: Romney had so come to believe his own lies that he was genuinely stumped when presented with fact.”
And my number one reason for not voting for Mitt Romeny – Lack of belief in himself.
Or if not that, the unwavering knowledge that who he believes himself to be is not what the majority of voters want in a president. Romney is not unintelligent. He is not a slacker, nor a slick confidence man. He did not get to where he is on his privilege alone. Yet, none of this can change the fact that his life of privilege is irrefutable no matter how vehemently he disavows himself of it.
I’m sure he genuinely believes his solutions for our country are the right ones, and in all probability they may have as much potential for success as any next guy’s. The problem for me is that he does not believe in himself enough to stand up in front the voters and say,
Here I am, here’s where I came from, and this is how I got here. I have absolutely no idea what it must be like to go hungry, to go jobless without savings or investment to back me up, to suffer illness with no insurance, to sleep in a shelter, a car or under newspapers in an abandoned building where I hope not to be found and kicked out. I have no idea what it means to be without a job through no fault of my own when I have a family to feed and bills to pay. I am clueless as to how those of you who do suffer these circumstances find the resolve to keep trying when you are knocked down at every turn, but I believe that I can help you if given the chance.
The very fact that Romney refuses to accept his position of privilege in life and its far-reaching extent in his success thus far precludes such an admission that he was and is way better off than most people ever will be, regardless of how hard they work. His name alone opened doors for him that would never be opened to the average person. His dogged belief that he did not have a head start by virtue of his family and their wealth is arrogance at best and, at worst, a deep-seated belief that we all get what we deserve; that those of us who have come up less fortunate are somehow less deserving and in some way faulted.
I’m sorry Mr. Romney, but If you cannot understand and acknowledge the difference between yourself and the “tired, poor, huddled masses yearning to breathe free” yearning for even 1/100th of the opportunities your privilege has and does afford you, then you do not understand the greater portion of those whose future you would hold in your hands – and you do not get my vote for President of the United States.
More from entertainment