Heir apparent GOP nominee Mitt Romney wants to govern a country that he doesn't completely trust with his money, and he represents a religion many in the Religious Right believe isn't Christian. Add in other "put out the fire" challenges including strapping the family pet to the roof of his car for a 12-hour joy ride, and one soon realizes that the Grand Old Party will need to pull out all of the stops if the Party hopes to get Mitt elected in November.
As reported by The Huffington Post and other news outlets, Mitt Romney has a Swiss bank account. Why he has one (or more, for all we know), is a mystery to us Average Janes and Joes. Is it that American banks aren't reliable enough for Mitt, and he feels that his American money is safer in Switzerland? Maybe he just likes the view of the Alps outside of his European bank, or maybe there's a really nice personal Swiss Miss banker who has caught his eye. As a marketer, I certainly wouldn't want to have to defend a "Made in America, Banked in Switzerland" tag line.
Whatever his motivation, Mitt's Swiss account doesn't seem very American. The vast majority of us keep our much smaller sums of money in the U.S. Only the rich can afford hide and seek their cash in places that provide safe haven from our tax laws, protection from U.S. economic instability and/or a run on our banks. One would think that if you're vying for the highest office in the land, you might feel an obligation to support American banking systems, our economy and pay any and all taxes so that our union and its freedoms are protected.
Like most Americans believe (I sincerely hope and pray), honesty and integrity are important to our society's welfare. Unfortunately, our politicians of recent haven't set much of an example for the rest of us. Many take money to speak by special interest groups, wine and dine with lobbyists, become lobbyists themselves and then tell the American people they're in it for us average citizens. And, for reasons that are devoid of any real logic, Americans root for these same politicians like they're cheering for high school football teams on a Friday night in Texas. We say, "I'm a Republican" or "I'm a Democrat" rather than "I'm an American, and I care about health care reform, taxes, unemployment, Social Security" and whatever else you'd like to throw on the heap. Giving political parties our undying gratitude without considering the actions of their politicians simply gives them more power.
Maybe that's why GOP voters can look at Mitt Romney and his off shore accounts and think it's okay he might not trust the very government he wants to run. Maybe that's why Conservative Christians, many of whom firmly believe Mormons are not followers of Christ and therefore the enemy, can support Mitt in the election. He is, after all, a Republican and the Religious Right votes GOP. Even if voting for Mitt means conservative voters have to compromise what they believe in most, their Christian value system. The emotional need to align with a political party far too often trumps personal judgments and beliefs.
To win in November, Mitt Romney will have to hide behind the shield of the Grand Old Party and hope that none of the Religious Righters wake up from their GOP-induced dream state. Mitt will need millions of voters to pull straight Republican tickets, without considering his overseas bank accounts or Mormonism or poor track record with Seamus the dog. It takes courage to stand on principles and fight for issues rather than blindly follow GOPers, Dems, Tea Partiers, Libertarians or the like.
It would be a truly wonderful world if all Americans could stop hiding behind party-constructed political agendas to carefully consider and vote their truths. Choose representatives based on what issues are most important to you personally, and refuse to hand over your vote to a party that doesn't care about you, personally. We are not watching a game of red states vs. blue states on ESPN. We're selecting people to govern our nation.
Does it seem honest and just for a presidential nominee to keep some of his millions in off shore accounts? oes it show faith in our nation or is it an unpatriotic act? If you believe that a certain religion is morally and spiritually wrong, do you think it's wise to put your Jesus aside and elect someone from it to run the country? Every politician seeking any office should be asked questions that are important to voters, and those voters must want to do what's best for a nation rather than simply join the cool kids at the party.
When we start voting our conscious rather than blindly follow behind a donkey or an elephant or a tea bag, we'll become the more perfect union we are meant to be.
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