A dialogue on ‘Romney reveals class war’

This is a discussion surrounding Romney Reveals Class War, which ran in The Daily on Sunday. This email seems to summarize some of the complaints I received.

Dear Eric: (Open Letter)

I am sorry to see that you have finally drunk enough of the Daily’s Kool-Aid that you parrot their agenda. That agenda, revealed in every issue contains (1) We are smarter than anyone else in the room. The Daily’s readers are too stupid to realize this; so its okay if we insult them..(2) Republicans are mean-spirited, anti-poor and anti-disadvantaged, so any accusation that might be made of them is warranted. (3) The election of Obama justifies repetition of every half-truth, fact-twist, and current Democrat party line that supports that effort. (4) The people of Alabama act against their own interests. The Daily must lead these benighted to change their ways.

You ignore the context of Romney’s 47% remarks to demonstrate your belief that he actually does consider the 47% as moochers. Either you have added dishonesty to duplicity, or you have not viewed the Romney videotape. First you ignore the fact that two minutes of his speech immediately after the 47% per cent were either edited out or “accidentally” omitted. “Do da Nixon tapes mean anathing to ya, Andy.” Secondly, if you listen to the tape without a pre-disposed opinion, you quickly see that Romney is talking campaign strategy rather than personal belief. He is at a fund-raiser. He is explaining how he will use their money. He rightfully states that people who do not pay income taxes and receive welfare will not respond to a campaign message primarily based on cutting taxes or reforming welfare. DUH!

From your educational background you surely know that from De Toqueville on, poltical philosophers have stated that democracy is in peril when voters find they can simply vote themselves benefits. Perhaps that is why you try to hang an albatross around Romney’s neck. You’ve only got 47% now and some of these can’t be counted on. We musn’t let Romney wake the 53% up.

My response:

Thanks for the email.

I both watched the entire videotape and read the transcript. Unless the first two minutes were something like, “Everything I say after this is a parody,” I find their omission insignificant.

I’m not all that worried about Romney. He’ll either win or lose; certainly nothing I write will have any impact on the result. The hatred I see in Alabama for Obama is so intense that I cannot imagine a candidate losing to him.

I am very worried about the corrupting influence of campaign financing. The interests of the very wealthy are not identical to the interests of the rest of America. Indeed, their interests tend to support the preservation of a status quo that limits income mobility. That does not make them evil; it’s just common sense.

The problem is that they are quickly obtaining complete control over the political system. Both parties want to win elections, and — as Romney accurately explained — they can only do so with huge amounts of money. That level of financing cannot come from the poor or middle class. Indeed, over the long term, I think we can assume that the heaviest financing will come from those who see the investment opportunity in campaign contributions. There are plenty of wealthy people who want to see a more progressive tax system and more opportunity for the poor, but they get no financial return on their contributions.

And to reiterate, I don’t see this as a partisan issue. Both parties are becoming pawns of those who can afford to help them win elections.



1 Comment

Filed under Campaign finance, Democracy, Election 2012

One response to “A dialogue on ‘Romney reveals class war’

  1. Like LW (Letter Writer), I, too, took most of MR’s remarks around the 47% to be his explanation, given in confidence, to a room full of “his people,” each of whom had already given $50K to hear it, of how he would win the election. The meeting’s purpose was not to win the votes of the audience–he already had them, 100%–but to win thier bucks. He was trying to JUSTIFY to them that their bucks would not just disappear into a hole, his losing, but would be a smart investment for their mutual cause. I’ve not seen the whole video or read the transcript, but I’m sure MR ended with a plea for their generous and continuing support. But from this video and ALL THE OTHER STUFF I’ve seen, I believe that MR has an overbiding concern for the very most wealthy, and only a peanut-butter concern for the very low, who “have a safety net” and can go to the ER for cancer chemotherapy and radiation and insulin and test strips, the not-so-low, and the middle class. It isn’t that he’s rich; it’s that in 2012, his reasonably “last opportunity” year to achieve HIS LIFETIME GOAL of being president, the ONLY PATH for him is his reinvention as a “severe conservative.” He’s playing the hand he was dealt. For the 99% of us, I fear what would happen if that hand wins.
    Unlike the LW, I believe the DDaily does what it ought to be doing, looking with reason and calmness at facts and evidence and local conditions, state-wide, to help guide its readers to calm and rational decisions in their real best interest.

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