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Why I cannot vote for Mitt Romney this fall

Brandon Lesko
Assist. Opinion Editor

Governor Romney’s recent comments generalizing 47% of Americans as irresponsible leaches dependent on the government for existence may be old news to some.  Others may not even know what I’m talking about and may be shocked that a man running for president of this country would be so arrogant as to label half the country as a bunch of whining slugs, but I promise you, he really did!

During a fundraiser in May, Romney addressed a group of supporters and said that his role “is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives,” citing their perceived entitlement to health care, food, housing, etc.  To expound upon this wise observation, he then went on to label those who would “vote for the president no matter what” as the same group of Americans that don’t pay their income taxes.  What a guy!

I’m not saying that the president has to be as compassionate as Jesus, but when you do claim to be a devout Mormon I somewhat expect that whole “love thy neighbor” idea to be at least somewhat visible in your world outlook.  Unless of course you’re a Republican, then it’s ok to call yourself a christian and shirk all of the teachings of said religion and say, “Hey, it’s the free market man.  It’s freedom!  It’s what America’s all about.  Go out and make a killing for yourself and if your neighbor isn’t as fortunate, screw him!  I know I’ve been fortunate and I sure as heck do sympathize with those poor folks, but if I start giving out money then I’ll just go broke…maybe if they pray more…”  I could go on.

International Education Week

Now I don’t think Mr. Romney looks at things the way I described above.  His supporters may, but I think he’s just a practical business guy.  That’s how he can afford multiple homes that cost a combined $16 million or so.  I don’t begrudge him that though.  If I were loaded with cash, I’d have multiple homes too.  For my family.  No, I think that he’s just a practical man.  He sees that half of the country is too poor to afford health care, housing, and food and he says, “Gee, these lazy bums must not have gutted enough companies and shipped the jobs overseas.  I wonder why they’re all not rich like me?”  Well the only answer is that they’re all dependents!  Scum that never did a hard days work in their lives.  Once they tasted their first stick of welfare butter they just couldn’t get enough!

Here’s the reality.  I am the son of two parents, small business owners to be specific.  Don’t the Republicans just love small business owners?  Funny, we could never tell.  Anyhow, my mother worked for many companies in her young adult life including Polaroid and Tasco in Miami as a marketing executive.  One day she and my father moved to rural P.a. to open up a photography business.  In all that time, they’ve done ok for themselves, but they never asked for a handout.  Flash forward.  Today my parents are divorced.  The studio is still there and doing well enough, with no help from the federal government.  My mother on the other hand, after working in several jobs, lost her gig at a hospital last spring and lives alone.

In all of my mother’s time of being unemployed she has survived on the paltry amount of money given out by unemployment.  She has not taken advantage of food stamps or other welfare programs.  As a result of losing her job she also does not have health care, since most parts of the new health care law do not take effect until 2014.  Only a few weeks ago, my mother fell and hit her head, possibly experiencing a concussion.  “Go to the hospital,” I said.  To which she replied, “I can’t afford it.  I don’t have insurance.”

I’d like to sit down with Mitt Romney and ask him this.  Do you still feel that half of this nation’s citizens are good-for-nothing slugs?  Is it fair that my mother, and millions like her, who have worked their asses off their entire lives should lose their jobs through no fault of their own (in fact it’s because of men like Romney who work on Wall Street), lose the health care they paid for, not be able to afford to pay their bills and rent, and have to forego medical care all because a few people in a board room wanted to save some money?

Those 47% are out there looking for jobs.  Jobs that unfortunately, don’t exist because millionaires, or “job creators”, like Mr. Romney aren’t actually making any.  Instead they’re all carrying on the same as before.  Stripping down companies, laying off hardworking people, all the while raking in huge bonuses for themselves.  Then they turn around and blame the government’s high tax rates as they’re literally shipping jobs over to China to pay those citizens slave wages and put ours out of a job.  Ain’t that America.

Yes, there are people who are dependent on the government, but not 47% of the population and not everyone that is voting for Obama.  Romney’s comments didn’t surprise me one bit.  He was a millionaire talking to a bunch of rich donors who probably feel exactly as he does.  It must be nice to be able to write off the misfortunes of others as them just being lazy, dependent, and irresponsible.  I hope most Americans now can see that Romney and the Republicans really don’t care about anyone but the rich, and I hope to God it costs him the election.