I mean, last time I checked, the year was 2012, right? So, how is it that there are two Neanderthal men on the Republican ticket for the top two offices in the most powerful, affluent, "advanced" country in the Western Hemisphere?
Forget Neanderthal. They are pre-Neaderthal. If you check their wrist watches, I'm quite certain you'll find scratch marks from where their wrists drag along the floor when they walk.
I've long ago written off Mitt Romney as a pathetic man who is desperately trying to redeem his father's performance in the election process (his father, George, was a candidate for the Republican nomination for President of the United States in 1968. While initially a front-runner, he proved an ineffective campaigner, and fell behind Richard Nixon in polls.)
Mitt Romney was, by all accounts, a fairly successful governor of Massachusetts (his father served as Governor of Michigan from 1963 to 1969). While Mitt Romney's gubernatorial record as a 'job creator' leaves a lot to be desired, he at least created a health care plan in Massachusetts that continues to enjoy enormous success.
And yet, he's not running on that record. Indeed, he's distanced himself from "RomneyCare" because "ObamaCare" is pattered after it and his voter base HATES "ObamaCare" . They want him - and he has promised - to get rid of it within the first ten seconds he's in office.
Rather, he's running on the fact that he is a successful businessman. Except, the "success" seems to be about how much personal wealth he has accumulated, not how many jobs he's created and how many successful businesses he's initiated. He's obviously hiding his tax returns because, as his wife says, there's lots of "ammunition" there. I have absolutely no doubt.
I was concerned about his choice of VP because I feared, with the right choice, it could swing the votes in the groups that helped elect Mr. Obama: People of Color - especially Hispanics - Women, Young People and Independents.
He's a Roman Catholic who claims that his fiscal policies are based in his faith tradition, as well as having been influenced by the philosophy of author Ayn Rand - who happens to have been an atheist. Rand wrote Atlas Shrugged and Fountainhead, which promote objectivism, the belief that individualism and self-interest is the key to success and happiness.
I know. Go figure. Wait a minute. Never mind. Don't even try to make sense of that combination. You could hurt yourself if you try. It's positively schizophrenic.
Perhaps that's why his proposed budget has been described as "immoral" by Sister Simone Campbell who helped to organize and lead 14 other nuns in a cross country tour known as "Nuns On A Bus". The purpose of the tour was to work with legislators to help them understand the implications of Ryan's proposed budget because "it harms people who are already suffering" - a demographic that, for all the other problems with the Roman Catholic church, has always been the passionate apostolate of RC women religious.
I can't speak for any other demographic, but let me tell you why this feminist is horrified by the thought of a man like Paul Ryan in the White House.
When Ryan's selection was announced this past weekend, NBC's Andrea Mitchell noted that the VP pick is a bad one for women. She wasn't just whistling Dixie. Here's what I've learned.
He voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. You don't have to be a feminist to see that equal pay for equal work should be a principle that is beyond gender distinctions. It's a no-brainer for those who understand the foundational principle of this country of "liberty and justice for all". Apparently, Ryan missed that piece in his 6th-grade Civics course.
He is firmly opposed to reproductive justice. Ryan would overturn Roe v. Wade, banning abortion in cases of rape and incest and when the mother’s life is at risk. He also was a co-sponsor of the Sanctity for Human Life Act, a 'personhood' amendment which would ban abortion as well as certain kinds of fertility treatment and birth control. He’s voted at least four times to defund Planned Parenthood (and all of the preventative health care that comes with it for millions of people).
He is, of course, opposed to the Affordable Care Act. He’s also vehemently against the law’s birth control coverage, saying it “violates our founding principles” to not allow people to deny women basic health care needs. Apparently, he missed a lot of Civic classes in the 6th grade.
|Paul Ryan/Eddie Munster: separated at birth|
He's Robin Hood in reverse. Women are the majority of the recipients of both Medicare and (a sizable 69% of ) Medicaid, and the majority of the Medicaid population are people of color. Not to mention the programs provide critical care to people with disabilities, older people and children. Ryan’s budget (which Romney has has endorsed) would cut food stamps, child care, and lots of other often lifesaving assistance for marginalized communities, while cutting taxes for billionaires like Romney to .83%. I am not making this up.
He’s emphatically, consistently homophobic. Ryan has voted against gay couples adopting children or being foster care parents, he's solidly against marriage equality, and voted no to repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. I know. You're shocked.
As one wonk recently quipped, "Paul Ryan is Dick Cheney with better hair".
Make no mistake: This election process is not so much political as it is ideological. The lines could not be more clearly drawn. The choices could not be more clear.
Women have a great deal to lose, as do people of color, children, the elderly and infirm and people who live in poverty.
As feminists, male or female, we absolutely must mobilize to get out the information about the Romney-Ryan ticket. I am convinced that an educated and informed electorate will never stand for the ideological agenda that these two men represent.
And, if you also happen to be a Christian - you know, one who actually tries to follow the teachings of Jesus who had a lot to say about women and poor people - then listen to and heed these words:
Jesus said, "You will be my witnesses not only in Jerusalem but throughout Judea and Samaria, and indeed to earth's remotest end." (Acts 1:8)
If not you, then who?
If not now, then when?