Dear Mr. Romney: You have gone too far

Dear Mr. Romney:

I cannot tell you, right now, how much you have enraged me in the last few days. I am beyond being annoyed with you, beyond being merely mad at you.

I am now enraged!

Every time I hear your voice – every time I hear your voice – I find myself yelling at you via the radio or television.

Thank God for the print media – because of them, I do not yet believe I am in danger of having a coronary. I simply turn the page.

Do you know why you have enraged me? I think not, for if you did, you would stop saying some of the incredibly insensitive, stupid things you have been saying. So let me educate you.

First, simply because I don’t pay income taxes doesn’t mean I am a “victim.” I am not a victim. I simply don’t make very much money. Thus, when it is time to do my taxes, I am granted the Earned Income Tax Credit.

In case you are not aware of this, sir, this tax credit is very similar to the ones you take to keep your tax rate down to the insultingly low level of 13 percent.

You yourself have stated, repeatedly, that you take advantage of every single tax break thrown your way. Congratulations, sir, for being smart enough either to (a) hire someone to do your taxes who knows his or her business; or (b) are really good at filling out the forms yourself.

So answer me this: Why is it perfectly acceptably for you to take your tax breaks and not for me to take mine?

I pay every single cent I legally am required to pay in taxes.

If that statement sounds familiar, it is because I am echoing you.

Second, I pay a bucket-load of taxes, sir. I pay state income tax. I pay payroll tax. Because I am self-employed, I pay the entire share of FICA. I pay local property taxes, state property taxes, and state sales taxes. I pay federal taxes for every gallon of gas that I purchase. I support, through my taxes, government, schools, the military, the infrastructure of this country, and a whole slew of other things.

In other words, sir, I am a taxpayer.

What I am not is a victim!

How dare you say that just because I use the tax code as well as you do (on a much, much, can I say again, MUCH smaller basis than you), that I am a victim?!

How dare you proclaim that I expect the government to take care of me?

Did I mention that I pay for my own health insurance as well?

I realize that in the context in which you were speaking last May, you were declaring as already lost the so-called “47 percent” (and may I point out, sir, that you really need to get more of your facts correct, since the correct number is forty-six percent? And yes, one percentage point does indeed a difference make).

I get it. You don’t think you can convince a huge swath of this country to vote for you.

That’s fine. I understand. Because I, sir, am one of those people who will not be voting for you.

But you, sir, went too far. You decided to tell your more ardent supporters that the only reason I won’t vote for you is because I am a victim, a worthless slug of a couch potato who wants to be bottle-fed by the U.S. government.

You insulted me, sir.

And you insulted every person in this country just like me.

And that is a step too far.

I was willing to give you grace about your boasts of being a job creator – which you are not. Your time at Bain Capital was never about creating jobs. What you are, sir, is an incredibly gifted wealth creator. That’s what you did at Bain – you created wealth for your investors, and from all records, you were outstanding at your job. Pretty ruthless when it came to the people who actually worked for the companies you were attempting to build up or turn around, granted. But your investors made more than one pretty penny off your work.

So bravo for creating wealth upon wealth.

I would be happier, I should note, if you would be honest about what you did there, and stop trying to tell me that you created jobs. You did not.

And I was willing to give you grace on your budget proposals, even though I disagree with just about every thing you have said, every idea you have had. Your proposals, combined with Paul Ryan’s proposals, will do lasting harm to this country. You will continue to attempt to use an economic theory that has never, in the history of the world, worked. Trickle-down economics, sir, are dangerous for the overall wealth of this land and its people.

But it’s your proposal, and I give you credit for standing by it.

I even was willing to give you a modicum of grace for comments you made on your first overseas trip as the presumptive nominee. Trust me, I winced and cringed much of the time you were overseas, but I understand what you thought you were trying to say.

I was less willing to give you grace every time you told yet another lie about this country, or about the man against whom you are running, President Obama. You repeat canards that are offensive on a constant basis, and for that, I was not willing to give you very much grace.

But in an attempt to try to give you grace, I decided you had poor advisers who gave you bad information, and that in your rushed life, you did not take the time to say, “Hey, is this really true?”

Because if it wasn’t your advisers’ fault for you proclaiming, repeatedly, that President Obama has apologized for the United States (not true); that President Obama is wiping out work-requirements in welfare (not true); that … oh, dear, the list is far too long to repeat here, but you know whereof I speak … if it wasn’t your advisers’ fault, then you, sir, must be either (a) an idiot (which I do not believe is true) or (b) vicious (which I did not want to believe about you).

That’s not much grace, I grant you. But I’m trying here … so work with me, OK?

But then your comments at your fund-raiser were leaked.

Which is when my blood pressure went up, and I went from being mad at you to being enraged (sadly, I cannot even convey that properly, but imagine, if you would, please, see that word in blood-red, in HUGE letters, with lightning bolts and sparks flying off it – that’s how enraged I am)!

Because in trying to speak a truth, you made a point of absolutely denigrating nearly half of this country.

You made it plain that you hold us in contempt!

You made it sound as though we are not even worthy of your consideration as human beings, much less as a major portion of the people you seek to represent and lead.

And that, sir, is a step too far.

You have made a major mistake, sir.

For I am not alone in my rage.

There are others – many others – who were willing to give you the benefit of the doubt, but who no longer can do so.

If you hold me and others like me in such contempt, do you not understand that we in turn will hold you in contempt?

You simply cannot identify us as money-grubbing, lazy, worthless, shiftless people who do not deserve your attention, or your help, or your leadership, and expect any of us to vote for you!

Even you, sir, cannot be that thick-headed!

So let me reiterate my lesson to you, because, as you well know, there will be a test – on Nov. 6. Please, sir, pay attention.

  1. I do not make a lot of money.
  2. I do pay taxes – lots of them.
  3. I do not expect the country to give me everything I need.
  4. I survive based on hard work, and the incredible generosity of friends and family, many of whom are in the same boat.
  5. I do expect you to treat me, and others like me, with respect. You do not have to like me, and others like me. I get that. But if you want to lead, sir, if you want to be a leader, stop denigrating me and mine. Stop it. Right now.

Because if you want to be president, sir, you are going to have to realize: People like me? We vote.

And we do not vote for people like you.

 

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About Lauren Stanley

All my life, it seems, I’ve been on mission. And it’s all my mother’s fault. You see, when I was a child, my mother was adamant: We were to help those in need, those who had less than we did. We were to speak for those who could not speak, feed those who had no food, give water to those who were thirsty.

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