Once again, I don’t like or support Mitt Romney in any way. However, it disturbs me that I just scrolled down 26 different posts in my blogroll, bashing him for the following statements:
“I’m not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there,” Romney told CNN. “If it needs repair, I’ll fix it. I’m not concerned about the very rich, they’re doing just fine. I’m concerned about the very heart of the America, the 90 percent, 95 percent of Americans who right now are struggling.”
“The challenge right now — we will hear from the Democrat party the plight of the poor,” Romney responded, after repeating that he would fix any holes in the safety net. “And there’s no question it’s not good being poor and we have a safety net to help those that are very poor . . . My focus is on middle income Americans … we have a very ample safety net and we can talk about whether it needs to be strengthened or whether there are holes in it. but we have food stamps, we have Medicaid, we have housing vouchers, we have programs to help the poor.”
In any political campaign, he said, “you can choose where to focus. You can focus on the rich–that’s not my focus. You can focus on the very poor–that’s not my focus. My focus is on middle-income Americans.”
What Romney did here, in my opinion, was to reiterate the 99% versus the 1% slogan that the very same bloggers who now bash Romney for this statement have promoted for months. He is a little more honest than the #Occupiers in that he, at least, recognizes that we don’t have a uniform 99% of dispossessed people in this country. He, at least, does distinguish the people at the very bottom from those who have incomes of $100K or $1,000,000K per year. I think it’s very important to start mentioning the fact that there are huge differences in the lifestyles of the $150K and $15K per year crowds. As you all remember, I could never make my peace with the #OSW crowd because of its insistence that the millionaires, the almost-millionaires and the very poor were all in the same boat.
Now, as for Romney’s decision to focus on the middle class in his campaign, once again, he is doing the exact same thing that the #OSW has been doing. I think by now everybody has recognized that #OSW is all about the terror that the middle classes feel at the prospect of slipping down the social and financial scale (do I need to quote Zizek again?). So Romney is saying openly that he will concentrate on the concerns of such middle-class people. Even though, in my opinion, he vastly exaggerates their number, he is being far more honest than the #OSW has been.
We all know that, as a Republican presidential candidate, Romney could not possibly be expected to concentrate on the plight of the very poor. So why are we bashing him now? For being honest and voicing what most of the #OSWers feel but never admit to?