"There are 47% who are with him, who are dependent on government, who believe that, that they are victims, who believe that government has the responsibility to care for them. Who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing." - Mitt Romney
I don't talk politics too frequently on my blog, mostly because by the time I get around to addressing a particular topic, other bloggers have done it faster and better. Whether this is your first time reading my blog or the hundredth, it probably won't surprise you to know that I am a Democrat. I'm a Unitarian Universalist. I listen to NPR and take yoga. I believe in fighting for social justice. I believe we all have equal value. I'm left-leaning for sure, but lean just slightly to the right in certain areas. I reserve the right to edit my thinking as the world changes (lest you think I'm entirely inflexible). I just figured I'd get all of those disclosures out of the way.
I do not buy into the entitlement mentality that strikes a lot of people of my generation (the so-called Gen-X) and the generation(s) that has followed after. I feel fortunate to have a job. I would love to have a higher paying job, but I don't kvetch about how I deserve one, how I'm entitled to more than what I have. People who steal don't usually need whatever they stole - they feel that they were entitled to it. That line of thinking is a bad trap to fall into.
Does it irk me when the woman in front of me in the check-out line at the grocery store pays with food stamps while chatting on her iPhone? A little. I mean, I don't want to be disingenuous here. I wonder about those things, too. I just try to remind myself that I don't know that woman's personal situation, that it really is not my business. Do I think that some people abuse the system? Sure. My sister is a social worker and I have heard all kinds of stories. Do I think that some people accept government assistance because they have absolutely no choice? Do I think they'd prefer to be self-sufficient? Sure.
Call me crazy, but it seems to me that human beings are, in fact, entitled to health care, to food, to housing. When the news broke of Romney's remarks (recorded via hidden camera), I kept reading that same line over and over again.What am I missing here? Is the availability of shelter not a human right? Most communities have animal welfare laws on the books requiring the provision of food, water and shelter to dogs.
My stad had to have knee and hip replacement surgeries a couple years ago. He had worked at the same restaurant for some 25 years. He took some time off to recover and when he tried to go back, they no longer welcomed him. He is now working a couple of part-time jobs and currently, my parents do not have health insurance. Mr. Romney does not think they deserve it. I mean, screw them, right? They probably didn't work hard enough, didn't do their part to pursue the American dream.
My parents raised me to have a good work ethic. I have been working since I was 15 years old. I have a college degree. However, not everyone had that boost early in life. Some people start out with a real deficit - growing up without opportunities, without support. Let's face it - any citizen elected to the office of President is wealthy. The way our political system is structured means that the winner is always selected from the so-called 1%. Barack Obama has probably never used a coupon in his life. However, I do think he at least has the gift of empathy. Mitt Romney, in my opinion, does not. And who can forget Romney's wife referring to American citizens as "you people." Who doesn't feel a little like a peon after hearing that?
It scares me that there is a very real possibility that we are going to elect this man into office. Egads!