A letter to Mrs. Romney

This letter was written by an amazing friend of mine, Cathy Walker-Gilman. She posted it to facebook and it has taken off from there. I asked her if I could share it with you all, and she graciously said yes.

It seems to be resonating well with a lot of people, I know it struck home for me.

Enjoy. And please, feel free to share this post.

[UPDATE: I am unable to keep up with the comments and can no longer reply to each and every one of you. I will periodically go through and nuke anyone who is overly rude, disrespectful or otherwise trollish. If you read the comments that are here so far, you'll see that I have no problem fostering discussion or hosting disagreement, as long as it remains respectful and is in some way constructive or contributes to the dialogue. Please play nicely in my sandbox.]

Dear Mrs. Romney:

Ann and Mitt Romney

I work very hard in my daily life to assume the best about people. So the only thing I am going to assume about you is that you are probably a pretty nice person with a good heart. I like to make this global assumption without the taint of the opinions of others.

And I would appreciate it if you would stop assuming things about me.

I am not a part of the amorphous American fem

ale collective you spoke of last night. In fact, I take great offense to being lumped together with the female stereotype you presented. I am not the woman you described, nor are any of my female friends.I am much, much more.Allow me to introduce myself.I am a member of the middle class, but I haven’t always been. I have been teaching middle school since I graduated from college. My first job paid $1300 a month. For seven years I supplemented my income by working evenings and weekends at a movie theater and a retail store. This was to pay my rent and my car payment and buy a few groceries.After seventeen years as a teacher, I have earned a Master’s degree, an Education Specialist degree and an administrative license. I am happily married with two elementary-age kids. My husband and I are both educators, and there is still no money left at the end of the month. We continue to live paycheck to paycheck.That’s what two teachers with two kids do.

We don’t have a housekeeper or a nanny. We don’t have personal assistants. All our limited disposable funds go towards riding and violin lessons, karate class, field trips, and school clothes for the kids. If we need new clothes, we wait for clearance sales and shop at discount stores. If one of the kids wants to add an enrichment activity to their schedule, we juggle our finances to decide what we can give up.

We have debt and student loans that impede our financial progress, both of which have accrued over the years as we have tried to live pretty average everyday lives. When it’s time for our kids to go to college, let’s hope they qualify for scholarships; “shopping around” for a more affordable option would mean no higher education for our kids. Period.

Disposable income for this middle class family is a joke.

But I digress. I am a woman, and you don’t know the first thing about me. When you suggest that it’s a “woman’s lot” to work all day then come home and cater to her husband and kids, and that you hear my voice, my blood boils.

You may hear my voice and “love you women,” but you are certainly not listening.

Your life does not resemble mine in any way. Yes, you have five children and a debilitating illness. But you also have the monetary resources to finance support systems. I believe wholeheartedly that being a stay-at-home mom is a full-time job, but you have no idea what it is like to be that parent and work a second, or even a third job at the same time to make ends meet.

So please refrain from claiming allegiance with me, from suggesting that you are an example of “every woman.” That claim is a lie.

Have you ever bounced a check because you had to put gas in your car?

Have you ever been forced to calculate the cost of your groceries as you shop to be sure you’re not over-budget?

Have you ever told one of your children that they can have new shoes that fit…after payday?

Welcome to the reality of this woman.

And I am incredibly lucky.

I have a job, as does my extremely supportive husband. We have two sets of grandparents a stone’s throw away who take care of our kids when they’re sick or they have days off of school so we don’t have to miss work. We have a roof over our heads, food to eat, and we have each other.

I can’t imagine surviving under alternate conditions. What about the single woman who spends fully half of her paycheck on childcare? What about the woman who is struck with Cancer but ignores her medical needs in order to put food on the table for her family? What about the woman who forfeited higher education to raise a child and now has no skills to find a job? What about the woman who lives in a shelter with her children in order to escape an abusive partner or as a result of an eviction?

Shopping at Costco does not level this playing field.

So I take exception to your statement that all women share the same lot in life.

If you want to make this claim, if you want to try to convince me that we are more similar than different, you’re going to have to spend a week or so walking in my $15 Payless clearance shoes.

You are not every woman. You are an incredibly privileged, elite, distorted version of American womanhood, and you have no idea how the other 99% live.

