Friday, July 20, 2012

Letter to a devout Republican

When we lived in Belmont my kids went trick-or-treating on Halloween and knocked on Romney's door.  He handed out toothbrushes. The man is clueless. If he didn't want to play he should have turned out his lights. He is also responsible for ramming the Mormon temple down the throat of the town. He is despised in Belmont, a mostly Republican town.

“Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me,” wrote F. Scott Fitzgerald. He didn’t just mean that they have more money. What he meant, at least in part, was that many of the very rich expect a level of deference that the rest of us never experience and are deeply distressed when they don’t get the special treatment they consider their birthright. "They think, deep down, that they are better than we are.”

Romney is not the creator of jobs he claims. Take Staples, for example, When Staples started they were a warehouse store, cheap and with every conceivable stationary item.  They paid well and trained their staff well ... and they lost money. That is until they put all the mom and pop stationary stores out of business. Then they stopped being the warehouse store they started out to be (they reduced their SKU's from over 100,000 items to under 10,000 ) and stopped most of their employee training and began paying McDonald's wages. If, for example, go into a staples today and ask for log-linear chart paper and you'll only get a dumb stare. Look in the catalog and you won't find it there either.  Some economists have estimated that Staples alone is responsible for the net loss of over 20,000 median income jobs. Romney did a splendid job of feathering his own nest at the expense of others. That is, of course, his right and one could say his duty to his stockholders as a businessman (he was the sole stockholder at Bain) but that is not the job of a president.

Romney is not your friend. Romney's stated policies would eliminate as much of the safety net. He would reduce or eliminate Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, unemployment, etc., as well as remove regulation from the financial industry and industry in general like ending the EPA, etc., while furthering the benefits to the very rich. American incomes have (adjusted for inflation) largely remained flat for almost 30 years (thanks to policies begun by Richard Nixon) while American productivity has more than doubled. Where has that added wealth gone? It has gone to the top 1% who have increased their income by 400% over that same 30 years.  The taxes on the top 1% are the lowest they have been in 85 years yet Romney wants to eliminate the capital gains tax and the corporate income tax.

Romney is not your friend. When he was Governor his stated reason for "Romneycare" was to save the state money. He has no interest in you or me. He just didn't want the state to pay for people going to the emergency rooms when they had nowhere else to go so he mandated that everyone had to buy insurance or pay a fine. What a nice Republican. He's against "Obamacare" simply because he thinks it will get him votes, no other reason. He is a man without convictions, without a moral center despite (or because of?) his Mormonism.

I can honestly say that I'd enjoy sitting down with any of the Bushes for a chat (or a beer), as well as Ronald Reagan and perhaps even Richard Nixon in his later years but I get the feeling that any "conversation" with Romney would quickly sink into a lecture about how father knows best. He is clueless both about policy (he doesn't have any except whatever he or his minions think will get votes) and the plight of the common man. His presidency would be one of the greatest disaster to befall the United States. I can easily imagine the United States devolving into a third world nation where the rich live in their isolated enclaves and the rest of us live in unsanitary slums. This is not the America I want to see, not the America my forefathers fought for, not the America my forefathers pledged their lives , their fortunes and their sacred honor for.

- Steve Glines

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