Dear Mitt Romney:
I saw your video.
I saw you speaking candidly and off the cuff about me. Don’t get me wrong, I know that you didn’t mention me by name or anything, but we both know you were talking about me.
When you were talking about 47% of the population that is never going to vote for you because we are “dependent victims” who lazily live on government programs like food stamps, I can’t help but take personal offense. In fact, once you decided to lump in anybody who is never going to vote for you, you weren’t just talking about me, but many people I love, and about 90% of the people I know.
My children eat because of food stamps, Mr. Romney. Now, sir, I want you to picture a Wyoming cowgirl: a mother, a fighter, a righteous, determined, God-loving woman. A Rocky Mountain Grizzly Bear Mamma that would make Sarah Palin’s makeup-wearing pit bull shudder. Picture me staring you in the eyes as I ask you, “What business have you got talking about me and mine like that?”
I am watching you run your Richie Rich mouth on TV right now, with your little flag lapel pin over your heart. You brag that you will bring “12 million new jobs and rising take home pay.” Quite frankly, I have no reason to believe you or your failures in arithmetic. Even if you did manage such a feat, I’d point to the 4.5 million job head start you had thanks to President Obama saving the nation from the failed GOP policies which you use as a platform, and which nearly caused a second Great Depression.
You said that you think that 47% of Americans “think they are victims” and you even said it wasn’t your job to worry about us.
First, I must argue with you. I am not a victim. I have been beaten. I have been bullied. I have been raped. I have been addicted. I have been alone. I have been poor. I have been homeless. I have been sick and broken. I have chosen — each and every single time — to stand up and pull myself and my family out of those circumstances. I beat every one of them without any riches to aid me. I did that without any inheritance, any gifted stocks or bonds, any loans, any rich family, or any elevators for my cars. I did it because I am not a victim, I am an American. I am the Mom-in-Chief of my house and nothing less than the very best that I can provide will do. I am the product of women who forded rivers to fetch the mail after working a hard day’s labor on the Laramie high plains. I am a force to be reckoned with.
If you don’t believe me, you could ask the doctor who has to take fluid from my spine on a regular basis to preserve my ability to see, due to a rare disease. If you don’t believe me, you can ask our Ambassador to China Gary Locke, who personally invited me to a bill signing when I helped Washington State legislate protection for children in schools against bullying by sharing my own experiences. If you don’t believe me, you can ask my children who have seen me struggle but always, always provide for them. Any one of these people will tell you, that this American is not a victim.
You call me entitled. I devote every day of my life to bettering the planet I live on, with no hope of profit. I am sorry, sir, but you calling me entitled is like the pot calling the dove black. That isn’t going to work. I challenge you to stand at my side and let the American public judge which of us is entitled. I spend every dime of my and my husband’s earned income as quickly as it comes in, right here in my town. Every dime I earn and spend stays in America. I am the ultimate Job Creator. Who are you to challenge me?
You call me entitled. Every year on April 15th, I am certain that I have shown every cent that went through my pocket honestly. I dream of a day when I am well enough off to pay taxes. I fantasize of the flourish with which I will write my first check to the IRS. I would give any earthly belongings I have to be self-sufficient enough to be able to pay it forward to the society that I love.
No, you cannot challenge me, Mitt Romney. I challenge you: where are your tax returns?
I fought, I graduated at the top of my class in college, and I pursued graduate studies. I took loans against myself, believing that this would pay off, but then, in 2009, something happened.
No, it wasn’t Barack Obama’s inauguration; it was a sudden injury to my spine that ended up revealing not one but two severe spinal diseases. Since then I have been unable to finish my studies or to work. I’d like to know, Mr. Romney: how many months of physical therapy, how many of my surgeries, how many of my scars must I share to prove my devotion to wanting to be better? How many of my efforts must I submit before you’ll see me, an American citizen, as worthy of your worry? When you tell me to take responsibility for myself, I ask you: what after that?
This evening, when you justified your awful statements in that video, you said that you had said what you did because you were reassuring your donators that you could win this election. I’m sorry that you have to pander to your base like that. You seem to have sold out your soul. You have forgotten “the eye of the needle” with that wealth you’ve got. You’ve left behind Matthew 24:50. I hate to be the one to tell ya buddy, but you are not the promised one. The promised one understands that the 47% you are talking about are more than low wage workers and elderly people who worked their whole lives and paid into the system, they are the 100% that your God is concerned with when he said “Love thy neighbor.” You may pay a tithe with your wallet, but it’s obvious you’ve neglected to tithe your heart.
My husband left for work at 7 AM. It is now 9 PM and he won’t be home again for two more hours from his second job today. I spent yesterday at the emergency room. I have been waiting for two years for Social Security. I do not understand. How much more do we have to work to show you that your call for jobs isn’t enough? You must also be concerned for the whole nation, and whether we eat, and whether we have medicine. You must care if a hardworking, devoted family like mine is unable to survive after investing their best efforts. How many jobs do you expect every American to take? Three? Four?
You simply must stop and consider those you dismiss as beneath you or you cannot be our leader. It is an unwritten but widely understood rule of the presidency. I don’t know what they taught you when you were out there scalping businesses hard-won on the backs of people like that 47% you so rudely kick around, but in the real world, we care when Americans suffer. We care when you forget the young military men and women who serve our nation by sacrificing their lives. We care when Americans go hungry. We care when Americans jobs are sent overseas and rich men hide societal resources in offshore accounts. We care that we are being ripped off and even if you find profit and power in our suffering, we still exist, we still care, and we will still stand up.
See? You called me a victim, you called me entitled, you called me a lot of other things in that video, but on every count you are wrong. Just by writing you this letter, I’ve proven I am not your victim. Just by living my life of hard and dutiful effort I have proven that I am not entitled. In fact, I consider it a duty as a citizen of this Great United States to shout loudly and proudly: “Mitt Romney is not and never will be my President!”
I warn you Mr. Romney, the one thing that I have not, and will not ever lose, is my voice. I will sound it each and every one of these 50 days until Barack Obama is re-elected, we will vote with Compassion, and Wisdom, and Empathy…and you, sir, can keep your spite and your hate and your rhetoric and see your way out.
Sarah Zacharias, a.k.a. The Bucking Jenny
~ For more of my work please be sure to check my Blog, my Facebook page, my Twitter Feed, and my publication archives at Open Salon and Addicting Info. Also, the days are counting down, click here to register to vote in your area. The Bucking Jenny proudly supports Obama /Biden 2012.