Romney’s asserted that there are 47% of Americans “who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it — that that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what. … These are people who pay no income tax. … [M]y job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”
A friend’s mother, Polly Snodgrass, wrote this to Romney in response:
Dear Mr. Romney,
I am a senior citizen and long past the time when insensitivity towards me can ruffle my feathers. But insensitivity toward others is another story. I have waited to respond to your 47% tirade so that I could try to inform or maybe even educate instead of just having a swearing temper fit. Each of those 47% has a story. Here is mine.
I worked for more than 25 years in programs designed to give families the skills and supports necessary to become self sufficient and to raise healthy, happy children. I willingly worked 60 to 80 hours weekly because the need was great and the cause was worthy. My husband, a Republican, also worked long and hard in the corporate world and volunteered many hours on behalf of others, including as a Red Cross volunteer assisting those living near and affected by the 9/11 disaster. We paid our full share of taxes all those years, and never tried to take unfair advantage of “loopholes”. We saved and invested to supplement our social security. We insured ourselves and our children so that we could take care of our health. When we retired, I think even you would agree that we had earned our social security pensions and medicare.
Unfortunately, my husband’s health has not allowed us the retirement we hoped for but we are just grateful that he could receive the care he needed and that we could still remain in our home. In a span of five years he has had emergency heart surgery, lymphoma and prostate cancer. He received excellent care and has made an amazing recovery although his health is still fragile. Without Medicare, we could never have afforded his treatment and would have lost everything we owned trying to.
Now that he’s stronger, he volunteers at the cancer center where he received his treatment. I spend my “leisure” time working in animal rescue. But in good times and bad, we have never forgotten that those who have, no matter how they came to be the “haves”, owe something to the “have nots” . If compassion and empathy just aren’t part of your make up, then please consider that you are one of those who owe a debt for your good fortune. I don’t care how hard you may or may not have worked for it, you have it and that means you are in a position to do all you can to make sure others at least have the bare minimum. Your jobs programs, your small government ideas will not feed hungry children and will not take care of the sick, the elderly, and the impoverished.
If you won’t do your share, then please get out of the way so others, including the government (of the people and by the people) can do theirs. You have underestimated us. We care and we won’t vote for someone who doesn’t. You lost me when you put your dog on top of your car, but now you have lost many more of us than you realize. It’s not too late to do the right thing. It may not win the election for you, but it will be more satisfying than you realize.
Interestingly, it’s as if Chris Christie heard her argument more than Romney did.