As your husband and his party try to control my body, my choices, my well-being, please remember that you and your party will never speak for me.

How dare you even try.

 - Cathy Walker-Gilman
[Note - I got tired of typing the same thing over and over again, so I have posted my reply to the general theme of the bulk of the negative comments here ]
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540 Comments

Filed under Of Course I'm a Feminist, Rant

540 responses to “A letter to Mrs. Romney

  1. Patricia J Finley

    Thanks so much for sharing this, Bree, and please thank Cathy Walker-Gilman for her beautiful letter. This letter expresses what so many of us feel and know to be true; that is, Ann Romney has no clue what our lives are like. Nor does she (or her husband) care. Their privileged, clueless lives and policies exemplify the greed and lack of empathy that drove this country into the worst economic recession since the Great Depression. Let us hope that the American people have not forgotten those years and that they vote accordingly.

    • Exactly. I think we are a little justifiably outraged by their patronizing tone. “There, there, we understand. Just try a little harder and you can be privileged just like us.” Ah, if only it were that easy, they wouldn’t be the 1% would they…

      • brenda wrenn

        omg i am standing up right now and applauding the writer of this letter CATHY WALKER-GILMAN …i couldnt have said it any better CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP

      • Val

        In actuality, “just try a little harder” isn’t what they did. They STOLE, ROBBED, CHEATED and BROKE the law to become affluent. Whilst we, the women who raise amazing contributions to society, tell the truth, example honesty and respect for each other. I swear, in Cultural Anthropology 101, those in the tribe who wanted more than the rest were kicked out for perversion of power. That was 10,000 years ago during the monolithic era. Really? We’re that behind on these politicians? Burn em with fire!! Politics – Poli meaning many. Ticks – blood sucking parasites.

      • I have a difficult time swallowing this sweet syrup when when I know this women & hubby paid many man thousands of dollars for a dressage horse that was supposedly for health purposes, then shipped it to the Olympics for someone else to ride, took $70,000 dollars off their taxes for said horse and they she sits in the bleachers for a handsome man in lovely dressage rides it. I guess it is health improvement by osmosis. Also, I find his Bain practices abysmal, I have read the facts on all the dealings. Some read the Economist, The Major magazines, the public open records. She may and he may think that we are stupid but since they are in the top 1% and less taxes than I do in my fast lowering middle class status, they are wrong. We all can still read the facts.

      • I forgot to say in my post. Thank you Cathy Walker Gilman. You were spectacular in your reply to a very shallow, women.

      • Adam

        There seems to be a consistent theme here. A number of readers are focusing on the Romney’s wealth. People find it difficult to relate to people who are extraordinarily wealthy. Are you making the assumption that the Obama’s didn’t have a reasonably “easy” adulthood? Is there some line you are drawing as to what an “appropriate” level of wealth is where you can still relate to a candidate? Her speech, LIKE ALL POLITICAL SPEECHES, (including you messiah) was exploitive. It exploits the ignorance of the general public. Here’s the deal – we are all products of our environment. Our political positions are directly related to simple variables like, where you live, the people in your life, etc. With this, we all tend to subscribe to the media that reinforces our positions. We all log on to “imright.com” and arm ourselves with a host of “facts”. It is important to note that media corporations are in the business of entertainment and they are equally as corrupt as governments. Neither candidate cares about their constituents and those who think otherwise are foolish. They care about getting reelected and to do so they exploit either the liberal or conservative ignorance. It truely amazes me how devisive politics and the media have become. When you vote in November, vote on policy and not on personality.

    • amy

      Did you even listen to her speech? They were broke, flat broke. She was very very sick. He is a success and he will not fail. Do not be jealous of their riches but learn how to succeed with them.

      • Mark Hoffman

        And all you have to do is sell your soul. I wonder who the anti-Christ really is.

      • Tara

        There is a big difference between being flat broke at the age of 22 with just two adults (this is what she stated in her speech and this is nothing special) and having the same problems and concerns when you are in your 30s/40s with children to support. We expect to have these times when we are young and starting out…it’s what “starting out” means. But having two incomes (and many time more with extra jobs) and still struggling is the issue. That is the issue that the writer of this letter has with the speech!

      • Jason

        Both of them came from rich families. They absolutely did not struggle like most people do no matter what their claims may be.

