Friday, November 16, 2012

He didn't misspeak...

“Especially the African-American community, the Hispanic community and young people.”
“In each case, they [the Obama administration] were very generous in what they gave to those groups,”
 “With regards to the young people, for instance, a forgiveness of college loan interest was a big gift, free contraceptives were very big with young, college-aged women. And then, finally, Obamacare also made a difference for them, because as you know, anybody now 26 years of age and younger was now going to be part of their parents’ plan, and that was a big gift to young people. They turned out in large numbers, a larger share in this election even than in 2008.”
“You can imagine for somebody making $25,000 or $30,000 or $35,000 a year, being told you’re now going to get free health care, particularly if you don’t have it, getting free health care worth, what, $10,000 per family, in perpetuity — I mean, this is huge,”
“Likewise with Hispanic voters, free health care was a big plus. But in addition with regards to Hispanic voters, the amnesty for children of illegals, the so-called Dream Act kids, was a huge plus for that voting group.”

These were Mitt Romney’s statements in a recorded conference call with his big donors post-election. This is the reason that he is stating that he lost. And you know what, he’s right. You add up women (not just young women, but any woman who cares about making her own choices in life), young people, Latinos, and African Americans, you have most of the electorate (Obama also got an overwhelmingly large percentage of the Asian-American vote) accounted for, except for white men.
So essentially what Mitt Romney is saying in this statement is that the Obama administration didn't cater as well to white men as every other administration that has ever existed. While I wouldn't necessarily agree with that statement (old white men got plenty of “gifts” from the Obama administration), I don’t think that we as a country should be lamenting the decreased influence of white men in our politics, our boardrooms, or anywhere else in society. Old white men have had their run - it’s been long and deleterious to pretty much every other social group – and it’s time that we as a nation begin to embrace the original concept of this country, inclusion.
Romney’s statement, while misguided in its use of the word “gifts”, actually makes a lot of sense. People would vote in their best interest. While Romney is lying in saying that Obamacare provides free health care for people, it is understandable that people would embrace a change to the healthcare system that would positively benefit them and their family. He’s make it possible for people with existing conditions to get health care, he’s removed the lifetime caps, he’s allowed children up to 26 years of age to stay on their parent’s plan, and most of all he’s created the mandate that forces everyone into the market (think “skin in the game”), which in the long run will be able to decrease cost, and hopefully encourage more competition.
And why would a woman vote for Mitt Romney? He and his running mate have shown support for policies that would drastically diminish the ability of a woman to make healthcare choices about her own body. I’m not sure why that would be such a mystery that a woman who wants to control her own health, even getting (*gasp*) birth control if she wanted/needed it, to vote for the person that actually espouses a view in support of women’s rights.
As far as Latinos are concerned, the Republican Party has done nothing but patronizingly pander to them in an effort to win votes. When it comes time to actually create policy that benefits Latinos, Republicans are nowhere to be found. It’s interesting, however, to note that Latinos should be a key demographic for Republicans. Republicans espouse to believe in hard work, family, pulling yourself up by your bootstraps, etc.; these seem to be characteristic traits of Latinos (not to try and put anyone into a general category) and, in fact, most immigrant groups, and yet immigrants are spit on by the Republican Party and turned off by their jingoist, white is right, mentality.
Finally, African Americans. On the whole, I cannot see why the Republican Party thinks that they have a chance to win the black vote. Not to say that black people vote as a bloc, but Republicans have made every effort they can to gerrymander this country into segregated districts, doing their best to push black people into districts with only other black people. Was not the “southern strategy” an overt effort to create fear of black people in this country, by appealing to white voters misperceptions and stereotypes? Have republicans changed their strategy at all? Not really. Newt Gingrich throughout the Republican primary called Barack Obama a “food stamp president”, and republicans talk of black people in this country as if every single one is on welfare. They’re living in the past, and they want to keep it that way. Their past is where the white man is superior, and the black man has to respect the white man; they want to hold onto that for dear life.
Republicans after Obama’s first victory always referred to an unspoken “they” that had taken the country away from “true Americans”. And while we can’t be sure who exactly “they” are, we can surmise from the comments of Republicans, from the tea party to Mitt Romney, that they were speaking of African-Americans, Latinos, minorities in general, women, young people, LGBT people, religious minorities, Muslims, immigrants, and basically anyone else that was not white, was not married, was not heterosexual, was not born in this country, was not Christian (hopefully Protestant, but they’d give you a little wiggle room as long as you believed in Jesus), or was not a “job creator”. Republicans fundamental belief is that this country was built by and for white people, and everyone else is just “they” that are living here on “our” land on “our” dime. I guess every group except for white people forgot that, and decided to vote for the guy that actually considered them citizens of this country, and therefore as important people and groups in our society.


Anonymous said...

Bringing up Newt Gingrich's argument (which surprisingly made sense), why did the Republican party lose the Asian vote? A higher percentage of Asians voted for Obama more than even the Latinos. Romney can't blame that on "handouts" given out by Obama.

The truth is that in the past 4 years, the Republican Party has disregarded the needs of every minority group, and blamed their so-called lack of success on laziness (hence the stereotype all black people are on welfare).

Romney didn't misspeak...he just chose to ignore the bigger picture. He lost because his party only appeals to WASP men.

Michael Murphy said...

When you're right, you're right (except for when you're left).