Smile and nod

This election season has been rather entertaining, watching the various GOP candidates chewing on feet in attempts to garner support or appeal to the ‘common man’. The most recent example is the 47% remark from Romney that came to light last week. Admittedly, part of the reason that’s been so telling is because it was said in a fairly private environment, though it’s always been clear that that is more or less how the GOP tends to see poor people. Personally, though, I’m a bit more interested in his public attempts at appearing more relatable, as they so often serve to underscore just how out-of-touch he really is. Lets recap, shall we?

In response to criticisms that he was hiding tax dodging, he replied that he did indeed pay 14% income taxes. Given that he’s well into the 35% tax bracket…way to pay your fair share, Mitt.

Ann’s been just as fertile a field in this regard. She’s said that Mitt would be a good president because he ‘cares’, which you can tell because he’s clearly not running for office for the money. To which I have to ask, who thinks that any presidential candidate runs for the money? The salary is certainly well above the median income in this country, but most if not all candidates come from the upper classes to begin with. Not to mention that it’s a fairly thankless job that throws you and your family under the public microscope (Heck, just applying for the job does that). Is the paycheck really enough to offset that? I think most of us believe that people run for president for reasons other than money.

Then there’s my personal favourite, which ties in with the above–Ann’s insistence that they’re not ‘about the money’, saying that Mitt has gotten used to turning down $30M job offers. She missed the important point of that statement, which is that HE GETS $30M JOB OFFERS.

The key issue here isn’t even so much that Romney is this out of touch. It’s not a desirable trait in a presidential candidate, but we all have blind spots about people who live lives different from our own. The main problem is that he is ignorant of his own ignorance, believing that he knows the One True Way, and that if people just followed his advice no one would be poor. Selling stock to make it through your young adult years is not the same as lacking that cushion to fall back on. Being responsible for your finances isn’t the same when you are able to afford an accountant as when you need to manage them yourself, among all the other tasks you can’t afford to hire out. Mitt is a child of privilege, displaying the ignorance that that privilege has nurtured for us all to see in an attempt to appear experienced and wise. And every time he does so the bubble he lives in becomes a bit more visible.

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