      • Jayme Paluskievicz

        Ms Romney mentioned in one of her speeches a few years ago, that when her and her husband were in college, they actually had to sell a few of their investments in order to make ends meet. I don’t know about you, but I didn’t have a large stock portfolio when I was going to college.

      • EHRose

        They were living off of stock given to him by his family; if they were really flat broke one of them would have gotten a job. His father loaned him money later so they could buy a house. That is not succeeding on their own. I would be more impressed if they honestly admitted that they got help when they were young, but THEN said what they did to increase their success. And she had cancer and was diagnosed with MS well after their “poor” years.

      • R. L.

        Not to generalize (which is the point of Mrs Walker-Gilman’s posting) women, but so many women (48% ccording to latest polls) are getting bamboozled by the Romneys story as one to which to aspire. That’s where this culture war begun by the GOP festers. In the minds of impressionable people who look at the glitz and glamour of good looking well-meaning Billionaires who try to play as if they are just like us. I am not anti wealth – get yours. But if I’m going to aspire to a story of success, I’m going to look at a couple that with everything stacked against them culturally in this country, made great achievements in education, advocacy legal work, and community service to get to their wealth. I know a guy who had to have two best selling books about the story of his life to get both him and his wife out of education loan debt. Maybe you’ve heard of him, his work address is 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington DC.

      • Tara wrote it best, and thank you for that and for this site!
        At 22 who isn’t broke and working or in school?? HUGE difference, and it is often discussed in our family, when I do meet young folks like my sons’ friends; we talk about how times may be totally different, and in some ways very similar….but that we only could afford our first modest house because our parents lent(we paid them back) us the down-payment, mortgages were out of control in 1980′s,and we had many months where we had to cut out groceries and basic things to make the mortgage, and we both worked full-time. We were down to one car and one motorcycle at one time. No one our age, then around 28-30, regularly ran up phone bills, flew away for a honeymoon, or even went out to dinner. We are talking the 1980′s! It sounds crazy to some people and even then it did, and they were the ones who either a) were wealthy or b) ended up always broke. We raised our kids, me at home after always working, and I worked through helping out with different schools and teachers. The home needs someone or why are we even having children? With the computer age came freedom for many parents to have the luxury of working at home, and also be there for toddlers or teens.
        Now as we are older, have always been together in love and married for 31 years we have been blessed and always have worked with integrity, and for groups that encouraged good values, honesty, scientific research for orphan drugs for part of the time, ( an old, historic pharmaceutical company some may recall, Burroughs Welcome), they formulated Exosurf saved preemies lives; and AZT, during the early years of AIDS. That is the key word here, like someone else wrote, and whose soul was sold? Who did these people work for and with? I know this ; Abundance is actually a positive element of life; some people make money, share it, save it, use it… it comes to you when you find your calling and follow through with hard work and a lot of times focusing on your spiritual and working life….. how does your company treat others and what do they manufacture or do?? How do you share abundance? It can be money, knowledge, etc. Abundance can also carry with it the negatives, like fear of losing it; hoarding it; having to now be more responsible for what you own, and making lots of choices; managing it; being judged by others; but abundance is not BAD! It is a part of life. And how we decide to work, play, save, share, mentor, retire, (?), is huge. And yes, I do wonder, how some people can tell bold face total lies when it is so easy to look up the facts. As a truth seeker I am appalled that Romney and Ryan are even running, it is a sad time in history.

      • Shea

        They were hardly broke. They had 100,000.00 in stocks and very wealthy families. That 100k is equivalent to roughly 400k in today’s money. How many families today have 400k to fall back on? Not many that’s for sure.

      • Really – they were flat broke? And his father was President of American Motors? So no help from anyone?!

      • kathleenvs

        They were never broke (or even close). They owned inherited stock which they sold to pay their living expenses. OMG, they had to eat tuna fish. Lots of folks today would be very happy to eat tuna fish. This “we were poor” act is false and insulting.

      • Angie

        You lie. His daddy was always rich.

      • warren

        Dude they were NOT flat broke nor were they ever in jepardy od not making ends meet. They are both from money and NEVER had to really do much of anything without help from a servant.

