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It has been four years since I first discovered and contributed to Daily Kos.  I doubt anyone remembers my few diary contributions, but I was An Angry Republican in Indiana.  I was thrilled with President Obama's victory, and given the events of the past four years, I am exceedingly happy that we elected Barack Obama as our president for these difficult times.  I still peruse this site on a daily basis -- I've been content to just sit back and enjoy the content from authors that are so much more skilled than I am at constructing insightful and thought provoking diaries.  Yes, I have been perfectly happy living my life and being an observer.

Until today.  

This video/audio recording of Mitt speaking to his most important constituents struck a major nerve with me.  His words to his fellow plutocrats in private revealed to us:  

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. And I mean the president starts off with 48, 49 4--he starts off with a huge number. These are people who pay no income tax. Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax. So our message of low taxes doesn't connect. So he'll be out there talking about tax cuts for the rich. I mean, that's what they sell every four years. And so my job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives. What I have to do is convince the five to ten percent in the center that are independents, that are thoughtful, that look at voting one way or the other depending upon in some cases emotion, whether they like the guy or not.
When I heard the words come out of your mouth about the 47% who "believe that they are victims", I had a strong urge to break some things.  

Mr. Romney, I came from a family that lived not too far above the poverty line.  My father worked his ass off to provide the best life and opportunities for me and my brother.  We were very tight on money, though I never truly comprehended just how tight until later in life.  We never once were able to go on a family vacation.  We ate at a restaurant a sum total of two times growing up.  I had only one new piece of outer clothing my entire life -- and Izod shirt, which my parents got for me because I cried to have one so that I could fit in with my classmates.  

My mother and father sacrificed everything to give us as much as they could possibly give us.  We never felt entitled or dependent on the government.  We never thought of ourselves a victims.  We simply thought of ourselves as Americans, and goddamn proud of it.  

But to your point, we did happen to take from the government at one time.  My father lost his job when the steel mill he worked at closed down.  He was unemployed for about a month.  I just talked to my dad about this today -- He collected state unemployment during that time.  It was for a total of $186.  Yes, my father took the money for his family during a time of hardship.  I guess in your eyes Mr. Romney that means that my father didn't take personal responsibility and care for our lives -- how pathetic of him.  My father was able to find a new job, but even though I was young, I can still distinctly remember how stressed he was searching the wanted ads for a job and counting up the money he had in a shoebox in the closet to see where we stood.  We made it through this time of uncertainty with the help of the government.  

My father is retired now -- he waited until the age of 66 to do so.  He is part of your 47% that no longer is paying any income taxes.  He is a part of this 47% of America that you spit on and say will never take responsibility.  Your audio enraged me.  Thank God I didn't have to see your condescending smirk that I am sure went along with it.

You see Mitt, I am a former Republican.  My family didn't discuss politics or religion and never tried to sway me one way or the other in my viewpoints.  They wanted me to find my own way and make my own decisions.  I grew up enthralled by the charisma of Ronald Reagan.  I rallied in support of George H.W. Bush during the first Gulf War.  I piled onto President Bill Clinton over a meaningless personal indiscretion.  I felt relieved when Vice President Al Gore conceded defeat to George W. Bush.  I live in a red state, so I was a product of the ideological media and the echo chamber broadcast on our airwaves.  I had been groomed as a conservative and was proud of it.

But then things began to change within me.  I began to volunteer to help the most vulnerable in my community, and I very quickly lost my assumptions about the downtrodden and those in poverty.  My beliefs about what was right and wrong from a family values perspective fell apart when I began to actually read and challenge the teachings that were supposed to guide me.  Most importantly, I began to realize just how much propaganda was around me, and how easy it was to not recognize it.

Your words captured for us to hear made me sick to my stomach.  You want to lead this nation, but yet you belittle the diminishing middle class and infer that they are not taking personal responsibility for their lives.  What a bastard you are Mr. Romney to make such condescending statements like this.  Until you pay your fair share of taxes and quit hiding your money in tax shelters and havens and use "tax strategies" to avoid paying your due, shut the hell up.  You truly are out of touch with the real world that the majority of us live in.

My life was changed for the better by getting out of my bubble.  It is obvious that you never have and never will get out of yours.

Allen Fire

P.S.  If you would like my father to send that $186 back, then please let me know where to mail it.  Someone needs to offset at least some of the taxes that you so selfishly and blatantly evaded.



5:26 AM PT: Thank you all for sending my diary to the recommended list.  My words poured out of me, and I am glad to see that they resonated.  This community rocks it and is like a family!

12:04 PM PT: Thanks again to everyone for the great comments and feedback!  I never expected my rant of sorts to go Daily Kos viral!  You've encouraged me to write some more diaries, and I will.  I've got a few things that I would love to write about.  Keep an eye out for me!  --Allen


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