In a Wednesday conference call with donors, Mitt Romney blamed his defeat on the obvious culprit: all the freebies that Barack Obama gave away to Democratic voters — “especially the African-American community, the Hispanic community and young people.”
If you’re a member of one of those communities, and you’re wondering where your free gift is, it may help to understand that Mitt Romney has an odd definition of the word:
With regards to the young people, for instance, a forgiveness of college loan interest was a big gift. Free contraceptives were very big with young, college-aged women. And then, finally, Obamacare also made a difference for them, because as you know, anybody now 26 years of age and younger was now going to be part of their parents’ plan, and that was a big gift to young people. They turned out in large numbers, a larger share in this election even than in 2008.
Not only are a couple of those flatly untrue (nobody forgave college loan interest. Congress just voted to keep interest rates from rising; contraceptives are only “free” for people who already have insurance coverage), but Romney’s examples of “gifts” turn out to be simply the kinds of things that Western governments do, like ensuring that people have adequate access to health care and education.
Romney’s formulation was no accident. The statement was perfectly consonant with Romney’s earlier campaign gaffes. In fact, based on this statement, it’s pretty clear that the most damaging things said by Romney weren’t gaffes at all — they were just an honest expression of his worldview.
47 Percent Free Stuff
Romney’s “47 percent” gaffe has been credited with sowing the seeds of his defeat. It’s worth revisiting, because it’s so very similar to the lamentation Romney delivered Wednesday.
There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax.
This is the way Romney views the world — makers versus takers. It goes without saying that the Democrats, and especially the African American and Latino communities, are the takers, demanding free stuff from captains of industry like Mitt Romney. That some people might view health care, food, and housing as less a freebie and more a basic human need seems to completely elude Romney. The idea that there’s a societal benefit for keeping the populace clothed, fed, and healthy is alien to him.
Image Credit: Donkey Hotey
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