      • They were NOT flat broke. They lived off the STOCKS his father gave him. She had to ‘cash in’ their retirement stocks in order to KEEP her stay at home lifestyle. She didn’t go get a job at Target. She didn’t work the night shift while he worked the day shift and went to school. They cashed in STOCKS so they could continue their life of privilege even if they did it frugally. Do your homework. Don’t fall for their lies. Flat broke in ‘their world’ is NOT the same as flat broke in our world. Unless everyone gets 400K a year in stocks from Daddy.

      • C.W. Burns

        I’m not jealous of their riches. Just want them to pay the same percentage of taxes that I do!

      • Did YOU even listen to her speech? They were NEVER broke, flat broke. [She was very very sick.] Unlike a huge segment of society she could afford the very best medical treatment. Many cannot afford basic healthcare — to say nothing of an expensive horse to help the healing. [He is a success and he will not fail.] He was not a success as governor. He could not seek re-election. [Do not be jealous of their riches but learn how to succeed with them.] No one is jealous of their riches. It’s their attitude that sticks in the craw.

      • Shannon O'Farrell Whitney

        They were not flat broke. They were living off trust fund money.

      • Liz

        Yeah- he had to cash in some stocks to live on while he was in law school. Has she ever had to forgo health care because she had no insurance or money for doctors? Doubt it.

      • scott

        wake up amy, They were never broke. When you have to sell some of your stocks to survive, you are not broke. They have no clue how people live in the real world, and they patronizingly pretend to relate.

      • Don’t believe every line they feed you. They were NEVER broke. They both come from extremely affluent families. Mitt cashed in some of his stock to pay for college.

      • Cheryl Kotowski

        So flat broke, they had to sell some of their millions of dollars of stock in GM. Boo-hoo. My heart breaks for you.

      • MoMac

        They weren’t exactly broke. They sold stock his father had given them so they could buy their groceries. They never really had to worry about having enough money for the utilities or if an unexpected visit to the doctor would mean not enough food money. It just isn’t the same and it is ingenuous to imply that she undestands.

      • there is no jealousy of her riches being expressed, but a request that she stop speaking as though she understands what she has that most American women do not have is the assurance that all her financial concerns will be taken care of by someone else. She is a great exception to how most of us live.

      • LRG514

        She is sick, yes, but she is in not danger of losing her insurance or doing without necessary meds or medical care as many, many people are. My husband is a kidney transplant survivor. Without the “kindness of relatives,” we would have lost everything we owned when he became ill. As it is, I am working long past the time I planned on to pay for his medicines and we now live in a rented apt. instead of our lovely home. I would be less “jealous” of their riches if they would own up to the fact that their riches are mostly inherited and their “charity” is a required tithe to their church, not going to a non-LDS food kitchen to work with the poor. I’m sure if either one of them saw an actual poor person, they’d cross to the other side of the street. (In the old days, it was not unknown for the Fathers of SLC to drive the homeless to the edge of town and hand them a bus ticket to LA).

      • Amy

        You’re not flat broke when you have Daddy’s trust fund. Give me a break.

      • I wish I had stock to sell right now. I have to sell my professional line instrument, one that I’ve had and played in college for years, to make ends meets. And there isn’t any guarantee it’ll sell, either. I have no guarantee like the poor poor Romney’s did.

        Imagine having to sell your jewelry to pay rent, a loved painting for groceries, an heirloom to put gas in the car. It is extremely sad for me to be at this point, selling my instrument to pay for the student loans that I used the instrument for in the first place.

        Poor, poor Romney’s. Truly, they know how I feel.

      • Linda

        Flat broke? They received stock from their parents (reason why neither one of them had to work during college to support themselves (as my husband & I did & my daughter also did). When they needed some cash, they sold some of their stock. http://exmormon.org/d6/drupal/Mitt-and-Ann-Romney–Portrayed-by-Sister-Romney-as-Struggling-Just-Getting-By-Stock-Selling-Students-at-BYU Their lives have never been like the vast majority of most Americans and never will be. Can’t wait for the nanny book to come out to describe how much of the child-rearing was done by the Romneys. sure…..

      • Laura

        I highly doubt they were flat broke. They both attended private prep schools and Harvard. Do some research. They had a large wedding that included many Washington types with a personal congrats from President Nixon.

      • Taylor

        Amy,

        The Romney’s were never broke. He was born wealthy and has always been. Do not confuse this image that he has presented to world recently. She was born into wealthy too…as her father was the founder of Jered Industries. They both were wealthy from day 1. You are a fool if you think otherwise.

