I am very frustrated about this current election!!! I wish I had someone to talk to about all this…someone who wouldn’t just get all insulted that I was even asking such things! Why isn’t there anybody out there who can help me understand this so that I am not accused of buying into the hype without proper research???
The more I look into the issues that mean something to me, the more I just don’t see why anyone would like Mitt Romney as a candidate. I have TRIED to do the research. I have asked for and LISTENED to feedback from my Republican friends. They are very intelligent and I respect their feedback, but for the life of me I still don’t understand the draw. These are what I care about in regard to this Presidential election, and what GOP candidate Mitt Romney has to say about them…
1. Legalizing gay marriage. I believe that homosexuals are entitled to the same rights as heterosexuals, and in a country where church and state are allegedly separate, there is no cause for the government to impose a certain faith-based belief on its citizens. No, I do not believe this opens the door for pedophiles or animal abusers because children and animals are not legally consenting adults.
Mitt Romney stated: “I believe we should have a federal amendment in the constitution that defines marriage as a relationship between a man and woman, because I believe the ideal place to raise a child is in a home with a mom and a dad.” (Aug. 11, 2011) Therefore, he is stating that we as a nation SHOULD impose religious beliefs on everyone? I cannot support that. As John Adams himself stated, “Nothing is more dreaded than the National Government meddling with Religion.” This country was founded on the principles of religious freedom. It is contrary to those ideals to force anyone to believe or accept one religion over another. Moreover, nobody is implying or insinuating that any church be forced to perform or recognize a gay marriage if they don’t want to. Heck, when John and I got married, we used a non-denominational chapel and a family friend to perform the ceremony because we didn’t have a pastor and a church who agreed to it, since I’m Muslim and he’s Christian! But we’re still LEGALLY married, regardless of that fact, and he and I have legal rights and benefits that our gay friends (many of whom have been with their partners FAR longer than we have) do not have?! How is THAT fair?!
2. Single mothers. I was a single mother to Saara for 2 years, following the divorce from my ex-husband for domestic violence reasons until my marriage to John in 2006. I know first-hand how difficult it is to be a single mom, and I know how hard I tried to make sure my daughter got the best from me that I could give. I always have and always did try to raise her to be respectful, careful, intelligent, thoughtful, and conscientious because that is my duty as a mom, regardless of whether I have a man to help me or not. I have all respect for all the single moms and dads out there trying their best.
Romney stated: “If there’s a two-parent family, the prospect of living in poverty goes down dramatically. The opportunities that the child will — will be able to achieve increase dramatically.” (Oct. 16, 2012) I personally find this insulting, even more so because it followed a direct question about gun control, not about single parents. So was he intending to insinuate that single parenting leads to gun violence? How can I, as a former single parent myself, NOT take offense to that? Not everyone is fortunate enough to find the perfect mate the first time around. Not everybody does better when tied to someone else. And, since he has already stated his stance on marriage being between a man and a woman, what about all those families out there who have gay parents heading their households? Are kids who have 2 moms or 2 dads just not as good as those who have one of each? As a teacher, I constantly strive to ensure that I don’t pre-judge my students. I believe that each of them can and will be successful, that each of them has potential. I can’t help but feel that comments such as these add to the pre-disposed notion that these kids will be failures, and that inevitably leads to a self-fulfilling prophecy. We set them up to fail when we make blanket statements like that.
3. School vouchers. As a public school teacher, I have a big issue with this. Private schools are, as their name suggests, PRIVATE for a reason. The people that pay the money to send their kids there have a specific reason for doing so…maybe they want a faith-based education, or maybe their kid was bullied in public school, or maybe they just don’t want little Johnny sitting next to the riffraff you could possibly find in my classroom. Whatever the reason for it, make no doubt about it…as a public school teacher, I bust my ass to make sure my kids succeed, despite the fact that I’m shelling out my OWN measly paycheck to supply my classes with pencils and paper every day. Give me your tired, your poor…and I’ll get those kids to not only read, but UNDERSTAND Shakespeare.
