Women turned out in record numbers to support Barack Obama in the 2008 election. The percentage of women voting in presidential races has increased in the last three elections; 2000-61%, 2004-65%, 2008- 66%. In the 2008 election 35,900,000 women voted for Obama, but only 26,000,000 men voted for him. Women currently constitute the majority of the electorate. That majority is predicted to increase, due to women having a longer life expectancy. (Rebuttal to the Rogue pg 116). It’s no secret that the Republican Party has waged a war on women and now they have lost. The latest poll numbers confirm that Obama is ahead of Romney with female voters by a margin of 51% to 43%.
Because Romney is such a brilliant strategist, his method for attracting female voters is to promote the fact that he has a wife, and she’s a woman. Remember when Mitt was perceived to be “out of touch” with the economic issues facing women, and he used his wife Ann as his primary consultant on women’s economic issues? That was just one example of many that demonstrate just how “out of touch” Romney is with female voters.
Now that Todd Akin has become a glaring example of the Republican’s attitude toward women, Romney is desperately trying to salvage his image with women. It was Sunday, August 19th that Todd Akin shared his enlightened perspective of “legitimate rape” and the pregnancies that don’t result.
It was just the next day, Monday August 20th that somebody with the Romney campaign “leaked’ the detail of Ann’s past that between her 4th and 5th child she had a miscarriage. It was reported to be “unclear’ whether the Romneys put the story out deliberately. Why that information suddenly appeared in the headlines thirty-one years after it happened is inexplicable. Some suggested that the Romneys might have put the story out to show that they are not “out of touch with ordinary voters.’ The funny thing is that the mere fact that Mitt would use this example to showcase how “normal” he and Ann are is offensive. The reality is that the tragedy pales in comparison to that realized by many couples in the country.
Statistics show that miscarriages are a very common occurrence. Estimates are that 1 in 3 pregnancies result in miscarriage. That translates into approximately 1 million miscarriages each year. Any time any woman experiences a miscarriage of a wanted pregnancy, the parents are often both devastated. However miscarriage is a fact of life, and most women who have more than one child have had at least one miscarriage. The fact that the Romneys had a miscarriage between their 4th and 5th child is simply evidence that they were lucky it hadn’t happened earlier. The real tragedy is the couple who has no children, and after desperately trying for years to have a child, the woman gets pregnant, and then miscarries. The Romneys have 5 children, and 19 grandchildren. For Ann and Mitt to attempt to gain sympathy because of a miscarriage is offensive and insensitive to those who can’t have any children.
Ann also gave an interview, designed to earn sympathy and admiration because she has Multiple Sclerosis. You remember, that was the interview with Robin Roberts, a Black woman, in which Ann addressed Ms. Roberts by saying “you people.” Ann was diagnosed in 1998 with multiple sclerosis. Since that time she had a ‘little bit of numbness and dizziness’ during the Republican primary. Ann walks without assistance and has good vision. Ann is a lucky MS patient. Many MS patients become blind, and paralyzed to the point that they have to have a head support on their wheelchairs, and operate them through a piercing in their tongue.
Michele Obama’s father died of complications of MS, and suffered from the effects of the disease from his mid-twenties. Michele has shared that she never knew her father to be able to walk without crutches. Michele tells stories about her dad going to work every day. In spite of the MS, because he needed to earn money to support her family. He worked a swing shift in the boiler room at the ‘City’s water purification plant. He walked with a heavy limp even with his crutches. Ann doesn’t have a limp, she doesn’t have to use crutches, and she doesn’t have to work outside the home.
Tragedy is not having a miscarriage, it is being unable to have children. Tragedy is not having MS, it is being paralyzed or blind because of the disease. Tragedy is not having medical problems, it is the inability to get the medical care necessary due to insufficient financial resources. Tragedy is not being poor, but being wealthy and failing to appreciate the fact that most people don’t have a vacation home with an elevator for one of the cars.
Most Americans don’t fault the Romneys for being owners of a horse in the Olympics. The tragedy is that most Americans couldn’t afford to take a vacation to London, but the Romneys feel it appropriate to spend their money taking their horse to London. Most Americans make less than $100,000.00 per year, but the Romneys spend that much on a horse.
Most Americans don’t have a need for a passport, as they can’t afford to travel internationally. The Romneys need one for their horse.
It’s O.K. that Ann Romney has lived a charmed life. It’s just not O.K. to suggest that she lives an ordinary life. The highest tax rate in the United States is 35%, and is paid by people with an income in excess of $380,000.00. Mitt Romney has a net worth of around $250,000,000.00.In 2011 he paid an effective tax rate of 13.9%.Under Paul Ryan’s budget proposal Romney would pay less than 1% in taxes every year, and his plan would actually RAISE taxes on middle-class families with children by an average of $2000. Thus, if Mitt Romney should be elected in November, Ann would be able to afford to take more horses on vacation to London, and the horses wouldn’t be bothered by so many American tourists.