Since my prior post about Mitt Romney's campaign to be the Republican presidential candidate in 2008, I have been perusing his campaign web site to learn more about him. In retrospect, I should have done this before the earlier post, but hey, nobody's perfect!
Well, it turns out that on social issues, Romney is worse than I thought. In press release after press release, he is quoted touting his opposition to same-sex marriage and civil unions, to abortion, and to Plan B emergency contraception. In his January 11, 2007 press release, he is quoted in one paragraph that he "led the fight to preserve traditional marriage. I've taken every legal step I could conceive of, to prevent same sex marriage." And then, in the last sentence, Romney is quoted, apparently without any sense of irony, "I've fought discrimination. I believe every American deserves equal opportunity."
But the hypocrisy gets even better. A couple of days earlier, a January 9, 2007 press release announces that South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint was going to serve as Mitt Romney's Senior Advisor. As I wrote in my May 9, 2007 post "Exercise In Futility At The Waldorf Astoria," Senator DeMint supports banning gays and unmarried pregnant women from teaching in public schools.
While I support abortion rights for women, I can understand reasons why people are against abortion. I don't necessarily agree with their reasons, but I understand where they are coming from. But what I absolutely cannot accept is that if an unmarried female public school teacher gets pregnant and decides to keep the baby, that the Jim DeMints of the world want to then deny her the right to work in her chosen profession. You see, it is vile hypocrisy to describe the restriction of abortion by couching it in lofty terms like "promoting a culture of life" and then preventing the child's mother from earning a living to provide that child with a decent place to live and medical care. What if the pregnancy was inadvertent? Or, what if the woman intended to marry the father but then the man left her or they realized they were not right for each other?
And what is up with barring homosexuals from teaching? Are these homophobes afraid that gay teachers will prey on their students? Funny that most of the cases I read about in the news involved married women sleeping with their male students. Maybe we need to ban married women from teaching in public schools if we want to be consistent. Or, as Mitt Romney is quoted again in a February 2, 2007 press release, "And I believe in treating all people with respect and dignity and tolerance despite our differences." Bullshit Mitt! All people should be treated with dignity and respect, according to you and your supporters, except for people you do not approve of. We can't let school children see gays and single moms as flesh and blood human beings, so we as a society have to wall them off and make them pariahs in order to make it easier to hate and judge them.
Back to the gay marriage issue, in his address to the Massachusetts Citizens for Life on May 10, 2007, in discussing the Massachusetts Supreme Court's 4-3 decision in support of gay marriage, Romney asked rhetorically in response to the decision, "No rational reason? How about children? Isn't marriage about the development and nurturing of children? And isn't a child's development enhanced by access to both genders, by having a mother and a father?"
Taking Romney's argument to its extreme, if marriage is about children, then heterosexuals who do not intend to have children should not be allowed to marry either. Let's be consistent then and ban women who are past child bearing age from getting married. But what I really find repugnant about "the welfare of the children" argument is that the Romney viewpoint automatically gives a pass to a man and woman getting married regardless of whether their motivations are pure or if they are emotionally or financially able to care for children.
Back in January of this year, I did a series of posts about my brother Bobby, who is an alcoholic and is twice divorced. It is my understanding that after he and his first wife split, she gave birth to a baby girl that might be his that he will never see. He also is divorced from his second wife Chris, and she is currently living in the Poconos with their three children. Last year Bobby's eldest son was arrested for selling drugs in Chris's apartment and the middle child, the daughter, had truancy problems with school. If my brother Bobby managed to charm another woman to fall for him and want to marry him, Mitt Romney would be okay with that, but if two gay professionals want to get married and raise a child, Romney would have us believe it will lead to the breakdown of American society. Do any "tradishnul' valyas" visitors to this site care to tell me what I'm getting wrong here?
So in conclusion, I would not support a Mitt Romney candidacy for president.