FLOTSAM & JETSAM: Personal to white guys thinking about voting for Romney

Monday, August 27, 2012

Personal to white guys thinking about voting for Romney

Sam Smith

According to the latest Gallup survey, white guys support Romney by a margin of 58 to 34 points. Old guys – who are overwhelmingly white – support Romney by 59 to 36 points.

As an old white guy, I don’t think this is too wise. Here’s why:

- Romney would cut the number of police and firefighters. Not only do we need them, but they are important jobs for white guys.

- Romney would cut the number of teachers in public  schools. That’s not good for your kids and grand kids.

- When he was governor of Massachusetts, Romney’s budget cuts resulted in firing of 14,500 Massachusetts teachers, police officers, and others. That’s a lot of jobs lost.

- Yes, Romney would save the some money at the federal level. But a lot of state and local programs – such as road repair and hospitals – would likely suffer. State and local jobs would be lost. And states and towns would have to try to make up the difference  out of their own budgets and with their own new taxes.

- It doesn’t help for white guys to act like the grumpy old bigots that Romney and his campaign would like you to be. The last time white guys tried that was in the days of segregation and it didn’t help them at all. It’s true that the media  and American society in general beats up on white guys too much. They forget our role in winning independence, building our cities, ending the civil war, growing food, defeating Nazism, creating the New Deal and the Great Society and, in more recent decades, giving up more power and status with less conflict than history has hardly ever known.  Be proud of these things, and don’t hurt the story by acting like jerks or bullies.

- Just because you don’t always agree with Obama doesn’t mean you have to agree more with Romney.  Approach this election like you were buying a used car.  Bitch about both dealers but make the smart choice.  Yes, Obama’s like the guy who doesn’t tell you the truth about the gas mileage or the problem with the left rear tire,  but Romney will sell you a real lemon and never lose his smile for a moment. Obama’s mistakes are much easier and cheaper to repair.

- Romney pretends to be a businessman. He isn’t. He’s an investment banker who has made most of his money off of businessmen's hard work and through buying and selling their businesses.  

- The investment banking firm of which Romney is so proud – Bain – has been a leader in outsourcing jobs to foreign countries. This is not the sort of business experience  or job creation that we need.

- One analysis of the Romney tax plan found that it would reduce payments for millionaires by about $87,000 but would raise your taxes by an average of $500 a year.

- The Romneys took a $77,000 tax deduction for their dressage horse. When was the last time you took a $77,000 tax deduction for anything?

- According to one recent study, the Romney Medicare plan will cost you an extra $60,000 over the rest of your life. Yes, Obamacare has serious problems but deal with them on a case by case basis. Don’t hurt your family’s coverage just because you don’t like the individual mandate. 

- Mitt Romney has a hard time telling the truth, keeping the same position he’s had previously, and even served on the board of company that ended up paying $118 million in criminal and civil fines. Obama doesn’t tell the truth sometimes and can be pretty wishy washy, but he doesn’t come close to Romney’s level of deception.

- The Romney budget would hit Amtrak hard as well as highways and other public works projects around the country. How will that help your community?

- One estimate is that Romney made $20,000 for every worker that Bain Capital laid off. Is this the sort of guy you want in charge of your economy?

- Romney has more money hidden in overseas tax havens than any presidential candidate in American history.  Maybe more than all of them put together. And he won’t tell you why.

- When he ended his term as Massachusetts governor, Romney destroyed 150 boxes of state files. Nobody knows why but destroying public information is not generally a good sign.  

- Romney’s supporters have been critical of, or refused to help, many kinds of Americans including  9/11 responders , AARP members , Americorps participants  , bicyclists, children with pre-existing health conditions , college students , disabled people , disaster victims , home owners , Medicare & Medicaid recipients , postal service workers , public workers, Social Security recipients , teachers and women.  That’s an awful lot of Americans that Romney and his friends don’t like.  And many of them are white guys.

- When was the last time an immigrant, black or gay executive fired someone in your company or cut pensions and healthcare? When was the last time a conservative executive who kind of talks like Romney did? Maybe this is a clue about what’s really going on.

- One of the most familiar cons in American politics is for the wealthy to convince the poor and middle class that someone else on the lower end of the economic ladder is responsible for all their problems.  But how can poor and politically weak people manage to pull it off? Well, of course, they don’t. It’s those at the top who are creating the problems but they want to make sure those below them don’t realize it and come together and do something about it.  Don’t let the big money guys fool you this way.

- If you’re finding it hard to live in a society made up of a lot people who look, think and talk differently from you, remember what my father used say to my siblings and me: “You don’t have to like your relatives[ you just have to be nice to them.” America’s a family, too. You can’t have your own liberty unless everyone else does as well.  When there’s a problem, work it out, but don’t be mean or a bully like Romney.

- The two worst economic disasters in the past one hundred years occurred as a direct result of the same  sort of theories now being pushed by Romany and his team.  The odds are just about zero that we can recover from the latest crisis by continuing the same economic theory that got us into the mess in the first place.

- It’s true that a lot of liberals these days act and talk like elite prigs and treat the average white American male as stupid and crazy.  They can’t tell the difference between Donald Trump and a factory worker. The sad thing is the great achievements of liberalism came about in no small part as a result of the support and effort of average white American males.  Stop feeding the white male bashers. Press for the sort of true populist  politics that fostered the New Deal and Great Society – and which gave us  the weekend, Social Security, a minimum wage, Medicare, a 40 hour week and so much more.  The conservative right treats average white males as dumb and toys to play with;  the liberal elite treats them as worthless trash. Fool them both by forming working class alliances with folks who may look different than you but have so many of the same problems. Anger doesn’t get you anywhere, being smart does. Demand a politics that improves real life for you, your wife, your children, and everyone else in this land of ours.