How many Americans can Willard Romney alienate in the shortest possible time?
Apparently, most of us. With astounding dexterity, "Mitt" is entirely capable of pissing off our British allies, Palestinians, and Poles, and then find himself in deep kimchi about remarks he has made and continues to make about anyone who is not wealthy.
Romney's fundamental values, perspectives, and beliefs are simple -- if you're poor, underprivileged, or ill it is your own damn fault. If you're able to have Cayman Islands bank accounts, four houses with car elevators, two Cadillacs for the spouse, and still pay less than 14 percent to income tax, you deserve it, you're successful, and you're a job creator.
Personal responsibility trumps any other value, always. Want higher education, borrow from your indigent parents. Want health care, except in Massachusetts, find it yourself. As to employment, no unions, no collective bargaining, no nothing; send the jobs abroad to make more profit for owners, for whom unemployment in the U.S. is irrelevant. In any case, the underemployed and non-taxpayers are the 47 percent who expect entitlements.
Willard Romney is a piece of work. He probably has not visited a check-out line save for a photo-op in the last 30 years. He doesn't know what a family pet is except as a car roof decoration.
Out of touch?
I just returned from a harrowing trip abroad to the Middle East. Willard Romney is not the man -- nor is Paul Ryan, for that matter -- to lead us in such a world of turmoil. Guaranteed to create new war, additional confrontation, and zero global affinity for the United States.
Domestically, Romney has and will continue to alienate not just the 99 percent who, like me, work and pay taxes, but entirely ostracize those who are too old, too ill, or too indigent to pay income taxes -- although they of course pay many other sales taxes and fees. They include retirees, veterans, single-parent families... all patriotic Americans but without means. And wasn't it Romney who sought to avoid paying as much tax as he could "legally"?
Willard Romney has a deeply embedded problem with empathy, something that people who did not come with silver spoons -- Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and Joe Biden did not -- are able to exhibit. Obama, Biden, Clinton -- they all struggled to overcome adversity. Yes, ultimately Harvard or Rhodes scholarships. Still, they struggled. One parent, or working class, and family adversity.
For future leaders, struggle is a teacher, and surmounting adversity a strength. Romney does not share such experiences. Ryan lost his father as a teenager, but was from southern Wisconsin nobility, as it were, in the milieu of Janesville.
When Romney dismisses 47 percent of the electorate, and thus almost a half of the 99 percent who are not in Willard's lofty financial orbit, Americans who intend to vote should take careful note. Those who might have otherwise not gone to the polls on November 6 ought to reconsider. A Romney presidency would benefit a fragment of our population, and do so with extraordinary malice to the rest of us.
Daniel N. Nelson leads a consulting firm in Virginia, and has previously been an academic administrator and government servant.