I think that everybody understands that Ann Romney’s mission last night was to humanize Mitt. After she was done, I asked my Facebook fans if they felt she had accomplished that goal. Most of my admittedly biased fans didn’t think she did. Pundits seem to have mixed opinions, mostly guided by their party affiliation.
I thought she failed. I initially thought she failed based on stylistic mistakes. There was no subtlety in the speech itself. She seemed to me to be the unpopular geek in high school, begging you to like her by doing your homework for you. She used the word “love” fourteen fucking times, which just made the whole thing weird. I was irritated when she proclaimed, “I love you women!”. As opposed to “you people” who have all the tax returns you need from Mitt? The stuff about how she and Mitt met and fell in love was fine. She should have said more along those lines.
But the more I thought about her speech, the more I realized that the issues with it weren’t stylistic. The main issue was the fundamental premise of the speech. Here’s the part where she really fucked up:
I am the granddaughter of a Welsh coal miner who was determined that his kids get out of the mines. My dad got his first job when he was six years old, in a little village in Wales called Nantyffyllon, cleaning bottles at the Colliers Arms.
When he was 15, dad came to America. In our country, he saw hope and an opportunity to escape from poverty. He moved to a small town in the great state of Michigan. There, he started a business — one he built himself, by the way.
He raised a family. And he became mayor of our town.
My dad would often remind my brothers and me how fortunate we were to grow up in a place like America. He wanted us to have every opportunity that came with life in this country — and so he pushed us to be our best and give our all.
Inside the houses that lined the streets of our town, there were a lot of good fathers teaching their sons and daughters those same values. I didn’t know it at the time, but one of those dads was my future father-in-law, George Romney.
Mitt’s dad never graduated from college. Instead, he became a carpenter.
He worked hard, and he became the head of a car company, and then the governor of Michigan.
When Mitt and I met and fell in love, we were determined not to let anything stand in the way of our life together. I was an Episcopalian. He was a Mormon.
We were very young. Both still in college. There were many reasons to delay marriage, and you know? We just didn’t care. We got married and moved into a basement apartment. We walked to class together, shared the housekeeping, and ate a lot of pasta and tuna fish. Our desk was a door propped up on sawhorses. Our dining room table was a fold down ironing board in the kitchen. Those were very special days.
First of all, no one believes that you two were ever poor. And trying to make yourselves something that everyone knows you’re not just enforces the idea that you’re panderers. That was the most disingenuous and disgusting part of the speech. It was disgusting because of the premise upon which that pandering was done.
Their assumption is that Americans don’t like them because they’re rich. They’re dead wrong, and they’re insulting Americans by believing that about us. They really think that we’re a nation of envious assholes. Never mind the fact that no one ever hated Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Henry Ford, Conrad Hilton, and hundreds of others for being rich.
Let me set the Romney’s straight; we don’t hate you for being rich. We hate you because it’s clear that you won’t do anything to help Americans that aren’t rich. We don’t hate you for what you are. We hate you for what we know you won’t do for the middle class. We hate that you’ve lived a life devoid of any empathy, or any attempt at understanding how average Americans live. We hate you for thinking that Americans should just borrow some money from from their parents to get an education, or start a business. We hate you for thinking that we’re assholes for not thinking of that obvious solution. We hate you for being on this earth for over sixty years, and not bothering to understand that this isn’t possible for the vast majority of Americans.
And now, Mitt and Ann we hate you for the disdain you have for us.