With all the hoopla swirling around Ann Romney's new title as Queen of the Mommy Wars, the debate about the Romneys' immense wealth has kicked into high gear. The economy of the U.S. -- and the universe -- is in turmoil, so it's easy to demonize the Romneys as out of touch elitists who don't deserve our votes. That could very well be true. Yet as the cyber rage over the size of their bank account(s) grows, it's important to stop and realize that extreme wealth doesn't make someone an elitist jerk. It's the attitude they have as a result of this extreme wealth that counts.
A similar phenomenon happened a few months back when the 1% tip hoax stoked the rage of 99%-ers from Newport to New Haven. An "evil banker" allegedly gave a poor, suffering server a 1% tip and scrawled "Get a real job" on the receipt. The story clogged Facebook news feeds and trended on Twitter -- a true badge of importance, like being knighted -- yet something seemed off about the whole thing. Sure, some rich people leave horrible tips, but to actually write "Get a real job" seemed exaggerated. It was. The whole thing turned out to be a lame Internet hoax and personally I think it gave the so-called 99% a bad name. Blindly thinking that every banker and every wealthy person is the enemy is juvenile and it waters down the real issues. Which brings us back to the Romneys.
Sure, Ann Romney has probably never tilled a field or served a Happy Meal in her life. Her home no doubt gleams and shines due to her staff. When her hands got too full she was likely lucky enough to call for one of her nannies to help out with the screaming babies. Good for her. These things don't make her a bad person. Is Elton John evil because he's dripping in wealth? Paul McCartney? Brad and Angelina? They have nannies and bodyguards. The problem is the Romneys' out of touch, elitist attitude. It's not just one little slip of the tongue -- they continually blurt out comments that cause the rest of us to squirm. Ann Romney said she doesn't consider herself wealthy. Mitt says he's a hard-working Mexican American who eats grits and says "y'all" (if anything sparked my own rage, it was listening to him troll the South and try to speak like the natives). They're trying awfully hard to fit in with the rest of us, which means one thing: They don't.
Obviously hearing about the Romneys building a La Jolla home with a car elevator pisses us off, yet wealthy people all over the world are polishing their car elevators as you read this. Quietly. And they're not trying to win our votes and run our country. More power to them! Well, scratch that -- they have enough power. What's important is to remember that a bulging bank account does not brand someone as a bad seed. There are plenty of kind, giving millionaires and plenty of cruel, greedy 99% grouches in the world. The real problem with the Romneys isn't their money. It's that they can't relate.
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