Romney states: “Make Title I and IDEA funds portable so that eligible students can choose which school to attend and bring funding with them. This plan will allow the student to choose from any district or public charter school, or a private school where permitted by state law, or to use funds toward a tutoring provider or digital course.” (May 23, 2012) Here’s my main issue with that: For all the people out there who claim that private schools offer a superior education to public schools…on what grounds do they base this claim? Where is their legitimate comparison data? Is it just because private schools have the ability to kick out the “undesirables”? Doesn’t make for an equal playing field…awfully easy to say you’re doing a better job when you have the crème de la crème to begin with. Plus, keep in mind that public school teachers are more highly trained than those you will find in most private schools (you don’t even have to be CERTIFIED to teach in MOST private schools). And for those out there who wish for government funds to pay for Christian or Catholic schools…do they feel the same way about using taxpayer money to send kids to Jewish or Muslim schools, or are they discriminating? You can’t have it one way and not the other…
I just feel like this kind of attitude will kill public education…not to mention I have already addressed my thoughts on combining government and religion!!! But perhaps that is the point. If you privatize education, then you can control the teachers and the curriculum…teach them what you WANT them to know…dumb down the masses…that makes them easier to manipulate, to control…and so on. But perhaps I am getting too “conspiracy theorist” now…
4. Religious freedom & TOLERANCE. It’s not hard to imagine that life as a Muslim in post-9/11 USA isn’t exactly easy. People are upset, and I am by no means minimizing the hurt, but the misplaced blame is doing nothing productive. 9/11 is no more the average GOOD Muslim’s fault than the average GOOD Christian is to blame for the Holocaust! (Side note: look up “positive Christianity” if you don’t believe me. The Nazis used the emphasis on Jesus’ struggle against the institutionalized Judaism of his day to justify their behavior against Jews.) It truly drove me crazy when there was such a big to-do over the appointment of a couple Muslims to the Department of Homeland Security. I mean, REALLY?! That would be like me saying that I think that we, as a nation, should make sure to cause a big stink every time a “devout Christian” is sworn into ANY office. After all, aren’t Christians responsible for the Holocaust, the KKK, the Spanish Inquisition, the Crusades, and the Salem Witch Trials, just to name a FEW?! Their record as fanatical oppressors rivals that of ANY terrorist organization out there. (For the record, I do NOT feel that way about Christians…I am merely trying to make a point!) One of the biggest ways this can be illustrated is with the controversy surrounding the “Ground Zero Mosque”. Obama summed it up fairly well when he stated, “As a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country. That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan in accordance with local laws and ordinances. This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable.” (April 14, 2010)
Romney’s spokesperson, Eric Fehrnstrom, made this statement on his behalf: “Governor Romney opposes the construction of the mosque at Ground Zero. The wishes of the families of the deceased and the potential for extremists to use the mosque for global recruiting and propaganda compel rejection of this site.” (Aug. 10, 2010) I’m sorry, but that sounds incredibly prejudiced to me. If that isn’t blatantly assuming that all Muslims are potential terrorists actively recruiting other terrorists, nothing does! This would be similar to stating that NO churches be allowed to be built near any former sites of any WWII Concentration Camps, as a result of the fact that Hitler used Biblical verses as justification for his horrific acts against the Jews. Any rationally thinking person would see how asinine that suggestion is, and yet people still accept THIS as valid??? As Thomas Paine said, “He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.” Guarding freedom means ensuring freedom for EVERYONE, regardless of whether they agree with you or not! I don’t think Romney understands that.
5. The “47%” Freeloaders. Mitt Romney’s quote: “There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it — that that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what. … These are people who pay no income tax. … My job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.” (Sep. 2012)
I would just love to say to all of the people out there criticizing people who “get government handouts”, please consider the target of your derision. I, too, was in that position. When?
