1 Jun


Louise Annarino

June 1, 2012


As Fathers’ Day nears I have been thinking about the fathers of America and what they are thinking about our presidential candidates. Polls show that the largest group of Democratic candidate President Barack Obama’s supporters are women; the largest group of Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s, white men. Clearly, the patriarchal position of Republican policies and legislative agenda does not sit well with most women. Also, President Obama’s record abounds with efforts to empower and protect women and their children. Men who think they can offer platitudes to women are sadly mistaken, and will not gain women’s support by returning them to second-class citizenship.


But, it is the men who cause me to ponder. One would expect strong support for a president who is hands-on seeking out and destroying the enemies who attacked us on 9/11, who works hard to assure our military and veteran’s have our full support and gratitude; who repeatedly asks congress for approval and support to rebuild our bridges,  ports, roads, airports and infrastructure; and who seeks legislative reform to  bring home companies which have moved off-shore, rebuild our manufacturing platform, gives tax breaks to small business etc. to encourage economic growth. Since President Obama took office we have only moved forward with an on-going increase in productivity, job retention and creation, GNP, and a reduction in unemployment. They must understand that slow and steady growth which is sustainable over the long term is best for our economic stability as the world’s economic powerhouse. While currency values fall worldwide, the U.S. dollar remains strong.


And, it is the men who cause me to ponder when they seem unwilling to consider how President Obama explores changes which will transform how we educate their children. I realize rich men need not be concerned; they simply send their children to the best schools money can buy: low class size, highly paid and trained staff, broad extracurricular opportunities, readily available tutoring and support services. But even working men, whose children attend public schools in overcrowded classrooms, with poorly paid staff who must use their own money to enrich classroom activities, who must deal with those unruly and emotionally stressed children of poverty without anyone’s support; men who must pay for their children to play sports and engage in other extracurricular opportunities out of their unemployment checks who oppose this president. Why do such men, such fathers, oppose what is in their own best interest, and the interests of their wives and children?


Do they believe Mitt Romney, who as Governor of Massachusetts plunged that state to 47th. in the nation in jobs creation will do better as president? Do they really believe that a man who made his living by destroying the livings of men like them will protect them and their families? I am sure his equity firm made companies more profitable. He did so by eliminating union and non-union workers, reducing wages of workers who remained, stopping workers’ health care coverage. Once the company was profitable, however, his company withdrew those profits to repay the bank loans he had used to buy the company in the first place. Then, he used what profit remained to repay his investors and pay himself the fees to which he was entitled. Often, he had to sell off the equipment needed to continue production.

Finally, the company he tells you his equity firm made more profitable had to file bankruptcy. Since there were no longer assets, nor sufficient equipment to continue to create worth there was no means to pay retirement benefits to the workers who lost their jobs. The companies eventually closed. The bankruptcy court approved termination of retirement benefits for people who had worked their whole lives for the company.


This is how Mitt Romney became a self-described successful businessman and multi-millionaire. I don’t call that success; I call that legal piracy.  Like a pirate his money rests in off shore accounts one would need a map to discover. He’s not telling; not even disclosing his prior tax returns. Is this what makes him appealing to men? Do they all want to play pirate? Do they all think if they follow Romney they will become wealthy, too. Do they want a pirate at the helm of our Ship of State? At what cost to their women and children? At what cost to their country, and mine?


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