But Were You Ever Poor, Mitt Romney?

But Were You Ever Poor Mitt RomneyGage Skidmore

As the Republican primaries march ever closer, like an unstoppable tsunami of beige paint, one-time frontrunner Mitt Romney is trying to change his image from an out of touch 200 million dollar 1-percenter to a more in touch man of the people who understands what it is like to be poor.  How is ol’ Mitt going to accomplish this monumental task?  He is going to relate to more Americans by using stories from his church-life; a church that less than 2% of Americans share.  2% is more than 1%, I’ll give him that.

With Newt Gingrich heating up in the polls, Mitt is trying to emphasize the differences between himself and his main rival.  Pointing out Newt’s multiple infidelities and religion changes as reasons why a stable, understanding man of the people is a better choice.  In order to enlighten voters to his immense understanding of the common-man, Mitt is harkening back to his days as a missionary in the Mormon Church.  He recounts his many dealings with people of lesser means as a missionary and a pastor.  Being asked about how a person who has never been poor would understand poverty, Mitt recounted his time in France, living off $110 monthly stipend.  Like me, don’t you remember your time as a poverty-stricken lad traveling around France on someone else’s dime?  It really opened my eyes to how the world works.  The pain and suffering he must have endured as a man on a bike knocking on doors and bothering people in French instead of English.  The horror!

To further demonstrate just how understanding he is about the struggles of the poor, Mitt discussed his time as a leader of his church.  He had the opportunity to council people on marital issues, troubled children, and other problems that helped give him the understanding he has today. By listening to all those poor people’s problems, day-in and day-out, and contemplating their strife while soaking in a marble bathtub back at his mansion, he was able to gain insight into the plight of the impoverished. He is making a good case for himself.

To put it another way, Mitt Romney is a mechanic who understands automobile repair because actual mechanics told him stories about how they fixed cars.  He wants you to trust him with your car because he’s heard about fixing them from other people.  Who wouldn’t take their car to a mechanic with the slogan, “I Can Fix That. Someone Told Me About It Once.”

But experience is overrated.  As far as I can tell, hearing about a country is as good as going there.  That’s why I watch the Travel Channel; it’s exactly the same thing as going.

But has never being poor really a deterrent to voters nowadays?  Kind of.   Our country recently started choosing the president on our ability to have a beer with them.  If that’s the criteria, go to your local dive bar and ask yourself which one of those fine, salt-of-the-earth individuals you’d trust watching your dog let alone the country.  Some of the founding fathers were all filthy rich, educated and well above the 99% and they are revered.  But not one of them would apparently win election today.  “Mr. Jefferson, I understand you are fluent in five languages and experienced in all manner of affairs, both business and political, but have you ever actually been poor?  No?  Well then, next candidate please.”

Back in the olden days, people use to see people of means and look up to them, ask their advice, and try to garner wisdom.  Today, we choose our leaders based on their ability to slam a cold one on a wobbly bar stool or if they ever had to use water in their Cheerios.

Mitt Romney doesn’t have experience being poor or even middle class for that matter.  He is however, an educated, well spoken man who has experience running a state.  Yeah he’s robotic and has the charisma of a lawn chair, but never being poor should be the least of his and our worries.  After all, we’re picking a president not a drinking buddy.