Why I Wouldn’t Vote For: Mitt Romney

I don’t like Mitt Romney. I can’t say that I always disliked him, because for a while, I thought he was a pretty good guy. At the beginning of 2008, if you had told me that he would eventually end up facing off against Barack Obama, I would have said Romney would get my vote. I liked him more than Obama at that point. But I’ve learned more about both of them since then.

Mitt Romney is untrustworthy. It isn’t just due to his waffling on issues. He is an untrustworthy man. Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman was on his 2008 campaign and quit that campaign due to issues with Romney. This is a man whose family had been close friends with the Romney family for the better part of the last 150 or so years. If a family can have that long of a relationship with someone, but realize (after a few months of campaigning) that you don’t trust the guy to be President, then why should I, as a complete stranger, trust him?

One issue that Romney has had different positions on is abortion. He’s one of those politicians who doesn’t believe that churches should provide birth control or morning-after pills. (In 2002, he was for morning-after pills/emergency contraceptives and endorsed legalization of RU-486.) He is open that he would appoint judges that share his (current) pro-life position. In 1994, he supported abortion rights, but was personally against it. His mind was apparently changed because of cloning, which seems weird to me. (Cloning and abortion aren’t exactly things that go hand in hand.) He would also be delighted to sign a federal ban on all abortion.

He is also opposed to stem-cell research. He views it as breaching an ethical boundary, though he thought it was okay in 2004 if it was privately funded and was okay in 2007 if it was just from surplus embryos. He views the goals of the research to not be worth the means used. To me, it’s difficult to like a man opposed to stem cell research when his wife could very well die of a disease that could be helped by that research.

Mitt claims to be a friend to women, but his “binders full of women” didn’t help him pick many female judges while he was Governor of Massachusetts. And for a friend to the vagina-possessing, he made it a point to say that women need more flexible work schedules because his chief of staff said, “I can’t be here until 7 or 8 o’clock at night. I need to be able to get home at 5 o’clock so I can be there for making dinner for my kids and being with them when they get home from school.” While that might sound nice to some, it is ridiculous to justify a point by using a comment that a woman has to be at home to cook and to be with their kids after school. Husbands could be at home cooking or with their kids. His comment not only makes me think of the idea that some men just want women in the kitchen, it makes me think of men who don’t know that they too can parent their kids. For a man who thinks that children deserve two parents, he doesn’t seem to ever admit that men should actually take part in the parenting and not push it all on the women. He also seemed to imply that the culture of violence that exists in America is more from single parents and that we should tell people that before they have kids, they ought to think about getting married. Having a single parent doesn’t mean that a child will be violent and having two parents doesn’t mean a child will grow up a pacifist. A lot of very violent people have had both parents together. A lot of very peaceable individuals have only had one parent.

Mitt Romney urged a single mother, who had taken care of Romney’s kids, in 1983 to put her second child up for adoption once it was born. He said that it was what the LDS Church wanted and that the church encourages adoptions where “a successful marriage is unlikely.” When the mother said she would never surrender her child, she claims that Romney threatened her with excommunication. While he was Bishop, he refused to believe that there were cases of physical or sexual abuse of women in his stake, even though there was evidence that pointed to it. He also forcibly counseled a woman in her forties, who had four teenage children, and had developed medical complications (a potentially dangerous blood clot) against aborting her pregnancy. She had already been approved to have an abortion by the Stake President (higher up than a Bishop), but Romney went to the hospital and counseled against it. The woman said that Romney told her that as her bishop, “my concern is with the child.” She wrote in an unsigned essay, “Here I—a baptized, endowed, dedicated worker, and tithe-payer in the church—lay helpless, hurt, and frightened, trying to maintain my psychological equilibrium, and his concern was for the eight-week possibility in my uterus—not for me.” She went further:

The woman told Romney, she wrote, that her stake president, a doctor, had already told her, “Of course, you should have this abortion and then recover from the blood clot and take care of the healthy children you already have.” Romney, she said, fired back, “I don’t believe you. He wouldn’t say that. I’m going to call him.” And then he left. The woman said that she went on to have the abortion and never regretted it. “What I do feel bad about,” she wrote, “is that at a time when I would have appreciated nurturing and support from spiritual leaders and friends, I got judgment, criticism, prejudicial advice, and rejection.”

Mitt wants everything but marriage for gay couples, which is the same as someone saying that they want the white kids to go to one school and the non-white kids to go to another. Separate but equal is never equality. It is never right. It is never fair. It is always discrimination. And his belief that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell should still be in place is absolutely fucked up. People shouldn’t be fired because they happen to love someone of the same sex. People shouldn’t have rights denied because they love someone of the same sex. People are people and they deserve respect, no matter who they love, what they believe, the color of their skin, the gender they were born as, or any other thing that makes us different from one another.

Romney believes in letting parents have a choice of schools to go to, which may seem like a good idea. It isn’t. As a person who grew up in a school system that is still under the Department of Justice’s supervision for segregation of schools, I cannot stomach the idea that parents could further choose to segregate schools by allowing their kids to go to the school of choice. Choosing a public school is a form of segregation. Why not promote the idea that we should better the schools that are failing instead of taking the kids out of those schools and putting them in others? Why not promote reforming our education system so that all students get the level of education that they deserve? Why did he go for supporting an idea that powered part of the darkest days in this nation’s history? His claims about smaller classroom size are ridiculous, “we need smaller classroom size, look that’s promoted by the teachers unions to hire more teachers.” According to the Institute for Evaluation of Labor Market and Education Policy in Sweden, “Students who were in a small class in grades 4 to 6 had better school achievement and higher wages as adults than those who were in large classes…The authors of the report studied cognitive and non-cognitive skills in 10 percent of cohorts born in 1967, 1972, 1977 and 1982, nearly 31 000 students. Questionnaires in 6th grade provided the students’ own perceptions of their endurance, self-confidence, and expectations. These were combined with test results in 6th and 9th grade, educational attainment, and their income as adults.” That’s from a research institute that is under a government ministry in another country, not from an American labor union. His promotion of the No Child Left Behind policy of George W. Bush is also extremely telling of this man’s lack of knowledge about the education system. The No Child Left Behind policy is actually worse for the kids than the system we had before. Children are now taught to pass a test. The emphasis of passing the standards set by the government has overshadowed what schools should be focusing on children learning.

When Romney wrote off 47% of people for not paying taxes, he showed that he does not understand the reality of what it means to be a “have not” in America. His willingness to write off almost half of the voting population because you see them as being inferior for not earning enough money should be a wakeup call to all of America. Even though he’s tried to overcome that one statement, it should be the final nail in the coffin of his campaign. His earlier statement that he wasn’t concerned about the very poor should also keep him from being elected. Yes, it was a soundbite, but it was an important one.

There have been other reasons that I wouldn’t vote for Mitt Romney, but these are some of the most significant ones. Romney would be an awful President. I cannot imagine how horrible this man would be in this position. Actually, I could. He would make this country worse if he were able to put any of his plans into action.

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Janet Morris

I'm from Huntsville, Alabama. I've got as many college credits as a doctorate candidate, and the GPA of some of them, too. I have a boss by the name of Amy Pond. She's a dachshund. My parents both grew up in Alabama.