In 2004, when I left my abusive ex and had nowhere to turn to…I turned to friends, family, and a place called CASA, which is funded by OUR (yours AND mine) taxpayer dollars, for help.
In 2010, when I was pregnant with the twins and John was unceremoniously fired without warning TWO DAYS before I went on UNPAID leave of absence, and then it took him a grand total of NINE months to find another job, he filed unemployment for SIX months because we had ZERO income, we were rapidly going through our savings (because we had budgeted for the loss of MY income, but NOT the loss of BOTH incomes), and we had FIVE mouths to feed. Yes, I had short-term disability coverage, but it only paid me for a total of 4 weeks (they only cover a total of 6 weeks for a vaginal delivery of a child, and then they took off the first 2 weeks because my benefits didn’t start until my 14th day off work. I could have had 2 more weeks paid IF I had opted for a c-section, but I did not want unnecessary surgery…I truly CONSIDERED it, though. How awful is that? To actually be in a position where you CONSIDER having a surgery you don’t NEED just because you need the MONEY?!) The amount of money I got from the insurance company for disability did not even cover the amount the school board CHARGED me to maintain my insurance during the 12 weeks I was off work.
After the twins were born up until now, I qualify for WIC…they have some magic formula that takes into account our income against how many people live in our house, and I just BARELY (like, within $40) qualify. Now that we got a “raise”, however, I may not qualify anymore. Those benefits give me 8 gallons of milk, 4 loaves of bread, $12 worth of fruit/vegetables, 2 bags of beans, 2 dozen eggs, and 4 boxes of cereal per month (and that’s only because I had twins – if I had one baby, we’d get half of that).
All of this, and John and I still
-pay our taxes in full and on time
-both work full-time
-both have Bachelor’s degrees
-raise our kids (he stays home with them during the day while I work and then I stay home with them all night while he works)
-don’t drink, smoke, do drugs, pop out dozens of kids, or do anything else that people assume those on government assistance do
-pay our bills
-donate to charity when we can
-don’t break the law
-try to be upstanding, moral citizens
And yet, when I mentioned this elsewhere, I was told that MY lack of planning doesn’t mean I’m entitled to take YOUR taxpayer money. I was also literally told that “it’s a SIN that (John and I) accept handouts” (referring specifically to the WIC checks we get), even though I’m fairly certain that God never said charity was SINFUL…in fact, I am fairly certain the Bible and the Qur’an, for example, (the only reference I have off the top of my head) say the OPPOSITE. And I’m sorry, but it’s MY taxpayer money too! I have worked hard my entire adult life and paid every cent that I had due to the government so that, GOD FORBID, if I ever needed help, they’d be there to help me. It’s like an insurance policy. And if you are so lucky that you never needed help, good for you…but God protect you from ever being in a position that you do. I would hope if you do find yourself there some day, other people don’t cast aspersions on YOU for it and call you names and make you feel worse than you already do about it.
Trust me. Nobody I know who has been there is HAPPY about it. I know I never was.
And people still wish to claim that we’re lazy freeloaders??? Don’t tell me that you’re talking about those “OTHER PEOPLE” and not us. You ARE talking about us (and I would warrant, probably 1/3 of the people you know are in this position currently or have been in the past and you don’t even know it). Those ones who “take advantage of the system” and make money hand over fist while being lazy? They are few & far between, I’d warrant, and I would bet any money NONE of you knows ANYONE like that in person. It’s just that THOSE people are the ones who make the news and create a bad name for the rest of us. Does that mean we should ALL be punished for it??
I drew this analogy earlier when discussing the same topic: I’m a teacher. I know that on any test I give, there’s going to be some students who try to cheat on it. Does that mean that ALL of my test scores are invalid? Does that mean I should stop giving tests altogether? Does that mean I have the right to accuse all of my students of being cheaters??? Of course not!!!
WHY MUST WE ALL CONTINUE TO BE JUDGED BY THE WORST AMONG US?! It’s very frustrating, Nana!
