The concept of sacrifice has different meanings depending on context, but it denotes offering up something for a cause whether it is a deity, an ideology, or a country. True sacrifice is giving up something voluntarily such as a soldier jeopardizing their life for their comrades or a parent going hungry so their child can eat, and even animals jeopardize their own lives to protect their offspring. For the past year in America, there has been talk about shared sacrifice where everyone gives up something, whether it is paying more in taxes or supporting across-the-board cuts in programs for the greater good of the nation’s economic health. Republicans believe in shared sacrifice, but only if 99% of the population shares in sacrificing to benefit the wealthy, and their presumptive presidential candidate, Willard Romney, promises to sacrifice the economy and American’s tax dollars to further enrich the wealthy.
The idea of sacrifice is willingly giving up something, but Romney and his Republican cohorts believe in legislating sacrifice on ninety-nine percent of the population so the rich and their corporations prosper. Romney is even willing to sacrifice the economic health of the nation to benefit the richest Americans while him and his wealthy elitist friends reap the rewards. The notion of advocating for someone else to sacrifice is a pattern he has adhered to since he was a nineteen-year-old college student.
In 1966 during the Viet Nam war, Romney attended Stanford University in California and while hundreds-of-thousands of young Americans across the nation were protesting the war and the ever-expanding military draft, Willard was participating in a pro-draft demonstration to support sending young Americans to fight and die in South East Asia. While Romney’s classmates were protesting a test designed to help authorities decide who was eligible for the draft, he joined 150 other conservatives to show their support for expanding the draft. Willard did not just join demonstrators, he told a protest leader that “he had some experience with the press, and that he would handle the press for him if he wanted him to.”
Romney’s experience with the press was most certainly from observing his father, George Romney, deal with the media while serving as head of American Motors and governor of Michigan until Richard Nixon appointed him Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. George Romney, like his son, was an advocate for the war but later changed his position, but Willard’s support for sending Americans to fight while he dodged the draft informs his cowardice and rank hypocrisy.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with supporting an unpopular war and advocating sending your classmates to sacrifice their lives for their country, and indeed, taking such an unpopular position would have merit if Willard enlisted in the military or put his name at the top of the list for the draft. Instead, he held the esteemed designation of Mormon missionary and was exempt from having to sacrifice anything for his country. After spending one year at Stanford, Romney went to France for 30 months to proselytize membership into his cult. It is a sign that Willard’s penchant for wanting others to sacrifice when he knows he will never have to is a lifelong trait he intends on maintaining if he is elected president.
Early in the Republican primary, when Romney talked about the virtue of self-sacrifice and serving in the military for the good of the country, he was asked if any of his five sons were serving. His response was that his 5 sons were serving their country by working to get him elected president. Americans should be worried that Romney assembled George W. Bush’s team that pushed for the war in Iraq to counsel him on starting a war in Iran so he can send their sons and daughters to make the ultimate sacrifice while his sons will never serve except as campaign workers or proselytizers for the Mormon faith.
The real danger of a characterless man like Romney is his intent on sacrificing Americans tax dollars and the economy to enrich the top 1% of income earners. Like his support for sending young Americans to fight in Viet Nam while he played Jesus in France, Romney’s economic scheme and Draconian budget will force 99% of Americans to sacrifice everything when he will never have to. Romney’s budget gives approximately $6.5 trillion in tax cuts to the wealthy over ten years, and despite cruel spending cuts to programs that assist the poor with food and shelter, it will add at least $3.1 trillion to the nation’s deficit. In fact, like his time at Bain Capital when he sacrificed Americans’ jobs and nearly 25% of the companies Bain managed, his economic plan will ruin the economy and send more jobs to China, Mexico, and South Korea while he reaps the profits. One has to wonder what other sacrifices Romney will force on the American people when he knows he will never have to give up anything, and instead will reap handsome profits from other Americans’ sacrifice
Romney is despicable, and not just because he is wealthy. It is that he intends forcing 99% of Americans to make sacrifices while he sacrifices nothing except his time hiding his enormous wealth in off-shore accounts and secret Swiss banks. He has gained a much-deserved reputation as a flip-flopper, but he has maintained that most dishonorable trait of supporting other Americans’ involuntary sacrifices when he is exempt from giving anything. There is a reason Americans dislike Romney the more they learn about him, and as the general election campaign heats up and more Americans learn that he dodged the draft after protesting to send other young Americans to their death in Viet Nam, they will despise him. As Americans learn that his economic plan entails every other American making sacrifices to enrich Willard Romney and his wealthy friends, they will discover that besides being a chicken-hawk and a coward, that he is nothing more than a low-life charlatan.