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Address the myth

October 25, 2012
The Daily News


I've read many letters and articles proclaiming what "we the people" want or think. I, too, am a part of the people, so it seems presumptuous of some to speak for me.

Perhaps that is why I feel obligated to speak for, "I, the people." We are not always aware of the reasons for voting as we do. We base our decisions on our fears and feelings as much as our factual knowledge.

Let us address the myth of "Mitt as self-made man." He was not "born into a middle-class family." That was his father.

Mitt was born into a very wealthy family, grew up in Bloomfield Hills, a very wealthy community, played with the children of other wealthy parents, attended Cranbrook, the expensive prep school for boys, then married a young woman who attended Kingswood, an expensive finishing school for girls.

His grandfather's gift paid for his Harvard education. When the founder of Bain & company wanted Mitt to start a private equity company (Bain Capital), he fronted Mitt a million dollars to get the business off the ground. (No puny SBA loans for Mitt.)

One cannot begrudge Mitt his great good fortune, but nothing in his manner or speeches has indicated an understanding of me, the people.

For example, his insistence that "no one dies in this country for lack of health care."

In fact, approximately 45,000 people die in America every year for lack of proper health care.

Has it ever occurred to him that emergency rooms cannot provide treatment for breast cancer? If she had no insurance and not enough money, his own wife could well have died of her health conditions.

Diabetes, cataracts, prostate cancer, liver disease, tumors, macular degeneration, joint replacements.

I'm sure you can think of many things that cannot be treated in the emergency room. As a nurse, I cared for a young working mother who died for lack of early diagnosis.

It should never happen, but denial will not prevent it. Romney simply denies that which he cannot comprehend. There is no doubt that he is religious, but little evidence that his ethics are informed by his faith.

He is known to utilize loopholes in the law to achieve his ends, whether financial or political. Surely encouraging employers to influence their employees' votes is not ethical, but this deeply religious man only points out that "there is nothing illegal" about it.

Indeed, there is not. It used to be illegal, but the Citizens United case has changed that. (He also has said he thinks we must restrict union members' rights to contribute to campaigns, but notably did not include corporations in his statement.)

I am also concerned about a tendency to rant first and think later. The leader of the free world must never let his mouth get ahead of his brain, nor shoot from the hip.

True statesmen respect not only allies, but enemies also, and tread thoughtfully upon the world stage.

There is a difference between being a leader, and just throwing one's weight around. Arrogance invokes images of the Ugly American.

Romney has chosen to surround himself with pro-war advisers left over from the Bush era. What does that say to the world? What does it say to you?

We joke about Biden's verbal gaffes, but when he represents us overseas, he does so with dignity and compassion. It's difficult to imagine Paul Ryan in that role. Or Mitt, for that matter.

Lola Johnson




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