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Jim Worth

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It's Not Envy, My Friend

Posted: 02/12/2012 6:05 pm

The Republican candidate believes we're all envious of him.

Romney feels that envy of his financial success, the envy of income inequality, is the driver of the current uprising against wealth -- the driver of 'class warfare.' He also believes that envy is the reason for the anti-Romney movement of those opposing his candidacy. But the class warfare he alludes to is not generated by envy.

It's only a talking point emanating from Romney himself to deflect from his obvious deficiencies and to fire up the Republican base.

True, some individuals are probably envious, but, is it envy that causes so many to dislike him?

Watching Mr. Romney stumble through the primaries is excruciating. It's obvious he's desperate to become president despite a lack of understanding of what the position requires.

The position he's aspiring to requires connecting with 'the people' -- understanding their situations and their needs, feeling their pain, and addressing their issues.

But Romney has difficulty connecting with the average person and even more difficulty convincing middle-class America that he really cares about them.

His recent campaign statement regarding the poor, even taken in context, came off as insincere and out of touch. He has no concept of the plight of the poor. Combined with a cold insensitivity toward working-class people his qualifications diminish.

His discomfort in interviews and on the stump is palpable and is marked by his many gaffes. At various times he appears wooden, shallow, unnatural, abrasive, even phony, but rarely sincere, caring, or humble. He tries hard to appear humane yet still comes off dispassionate.

Everything Romney does and everything he says stirs up controversy.

He, at the same time, brags and apologizes for his wealth to appease whichever group he's addressing

His assertion of being unemployed or fearing getting a pink slip and his insistence that he did not inherit his wealth -- partially true but missing the point -- is disingenuous and phony.

The presumptive GOP nominee had problems releasing his tax returns and when challenged reluctantly released his 2010 return. The 2010 return showed a few disturbing things. Aside from the offshore accounts in Swiss and Cayman banks it was discovered that he paid a smaller percentage of taxes than most middle-class Americans -- 13.9 percent.

He, cavalierly, dismissed income he received from speaking engagements as a small amount. It was $374,000, which is more than 10 years of income to the average American family.

Full release of multiple years would likely jeopardize his attempt at being Everyman. The potential exists that earlier returns will show even lower tax rates. This is not a good thing for someone trying to convince the struggling, hard-working American voter, that he's just like them and feels their pain.

His inability to properly address these financial ambiguities is amplified by a hidden feeling of guilt -- guilt about how he's earned his money and the unpatriotic appearance of the low tax rates he's paid.

Though many would like to live in the confines of wealth he's enjoyed, I do not envy him. With all he's been given and all the doors that have been opened for him with his family name, he struggles with being 'real.'

Despite his tithing to the Mormon Church he appears selfish. Despite his repeated insistence that he wants to help the poor he appears pious. Despite his promise of change he has no 'real' solutions. And, with his unfactual attacks on Obama's presidency and policies, the improving employment and economy, he appears to be a liar.

The inability to connect with 'the people' becomes more evident with each primary or caucus. Even within his own party Romney is receiving fewer votes than he received in 2008 -- proof that the party is not overly enchanted with him as their nominee, or, quite frankly, with any of the others.

The 'class warfare' Romney refers to is not the product of envy, but a product of what the wealthy in this country have done to the economy and because of what they've taken from hard-working Americans to line their own selfish pockets. Romney is the epitome of the inequality they've created and one of the reasons his numbers have declined.

No, it's not envy, my friend, it's pity: pity of your desperation, of your personal purgatory over the issues, your lack of true understanding, of your feckless attempts at convincing the American people you're the answer to their struggles. But it's also pity that he must invoke 'class warfare' to avoid his complicity in the disparity in the classes.

Most of all, I pity that the Republican party is left with you as their choice for the presidency.

Believe me when I say, without liberal platitude -- you're not the answer.

Maybe for the Republican Party, but, not for America.

 

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