For the most part, I’ve been hiding under a pillow, humming “LA LA LA” loudly during the Republican National Convention, but I peeked out this morning to watch your speech on YouTube. There was one hilarious part, when you reminded me a lot of Marcel the Shell, but other than that, it made me a little sick to my stomach.
In case you don’t watch her, Marcel the Shell talks about what she uses to replace ordinary objects, due to her miniature size.
“Guess what my skis are,” Marcel the [tiny] Shell asks.And so on. That’s all I could think about when you started explaining about your desk being a door propped on sawhorses, and your dining room table being an ironing board.
“Toenails. From a man.”
“Guess how I strap the skis to the car?”
“With a human hair.”
That was really roughing it, that period in the late 60’s and early 70’s when your father in law was the governor of Michigan and you had to sell stock to pay for stuff, chipping away at capitol. You didn’t work then, because Mitt wanted you to stay home. And you suffered for it. You didn’t have a real dining room table, but just an ironing board. Poor you! (I don't understand how you'd have an ironing board but not a table, but it is becoming increasingly clear that we have different priorities.)
Let me be clear, Ann: I’m not knocking you because your financial life has been easy. You didn’t ask to be born into white privilege. You grew up in the affluent city of Bloomfield Hills, (median family income: $200,000 a year). You went to private school that currently costs $28,000 a year. You couldn’t help that, just as so many at the other end of the spectrum can’t help that they were born into poverty. That part isn't your fault. But don’t pretend that when your ironing board doubled as a dining room table and you used a man’s toenail as a desk or whatever it was, you were seriously worried about where your next meal would come from, and whether you’d be able to afford medical care for your growing family, the way so many women and men in this country do.
To suggest that you come from humble roots because your grandfather was a coal miner in Wales and your father-in-law didn’t go to college is an exaggeration at best. If most of us go back a hundred years, our relatives were from much humbler circumstances, and were less educated. You've grown up with privilege due to stuff that was entirely out of your control: your race, economic position, and other random circumstances of opportunity have served you well. Don't pretend it was all hard work.
It’s not that you haven’t suffered, Ann. Tell us about that. You’ve had breast cancer, you have MS. You’ve had to look your own mortality in the face. You've had to consider the possibility that your life would be shortened by a horrible disease, and face the very real and devastating knowledge that your abilities will be diminished, slowly, painfully, and predictably as M.S. takes over. Doesn't that make you want to stand for something, something good?
What the humans have in common is that we laugh, cry, suffer, and love people who are going to die, and all the money in the world can't protect us from that. You could have talked about that. But instead, you described some minor furniture inconvenience from over 40 years ago as an example of your struggles. Really? That's it, Ann? Is that what you think we care about?
Let me recap your speech:
I love Mitt.
You should too.
He’s a hard worker.
We struggled financially, just like you people, but he worked hard.
I love you women.
Mitt cares harder.
Vote for Mitt, he walked me home from the dance.
One time Mitt created a scholarship for students in Massachusetts.
I love Mitt.
I’m sorry, Ann, but I find that a little patronizing. We're smarter than that, and I think you probably are too. The very same day you gave that speech, you people, to use your terminology, adopted a platform that, among other things:
- Doesn’t mention climate change. Not once.
- is 100 percent anti-abortion.
- Claims that the environment is getting cleaner and healthier. Ann, seriously? Do you really think that the planet your grandchildren will live in is even close to as clean as the one you were born into? Have you read even one thing in the past decade about energy, population, water, waste, food production, land use conflicts, or mass extinction?
- Bans gay marriage, saying, “the union of one man and one woman must be upheld as the national standard, a goal to stand for, encourage, and promote through laws governing marriage. We embrace the principle that all Americans should be treated with respect and dignity.” Ann, I don’t even know how those two sentences can be back to back. Maybe it’s just me, but I think allowing homosexual couples to legally marry would be one way to offer respect and dignity to at least 10 percent of Americans.
- Favors tax cuts. Seriously, Ann, how will we pay for everything, like those tuition vouchers you say Mitt stands for?
- Opposes net neutrality.
- Opposes restrictions on guns. Woo hoo! Annie get your gun!
If you really love women, and empathize with the hard lives that you profess to understand, you’d be ashamed to have anything to do with this platform.