Unless you watch no TV, by now you’ve seen Mitt Romney’s “Day One” commercial. Many times. In it he makes a lot of impossible promises about what he’ll do on day one if he gets to be president. But what about “Day Seven” or the other 1,460 days? Well, at a campaign stop in Virginia this week, Mr. Romney shared a little bit of his education policy. He told the voters:
I think this is a land of opportunity for every single person, every single citizen of this great nation. And I want to make sure that we keep America a place of opportunity, where everyone has a fair shot. They get as much education as they can afford and with their time they’re able to get and if they have a willingness to work hard and the right values, they ought to be able to provide for their family and have a shot of realizing their dreams. [video here]
He doesn’t mention that his budget proposals would slash assistance for college students and abolish money-saving student loan reforms. So what middle class students could afford wouldn’t be much with the price of college these days.
But the key phrase in Romney’s statement is “ought to be able” to provide for their families. He thinks they ought to be able to succeed, but he doesn’t really know if they can. He simply has no idea what it’s like not to have grown up in a governor’s mansion, going to high priced private schools and five years at Harvard. I’m reasonably sure he didn’t pay his own way by bussing tables. He’s spent his entire life around super-wealthy people. The only poor, or even middle class, people he knows are the hired help on his various estates.
It’s not Mitt Romney’s fault that he was lucky enough to be born into a life of privilege. It’s to his credit that he parlayed that upbringing into a successful career in big business. However, it also left him completely incapable of relating to the daily concerns of ordinary salaried class Americans, much less those who work for hourly wages. In Mitt Romney’s world, we’re just numbers on a spreadsheet.