6. Miscellaneous. This last item on my list is not so much a social or political issue that I care about as much as a personal preference. I am so sick and tired of the entitled condescension coming from Mitt Romney’s wife Ann. The thought of that woman anywhere near any decisions that could affect me or my family makes me physically ill. I have absolutely no respect for her as a person. I know she has struggled with health issues and I certainly don’t wish her harm; I do feel compassion for her daily struggles and hope that she finds relief from her pain, but as a person, I am offended and insulted by her comments time and again. Her claim to have been a stay-at-home mom is laughable, considering that she had an extensive staff to “help” her at home. I’m sorry, but nobody who has maids and butlers and nannies and cooks can TRULY say they understand what it’s like to be a REAL stay-at-home mom. I know stay-at-home moms who cook and clean do all that AND raise their kids BY THEMSELVES, with NO applause, and they don’t go bragging about it at the end of the day. But her comment about working mothers (“I love the fact that there are women out there who don’t have a choice and they must go to work and they still have to raise the kids.” April 2012), just shows me how out of touch she really is to what women and mothers go through in this country. Excuse me, Ann? You LOVE the fact that I don’t have a choice and have to do this? You LOVE it? You LOVE the fact that I haul my butt out of bed at 5am every morning and go teach my students all day long – not the ones I hand-selected, because *I* am not a private school teacher, but the ones that came to me in need of my help…the ones I CAN’T turn away – and I give them my all until it’s time to go home. Then I see my husband for all of 20 minutes before HE leaves for work, and I am home with my 3 children all evening (because my salary as a public school teacher is LESS than what it would cost me to put my kids in child care, so my husband works nights while I work days). You LOVE that?! What a patronizing thing to say! I am truly offended. And then her husband criticizes other people’s parenting and insinuates that other people’s parents are to blame for their kids turning out violent, while their own son makes violent statements about wanting to punch the president?! (Oct 2012) (Look, I don’t care if you love or hate the guy, you DON’T say disrespectful & threatening things like that about the person who runs the country! I would say the same thing no matter WHO was president! If Mitt Romney won this election, I would stand up for him and say that nobody had the right to say threatening things about him either!) The hypocrisy abounds…and this kind of behavior makes me think they have no respect for anyone but themselves, because they are too arrogant to think about those below them, and want to punch those above them!
I know so many people who are very unhappy with the way things are in this country nowadays. I’ve got to admit, things aren’t all peaches and roses for me either. But I think about what I have now as opposed to what I had in 2007-2008, and I can’t say I am worse off than I was by any stretch of the imagination (John and I both have jobs, I actually got a TINY “raise” this year…not much, but at least my salary didn’t go DOWN again, we have a great house, my health insurance costs are going to go down finally, etc.). I cringe when I hear of so many people who are voting a certain way just to get rid of that guy they don’t like. What good does that do? You’re not just voting someone OUT; you’re voting someone else IN! I feel as though too much of this country’s problems are because the Republicans and the Democrats are too busy FIGHTING each other instead of trying to collaborate and FIX things. What good does that do? Are we that immature that if Bobby says one thing and all of Bobby’s friends like it, they’ll all support it until Ollie says it too, and then all of a sudden they don’t like it anymore because it’s Ollie’s idea??? GROW. UP. Stop fighting amongst yourselves and DO the damn job you were chosen to do! In the meantime, the rest of us peons are stuck suffering the consequences of the powers that be not being able to get their shit together, and we’re all being fed lies that turn us against one another instead of fostering a spirit of cohesiveness similar to the one that helped to create this nation in the first place!
I’m trying very hard to stay positive and keep an open mind in all of this, but I fear we as a society step backwards when we allow ourselves to be consumed by intolerance and arrogance…and the idea that gay people, non-Christians, children of single parents, people who qualify for government assistance, working moms, and teachers are not worth it to a potential president worries me…