By E.J. Dionne Jr.
The most incisive reaction to Mitt Romney’s disparaging comments about 47 percent of us came from a conservative friend who e-mailed: “If I were you, I’d wonder why Romney hates America so much.”
A bit strong, perhaps. But the more you think about what Romney said, the more you wonder how he really feels about the country he wants to lead.
What kind of nation are we if nearly half of us are lazy, self-indulgent moochers who will never be persuaded to mend our ways? “I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives,” Romney said, thus writing off a huge share of our citizenry.
From his perch high atop the class structure, Romney offered an analysis of political motivations that even Marxists would regard as excessively materialistic. He speaks as if hardworking parents who seek government help to provide health care for their kids are irresponsible, that students who get government aid to attend community colleges are not trying to “care for their lives.” Has he never spoken with busboys and waitresses, hospital workers and janitors who make too little to pay income taxes but work their hearts out to “take personal responsibility”?
In defending himself on Fox News on Tuesday, Romney only deepened his difficulty. “I think a society based upon a government-centered nation where government plays a larger and larger role, redistributes money, that’s the wrong course for America,” he said.
Put aside that if President Obama wanted a “government-centered nation,” the stock market wouldn’t have doubled, making many in Romney’s Boca Raton, audience richer. … Read More