Wednesday, September 19, 2012

My Mom Was One of the 47%

My Mom, Isaac and me (center) 1945

Yes, I plead guilty.  I'm one of the 47% of the American public that Republican presidential candidate arrogantly dismissed as "I don't care about them."  I know I've written about Romney's "47%" comment but it bears writing about again.

When I hear a plutocrat like Romney, a man who was born on third base and thinks he hit a home run, a man who was born into wealth and privilege and had every door of opportunity opened to him, a man who was fortunate enough to be born without any physical maladies and a handsome appearance (not my type though, to me he's ugly), I think of this story my late Mother often told me.  That my Mother told me this story is ironic because she was one of those right wing nuts who would only listen to and believe everything Fox News said.

Here is the story.  I was born in 1941 and in the following two years both of my younger brothers were born.  This was during World War II.  My father, who was 4-F and turned down for the draft, was a long distance truck driver.  My Mother, who married my father at 16 years old (I was born when she was 17 years old) was left to raise me and my brothers in a rented, small house in the country.  The house had no plumbing or running water.  Her only source of income was what my father gave her after one of his long distance truck trips.

She said one day during the summer of 1944 she was walking down the country road with me and my brother Isaac  We were crying because he had no food and were hungry.  She did not know what she was going to do.  Finally, at her wit's end, she swallowed her pride and asked her father for money "to buy milk" for her "boys."  Her father gave her $5.00.

Every time my Mother told me this story I asked her why she didn't go on welfare.  Her answer was always the same.  "I couldn't do that.  Only bums do that. Our family weren't bums.  We were just poor."

Knowing how solidly Republican my Mother was later in life she would probably agree with the now infamous quote from Romney on the hidden 47% video:

The Quote "There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it -- that that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what. ... These are people who pay no income tax. ... [M]y job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."

My Mom receiving her 25 year award from Pepperridge Farms

Well Mitt Romney, I guess my Mother would pass your test.  She did take "personal responsibility" and care for her life.  My Mother raised her three sons and they worked most of her life for Pepperridge Farms in the frozen foods division.  Did she pass your test Governor Romney?


Bob said...

Mittsy's dad was a 47%-er, too.
Funny how unlike his father Mittsy is; or maybe it's just sad.

Anonymous said...

Ron, Mitt's comment about the 47% is just plain wrong, and it shows how out of touch he is with this country. A lot of those 47%ers are people collecting social security (that they paid into), collecting unemployment (that they paid into), veterans collecting benefits (that they earned with their service), etc. 47% of the US is not on welfare.
As a society we have decided to pool some of our resources (called taxes) to ensure there is a safety net for as many people as possible. I have no problem with some of my "wealth" being "redistributed" to the elderly, disabled, and impoverished children. I may be getting laid off from my job in the next few weeks, and I have no problem with collecting unemployment for the first time in my life as I have paid into it for 40 years.
What I find so surprising about Mitt is that most people who are devout Christians are the biggest givers to the needy. Maybe the Mormon Church sees this differently, I don't know.

Ron said...


In 2000 I lost my job at the bank. For the first time in my life I applied for unemployment. I only collected it for three weeks until I got a part-time job as a front desk clerk at a hotel that turned into a full time job. Later I also got a part time job at another bank. For two years I worked two jobs. Now, at 70 years old I still work. I am not unusual. A lot of the 47% that Romney dismissed are like me. We want to work.

I hope you don't lose your job but if you do, do not hesitate nor feel guilty about applying for and collecting unemployment. It was insurance that you paid into for 40 years.

Romney's problem is that he doesn't have clue as to what the average person's life is like. Not a clue.