Dear Mr Romney: a Letter from the 47%
Dear Mr Romney
I am a member of the 47% of Americans whom you feel you can dismiss and not worry about. And although I do not reside in America at the moment – rest assured I still vote in presidential elections – I wanted to let you know a few things.
First, you are right. There is not a snowball’s chance in hell that I will ever vote for you. That is not because I am a victim or have yet to take responsibility for my life. Rather, it is because I have a profound belief that marriage equality and full equal rights for my LGBT friends and family is the civil rights issue of our time and I will not vote for someone who will continue to deny them their Constitutional, and, dare I say it, inalienable rights that all US citizens are endowed by their Creator to enjoy.
Second, I have been a victim of many things, but that does not mean I do not take full responsibility for the decisions I have made in response to circumstances which at the time I could not control. Case in point: when I became pregnant at the age of 20 with no husband (or boyfriend – I walked away when I finally accepted that he was Bad News although I did not at the time realize I was expecting), no college degree and no job, I accepted that I had a tough road ahead and that whatever life I was able to carve out for myself and my son would require hard work.
That is why I went on public assistance. I knew my best chance was a college degree and with only two years left to go, I had to Get It Done by Any Means. At the time, my parents had been claiming me as a tax deduction on their income tax so that they could have a more favourable tax rate (I am sure you appreciate their position and would not argue the logic). Unfortunately this meant that I was not “independent” of my parents so their income and assets counted in my financial profile and I did not qualify for financial aid – aid which my son and I needed.
I was advised by my university that if I were to go on public assistance, I would immediately gain “independent” status (rather than having to wait three years during which my parents would not be able to claim me on their taxes) and they could offer me a revised financial aid package. This I did without a second thought – I had no intention of staying on welfare for long and planned on repaying every dime I collected through the future taxes I was sure to pay.
I am proud to say that after two years of hard work, no social life, and with a fair bit of support from my friends and family, I did earn my college degree. I went on to earn a teaching credential and later a law degree and my income potential has risen considerably.
Unfortunately I am not able to work at the moment. My son became disabled three years ago and my presence is required at home. I accept full responsibility for his care and for providing him with the best at-home education I can provide. I am pleased to note that he has made tremendous strides and I have no doubt that in the years to come, he will be able to make his way in the world, independent of me, and will succeed greatly and whatever he sets his not inconsiderable intellect to.
Fortunately I currently live in a country that recognizes that government has an important role to play in supporting the young, the elderly, the vulnerable, and those that are down on their luck through the bad investment decisions of your fellow financiers. We do receive benefits to support our son, but this in no way makes up for my lost wages. Still, the hard work we are sowing into our family today will result in a bountiful harvest in years to come, of this I am in no doubt. And who better to support my children then me? I have the education, experience, work ethic, and sheer abundant love to ensure that whatever they need, they will get. That doesn’t mean material things; rather, I am referring to the love, support, and values that they will need in the future. Surely these are ends you, as the party of Family Values, can stand behind?
There is one final reason I will not vote for you. Despite the Harvard education purchased for you by your father, you are an idiot and you say stupid things. You are a political opportunist who has flipped on so many issues in order to curry favour with the tea party that I have begun to loose count. I cannot respect you. If you had the guts to stand by your moderate stance on issues such as abortion and health care reform from your days as governor of Massachusetts, then maybe.
This is not to say that the other guy is not an opportunist. Perhaps he only hides it better. Whatever it is, I am more confident in his ability to lead and not offend even our staunchest allies. That Olympics comment when you were in London? Yeah, that was stupid. No two ways about it. God only knows the damage you will wreak if you say something about a country who has an axe to grind with us. I shudder to think.
This year, as in years past, I will cast my vote and it will not be for a Republican. I wish I could at least consider your party – it is, after all, the party of Abraham Lincoln, my favourite president. I am hopeful that the election cycle for 2016 will produce a more robust class of candidates.
At the very least, I hope the next candidate is better than you.
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