A “Personal” (and yet, open)
Letter to Mitt Romney
The following is an interlinear response to a recently received letter. I thought I’d share it with the public. The original is in black type, and My responses are in bold red.
August 20, 2012
Kenneth W. Umbach
[City, State, Zip deleted]
Only telemarketers and pitchmen address me as “Kenneth.” My friends and acquaintances call me Ken and others call me Mr. Umbach or Dr. Umbach.
I am running for President of the United States and because you are one of America’s most notable Republicans . . .
Hold your horses (dancing or otherwise) right there. I fled the Republican Party years ago, driven out by Bush II and his cronies, fed up to here with their duplicity if not outright perfidy. The Scooter Libby fiasco was the end of the line. I re-registered “Decline to State,” meaning nonpartisan, and not a member of any party. And even when I worked for the Republican Party at local levels decades ago, I was not notable. Your flattery is misguided.
. . . I want to personally let you know why.
Personally? Through a form letter sent out by the millions? How stupid do you think I am?
It’s simple, really . . . I believe in America.
I believe in America and the greatness of its people and I wholeheartedly believe our best days are ahead of us.
I am pretty sure that Peewee Herman also believes in America. That does not suffice as a qualification for President of the United States. And, oh, by the way, was that a left-handed slap at President Obama, a hint that he does not believe in America? Playing to the “Birther” crowd again, are you? To the “he’s an Arab” troglodytes?
Like you, I care deeply about America’s history, its promise, and its future. And, like you, I am sick and tired of BIG GOVERNMENT.
Well, by shipping your money overseas and using every trick in the book to minimize taxes on your vast income, you are certainly doing your part to whittle down the resources available to our governments (federal, state, and local).
As for whether I am “sick and tired of big government,” that gets complicated. I like government that can build and maintain roads, provide good education, help to assure at least a decent level of support for those in need, rein in the most pressing dangers to our environment, assure a level playing field for businesses, small and large, and much more. Anyway, I used to work for government (at the state level). I’m not sure I am in a position to rail against “big government,” having worked, for example, in an agency that helped to assure support for people with developmental disabilities and their beleaguered families. So for someone writing a “personal” letter, you are being awfully presumptuous.
Contrary to what Washington liberals would have you believe, bigger government does not equal better government. Bigger government has gotten us absolutely nowhere . . . except further in debt.
I am unaware that liberals, Washington or otherwise, argue that bigger government per se is better government. Nice rhetorical trick, though, to assert that without any discussion of purposes of programs or expenditures. And as for getting us “absolutely nowhere,” well, perhaps you have built your own highways, bridges, harbors, schools, colleges, universities, water treatment plants, law enforcement and public safety services and facilities, food and drug inspection programs, securities and exchange regulators, and armed forces. But somehow I doubt that. You seem unwilling even to pay your fair share based on income.
As for “further in debt,” shall we talk about the Invisible Man of the 2012 Republican National Convention, President George W. Bush, who launched multi-trillion dollar wars of choice (at least one on the basis of what can only be called deliberate, blatant lies), unfunded other than through borrowed money, at the same time massively cutting taxes (unheard of in past history; compare WW II and The Greatest Generation, for example), and launching a vast unfunded new Medicare drug benefit program, again paid for with borrowed money. The national debt increased about 45 percent (inflation adjusted) during his two terms in office. Shall I go on? Or do you want to ask the Invisible Man yourself?
President Obama says, “We tried our plan ─ and it worked.” Not really.
So, you want to play the out-of-context quote game? You’ve said, “Corporations are people.” Well, to borrow a phrase, I’ll believe that corporations are people when Texas executes one. But I digress.
The Obama plan created a deeper recession . . .
You are really starting to piss me off. That is a damned lie and you know it. The economy was in free-fall, thanks to the financial atrocities that took place, worldwide, before Mr. Obama took office, and the U.S. was in the midst of a colossal recession, with the economy shrinking at some 9 percent annual rate for a time. Then the recession ENDED. Whoever you praise or blame, the statistics are now well enough aged to be reliable. It ENDED. Stop lying! That does not mean that everything was hunky dory and everyone was back to work, and don’t twist what I am saying. This was a financial crisis, a very different matter from the run-of-the-mill business-cycle recession, with far longer lasting consequences and a much more difficult recovery path. You are not a stupid man, and you know that. But you seem to think the rest of us are easily fooled sheep.
I’m going to skip some here . . .
. . .
Kenneth, . . .
There you go again, putting my teeth on edge with your telemarketer-style faux intimacy. We are not acquainted, Mr. Romney (or Governor Romney, if you prefer). You can call me Dr. Umbach. And if we WERE acquainted, you could call me Ken.
. . . I am sure you agree that American – quite literally – cannot afford another four years of fiscally irresponsible leadership in the White House.
Well, we had eight years of fiscally, morally, and intellectually bankrupt, not to mention fiscally irresponsible, leadership in the George W. Bush White House. We certainly do not need THAT again. I’ll agree with that, but of course that is not what you meant. And as for the current administration, well, let’s not overlook the role of Congress, nor of a relentlessly obstructionist, often hateful, Republican contingent, with a stated, explicit goal of making Mr. Obama a one-term president at all costs. In short, the Congressional Republicans vowed to undermine America – the very definition of treason – in their quest to destroy the President. Oh, they have plenty of time and energy to make government big enough to control every woman’s reproductive tract, but not enough, nor enough integrity, to work constructively toward a stronger economy. I say it’s spinach and I say to hell with it.
Will you please join my campaign for the White House and help me send a fiscally conservative Republican with real-world business experience to Washington?
A, I will not join your campaign. And B, if you find a fiscally conservative and socially responsible Republican with real-world business experience and real-world governmental experience, let me know. THAT I might support. But you, sir, are not it. Your gap-laden fiscal ‘plan’ (to torture the word) has not been described as responsible by any independent observer. And your business experience is, frankly, alien and exotic, consisting largely of looting companies to the benefit of the managers and owners of Bain Capital. Leveraged buyouts and tens of millions of dollars of lightly taxed ‘carried interest’ are not the ordinary, real, world of any of the business people I meet at monthly Chamber of Commerce meetings. That much is for sure.
Your letter drags on for three more pages of similar distortions and hyperbolic appeals. I do not have the patience to do a line-by-line of the rest of it. The above will have to suffice. And no, I am not schlepping $2,500 or $5,000 to your campaign (you think every presumed Republican is made of money?), or one of the lesser amounts you offer as an alternative. Not one dime.
Now, frankly, I am well aware that Mr. Obama was woefully underprepared when he took office as President, and that he has made his share of missteps, including those resulting from being rolled by the banksters and corporate interests. But I am confident that he has learned something in his three and a half years on the job. He gets my vote, flaws and all.
Kenneth W. Umbach, Ph.D.
September 11, 2012