Posts Tagged '47%'

A rant for my mom: Romney makes it personal, (aka the difference between grateful & entitled)

So, I don’t usually blog about personal issues, and it’s been a long while since I’ve even written for this blog. Yet, the words of Romney’s address to donors will continue to irk me like cracking knuckles until I write it out. I’ve always been suspicious that Romney has never actually gotten to know anyone that he so easily denigrates, or if he has, he just pities them or considers them castaways in our society. It hurts me deeply to hear him say these things because I’ve watched my mother struggle with poverty (a word heard so little in this campaign). The only way she is able to have her own small apartment and eat is because of public assistance. Due to a series of medical problems, she is unable to work. She is on her third appeal to obtain social security disability benefits. For those who think people are gaming the system, I say look at my mother’s case. She is so burdened with bureaucracy that it’s taken what seems like years for her to get a hearing for her appeals. (I also wonder how much worse she’d be if she didn’t have the literacy and numeracy skills that help her navigate the public assistance system.) She’ll sometimes detail to me how much she goes through to get the help she needs. Maybe it’s just her series of affairs, or the state she lives in, but it seems a lot harder to get public assistance than some make it out to be. This is absurd when someone actually needs it. 
She doesn’t want to be on assistance the rest of her life. She wants to lose weight (one reason she has health problems, but also right now she can’t exercise without the help of special, low resistance machines because of her horrible arthritis and chronic pain), and knows a program/center that has helped her in the past, but she can’t afford it. She can’t afford preventative care and more expensive procedures that may relieve her pain, so she’s left with cheaper, temporary fixes prescribed to her instead. She is waiting for her disability benefits so she can get the medical help she needs IN ORDER TO GET OFF THE BENEFITS. Romney does not seem to comprehend this possibility.
She is not lazy, she is not lacking in personal responsibility, and she damned well doesn’t feel “entitled” to riches, just basic human rights like shelter, food, and health care (!). I’m the eldest of four kids and try to help from several states away as a graduate student whose only expendable income is from student loans. My other siblings (two who are also in college, and one just recently graduated) are all pitching in when we can, but it’s not enough.  She hates borrowing money from us and the government, but is also so grateful – NOT entitled. She even promises to pay us kids back when she gets her disability money, and will have to pay back the state for the help she’s received while awaiting her hearing. 
Her hard work, humor in the face of adversity, integrity, and honesty (she worked three jobs at times after my dad and her divorced), is what I admire most about her and it pangs me to hear Romney deny her humanity and hard work through such spiteful and condescending language. Why does he assume that we feel entitled rather than feel grateful? That is what angers me the most, and makes me realize he’s never really listened to someone who has been helped by our government or who has been poor. It’s baffling for me to hear Romney mention entitlement when all campaign I’ve been asking myself why Romney acts like he’s entitled to the presidency.
— Rant over —

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