By Jennifer Granholm, The Huffington Post
Just as Mitt Romney was scrambling to get his message back on track yesterday, yet another shoe dropped. Mother Jones released this video which was secretly recorded at a Romney closed-door event. In the video, Romney tells donors, “… and so my job is not to worry about those people. I’m not going to convince them.”
Really? You don’t worry about “those people,” almost half of America?
That would be a shocking sentiment, if it weren’t so disappointingly predictable coming from Mitt Romney.
We’ve all seen this before:
$10,000 bets. Corporations are people. Let the housing market hit rock bottom. Yada, yada. Now, I don’t want to play armchair psychologist, but it seems to me — taking him at his word — that Mitt Romney isn’t concerned about the 47 percent because he doesn’t even see them. That’s because he came into the world in a protective bubble and he’s basically stayed there for his first 65 years.
Now, lots of people are born wealthy and stay that way. That’s not the point. The point is what have you done to pierce the bubble? To see and feel how the other half lives?
There’s a Zulu greeting that says: “Sawubona.” It means “I see you.” The response, “Ngikhona” means “I am here.” It’s an acknowledgement that you exist now that you’ve been seen.
I just don’t think Mitt Romney has really tried to see those who struggle. But don’t take it from me. Mitt himself said, “My job is not to worry about those people.”
No, Mitt, your job as president, should you be lucky enough to buy it, is, in fact, exactly to worry about all of the people in this country. Every single one. From a secretary in the company to the CEO. From the hairdresser to the hedge fund manager. From the crack addict who lives in the streets to those who have streets named after them.
A leader makes hundreds of decisions each day. And while Mitt Romney may never consciously consider the 47 percent during a specific decision, his attitude towards them — who he sees when he sees America — those things are present in each and every decision that a leader makes. That is what character is all about.
That is why it matters. If a president is guided to favor 53 percent of his people and disregard 47 percent, slowly, but surely, over hundreds and thousands of decisions, his policies and the arc of opportunity will bend away from them.
“My job is not to worry about those people.” Well, Mr. Romney, it is our job to worry about you.