“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent on government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe they are entitled to health care, to food & housing, to you-name-it. That that’s entitlement. And the government should give it to them. They will vote for this president no matter what.” – Mitt Romney
“And so my job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.” – Mitt Romney
Dear Mr. Romney,
I am one of the 47 percent that you referred to in remarks that you made at a private fundraiser in Boca Raton, FL on May 17th. You have made some egregious and offensive assumptions about me and I deserve an opportunity to respond.
My husband and I divorced at the peak of the economic crash. We had been married for twenty years. Up until the time of our split, I had been working as a “stay-at-home” mom. This was per an agreement that my husband and I made prior to having children. One of the reasons we made the decision for me to stay home with the children was because childcare was prohibitively expensive. When my boys were school-age, I held down some part-time jobs and also worked as a freelance writer and jazz vocalist. However, my predominate responsibility during this time was the care of my children and as such, I did not get much career traction during this period of my life. My post-divorce re-entry into the mainstream workforce was brutal. As we all know, the anemic economy proved disastrous for the U.S. job market. Because I was a middle-aged woman with a sizable gap in my work history, the environment was especially inhospitable. My search for employment was prolonged and bleak. I eventually found an extremely low-paying, part-time job and hustled as many writing and music gigs as I possibly could. My days were long, grim and exhausting. My resources were very limited and it was a colossal struggle to survive. Finally, when I found myself forced to choose between buying groceries or paying the heating bill, I did what you would consider unthinkable:
I WENT ON FOOD STAMPS.
The process to sign on for the food assistance program in my state was detailed and fairly intrusive. I am grateful that everyone that I dealt with at DSHS (That’s the Department of Health & Human Services, Mitt. It’s an acronym I’m sure you’re not familiar with.) was compassionate, helpful and respectful. I was on food stamps for a little less than a year. Contrary to your belief, I most certainly was taking responsibility for my life. I was completely up against it financially and did what any responsible mother would do; I utilized resources that were available to me so that my family could survive. I was, more than likely, eligible for other government services. However, I did not choose to use them. I only took what I needed to squeak by.
Although I am no longer using the food assistance program, my life is far from easy. I bust ass every day. I often work very long hours. I pay my bills. I care for my family. Whenever I can, I make every effort to contribute to my community. I’m not a victim, nor do I consider myself as such. I am a strong woman who pulls her weight and makes responsible choices every day. Mr. Romney, you do not have the right to characterize me as anything other than that or to condescend to people whose lives you know nothing about.
And for the record, I believe that everyone in this country is entitled to housing, healthcare and food. These are non-negotiable and are fundamental to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
I am dumbfounded that a man who seeks to be the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES would make such deplorable remarks about his FELLOW AMERICANS. In the absence of really understanding who we are, you assume the worst. In fact, you appear to have nothing but disdain for almost half of the population….the 47 percenters….us. In your vision, as so clearly articulated by your remarks at the Boca Raton fundraiser, not everyone matters in the United States, especially “those people.” And your comments about the Latino vote were reprehensible. What planet do you live on anyway, asshat?
This is certainly not your first gaffe. Although your hubris doesn’t particularly surprise me, your willingness to articulate it out loud is stunning and says volumes about your character or lack thereof. And if you would speak so recklessly about citizens in your own country, I can only imagine how horrifically you would mangle foreign relations. Of course, we’ve already had a taste of that with your visit to the Olympics and your comments about recent events in Libya.
Yes Mr. Romney, I am part of the 47 percent and although you would readily dismiss me, I am a citizen of the United States. My life, my voice and my VOTE matter. My support of President Obama is not blind allegiance. It is heartfelt and deeply considered. I choose a leader whose vision includes everyone. I choose a leader whose policies align with my value system. I choose a leader who believes the best about his fellow Americans, not the worst. I choose a leader who is compassionate, intelligent and proven. I chose a leader who truly gets “government of the people, by the people and for the people.” President Obama has earned the right to lead this country.
You, Mr. Romney, are not even close.
U.S. Citizen, Mother, 47 %
“We don’t turn back. We leave no one behind. We pull each other up.”
– President Barack Obama