Warning: The following post is of a political nature, exemplifying my pinko leftist commie beliefs and railing against wealthy right-wingers. It also contains sexual wordplay involving politicians and their wives. Reader discretion is advised.
The most demeaning thing that's ever happened to me happened when I was about 19 years old, living in New York, and making just a hair above minimum wage at a thankless job I worked after school. It was at a home heating fuel company, and the grandson of the owner was brought in to meet the staff. He was about 12 or 13 at the time. My older brother and I were the only people of color who worked in the office as opposed to out on the trucks, and he paid particular attention to us. He came to me (and my brother, I later found out) and asked what it was like to work and go to school. After I told him the answer (it sucked and I was always broke), he said to me "Keep at it. That sort of thing builds character."
I'm sure he thought he was being inspirational.
I bring this up because of a conversation I had with a co-worker. I've been largely ignorant of the political scene this election cycle because as we get closer to a one-on-one battle, the rhetoric gets ramped up to unpleasantly ugly attacks and I want no part of it. I know who I'm voting for already, and have no time or patience for what amounts to a high stakes playground game of "the dozens." That said, it was brought to my attention that a woman publicly criticized Ann Romney, the wife of probably Republican candidate Mitt Romney, as being unfit to comment on the state of women in the workplace considering that as a stay-at-home mom and wife of a gajillionaire, she's never worked a day in her life. Her response: "I was a stay at home mom raising five boys. Believe me, that IS hard work."
There is so much here to dissect. Let's start with the fact that the woman, Hilary Rosen, an LGBT activist, was forced to apologize. For exercising her First Amendment rights. Simply because this rich chick got offended. Is that where we are now? It's okay to call Trayvon Martin a thug, or say on radio that women who require contraceptives should be made to videotape their sex lives, but offend a rich chick who had the good fortune to blow the stock broker who became Governor, and all hell breaks loose? Certain factions of the populations make derogatory racial remarks about our PRESIDENT, but offend a rich white lady and you have to apologize. I call bullshit. The people who are so fervent about protecting certain rights seem to be very pissed off when these rights extend past them to the rest of us.
Secondly, Ms. Rosen was right. Ann Romney hasn't had to work hard a day in her life, and between Mormon missionary work and the "job" that got her married, she hasn't ever had to punch a clock. She's never had to make ends meet. And let's be real, I find it hard to believe this rich missionary lady ever really had to do very much of the actual raising of her five boys. It's easy to be a stay at home mom when you never have to even worry about paying the bills. My mother never had that luxury. She worked, put herself through school and fed seven hungry mouths. Now believe me, THAT is hard work.
I have a huge problem with this "let them eat cake" attitude with which the wealthy 1% regards the rest of us. This culture of entitlement they seem to have engendered has only gotten more brazen in the wake of the Bush years, that they are supposed to walk over us, and we are supposed to genuflect before them and that is just supposed to be the status quo. No. Hell no. That's not the country the Founding Fathers signed on for.