At a recent campaign fundraiser, Mitt Romney complimented the hosts’ accommodations, noting the pool and golf course. But rather than just stop there Mitt decided to take a shot at Democrats using a commonly held fallacy, stating ,“You know, if a Democrat were here he’d look around and say no one should live like this. Republicans come here and say EVERYONE should live like this.”
This is a popular idea among conservatives and it shows just how little people like Mitt Romney really understand the common man. If you ask Mitt Romney why a majority of Americans want to raise taxes on the rich he will say it’s because people envy his wealth. The problem here is the Mitt Romney has never been an average American so he doesn’t understand that what really matters to the American people is that our system is fair – that everyone has the same chance to succeed.
People currently feel that the system favors the rich, making it unfair. But rather than attempting to understand the common man’s concerns, people like Mitt dismiss these concerns as unjustified.
So if you complain that Mitt Romney earns like the top 1% yet pays a tax rate closer to those in the middle class, you’re just jealous. If you want to become rich like Mitt Romney, he thinks you should just borrow $20,000 from your parents and start your own company. Never mind that Romney himself never started his own company and even held back from joining Bain Capital until the company’s partnership agreement was restructured to remove all financial risk for Mitt.
Given that Mitt has never had to struggle with money, it’s no wonder that he can’t relate to the average American, but the more concerning issue with his statement is that it shows he can’t put himself in other people’s shoes. Just because Mitt Romney and others have put wealth as their top priority doesn’t mean that everyone else places the same value on money.
I imagine very few people join the clergy because they see it as their path to fame and fortune. The people drawn to teaching have college degrees yet have no illusions of joining the top 1%. Firefighters and policeman probably don’t put wealth as the number one reason for pursing their career. And even in professions like lawyers and doctors there are those who place a higher value on helping those in need over high wages, like Doctors Without Borders and public defenders who could easily make more in the private sector.
The thing that Romney doesn’t get is that not everyone is motivated by money and not everyone values big homes and expensive things. Sloughing off this difference in personality as jealousy or envy is insulting, and it shows an extraordinary amount of ego and ignorance on Mitt’s part. But he represents a party who thinks being gay is a choice, being part of the working poor means you’re lazy, and “reverse racism” is a bigger problem than actual racism, so the fact that he doesn’t understand how other people think is not surprising.
While Mitt Romney will suggest his business background makes him more qualified to turn the economy around, this same logic also means he is completely unqualified to help the poor and middle class realize the American Dream, having been part of the rich his entire life. But Mitt Romney doesn’t get that his dreams may not be yours. He doesn’t get what it is like to live paycheck to paycheck. And he doesn’t get how his agenda of making life better for the top 1% may seem unfair to the other 99%. Because, at the end of the day, Mitt Romney doesn’t get it.