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The Debate: Romney’s class problem

“You people”

Mitt Romney’s performance showed the Romney family’s major problem with  class identity.

Ann  Romney showed this same problem when  she was asked about people’s desire  to know more about  Romney’s taxes. Her calling the reporters “you people:” was fully sincere.

To Mitt and Ann, it is perfectly natural for the wealthy to have the right to keep their tax returns secret even when running for president.

This same attitude showed up last night. Romney stated, blithely, that the children of immigrants should be able to attain legal status not by improving themselves in college or by entrepreneurial activities comparable to his own.  His view was that these children could earn legal status by serving in the military!

The Romneys’ attitude reminded me of my experiences in the U.S. Navy. During Vietnam, we still had colonial ties to the Philippines.  Officers like myself were offered Filipino servants. Filipino men, a class I imagine the Romney clan might affectionately refer to as their  “little brown friends,” were given the opportunity to join the U.S. Navy  as a road to citizenship. While Filipino women served their country by acting as prostitutes near our military bases, Filipino men could get ahead by becoming servants in the US Navy. Unfortunately for me,  my rank was not quite high enough to have a Filipino servant.

During this same period,  according to what Mitt Romney himself has said, the younger Romney served as a Mormon missionary in the South of France. Romney seems to be blissfully unaware of  an offensive twinge his “service”  has for  those of us who had friends and relatives die serving in combat.

Romney’s elitist attitude permeates his campaign. Remember Rafelen?  Rafelen is Ann Romney’s horse.  Rafalen is also a tax deduction! The Romney’s pet  is not even a deduction because the horse supposedly is part of Ann’s treatment for s multiple sclerosis.  Last year the Romney’s took a $77,000 business deduction for Rafalen.  In the world occupied by people like the Romneys, horses, yachts, ski chalets, private jets … all of these are business deductions.

Perhaps the Rafalen deduction is what Romney means by small businesses?  Is this why Mr. Romney has refused to tell us how he would pay for his $5 trillion in tax cuts by eliminating deductions for home mortgages and healthcare?

The most disturbing image of Romney’s elitism, however, may be a video.  When Romney was the president of Bain, he took a trip to China to see a factory Basin purchased to outsource  American jobs. Apparently without  guilt, Mr. Romney described Chinese people working in sweatshop conditions and gleefully noted that the barbed wire around their compound was not to keep the workers in but to keep other Chinese job seekers out!

Is this the man who claims he wants to bring manufacturing jobs back from China?


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