      • Eda Wilson

        @Val: or born into it (affluence).

      • Becky

        Seriously, WHEN were the Romneys ever flat broke? He is the son of the ex governor of MI, they were extremely wealthy then, before then and they still are. He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Their idea of flat broke and mine are obviously different. At this very moment, I am looking at 125.00 in my checking account. My first paycheck of this school year won’t get here until Sept. 15th, I had to have my annual physical (for work) and even though I have health insurance that covers my wellness physical, my part is still 115.00. My husband had to go to ER for internal bleeding that was another expense. And I still won’t get any money until the 15th. I’m gonna say THAT is flat broke.
        I am most certain that the Romneys were never down to their last 100.00 … ever.

      • Just because she said it doesn’t make it true. They paid for college with an investment portfolio they can thank George Romney for. She doesn’t even know what flat broke means, but my family does. My mom suffered from pituitary tumors and Cushing’s disease she couldn’t afford to be treated for (until it was too late) because she was going to college with 3 little ones at home she hoped to be able to move to nice house in a nice neighborhood someday. She got the house, but thanks to GOP blocking regulation of Wall St, Bank of America is now engaging in incredibly fraudulent practices to take the house she already paid for. With fools like the Romneys in charge of things, the jackpot will only grow bigger and the chances of winning even slimmer. We’re not jealous of their riches. We’re pissed that they’re getting away with legislation to steal ours.

      • They weren’t broke. They had to live off the interest of his investments. “Flat broke” people don’t have interest on investments. Nor do they have “an ironing board as a dining room table”. They have no home. Sure, it wasn’t perfect, but they weren’t “broke”. They were young, and his interest wasn’t all that they wanted it to be. If they were truly “broke,” they would have gotten jobs.

      • Bains is an example of the capitalist system that has in the 21st cent. now become a dinosaur, IMO. It’s necessary to find better ways of conducting capitalist businesses to be able to support the workers that will enable secure employment and security for their families rather than enriching the management on the backs of those who enable them to become wealthy.

      • Nancy

        He was never broke….and she came from wealth also. His father gave him a million dollars when he graduated from college. My son will graduate this year with student loan debt and not one penny in the bank because his father died and I cannot do more for us on one income. So Romney’s …..cry me a river about your “spare” years together, while you had a very big, soft cushion below you!!!

      • Mag pie

        Amy in the first few years of marriage the Romney’s lived off the dividends of stocks given to them by his father. Romney has talked about it in print. Mrs. Romney may choose to remember it in a romantic way because it was before they had children and before their trust funds kicked in.

      • Ann wink

        Mitt Romney came from wealth.They were never flat broke never even close

      • There is a difference of being flat broke coming from a family of wealth, and being flat broke coming from nothing with no support system behind you!

      • Suk Mydke

        Are you insane? Romney grew up a billionaire, he received over a 63 million dollar trust to do whatever he wanted with it. THEY WERE NEVER BROKE AND NEVER LIVED IN THE CONDITIONS THOSE LYING BASTARDS CLAIMED!!!

      • Sam Fowler

        REALLY SICK ..huh amy and broke he is a success because he failed everyone else ,his Daddy had money, which means he had access to plenty of it !no thanks on learning how to close plants and outsource jobs and cheat on taxes !

      • No, Amy, they didn’t listen or comprehend. They hear what they want to hear, because the truth hurts too much. They are stuck “living paycheck to paycheck because that’s what teachers with two kids do.” They accept defeat and wear it proudly, and they love to cast shame upon people who worked hard and found success.

      • Adam

        There seems to be a consistent theme here. A number of readers are focusing on the Romney’s wealth. People find it difficult to relate to people who are extraordinarily wealthy. Are you making the assumption that the Obama’s didn’t have a reasonably “easy” adulthood? Is there some line you are drawing as to what an “appropriate” level of wealth is where you can still relate to a candidate? Her speech, LIKE ALL POLITICAL SPEECHES, (including you messiah) was exploitive. It exploits the ignorance of the general public. Here’s the deal – we are all products of our environment. Our political positions are directly related to simple variables like, where you live, the people in your life, etc. With this, we all tend to subscribe to the media that reinforces our positions. We all log on to “imright.com” and arm ourselves with a host of “facts”. It is important to note that media corporations are in the business of entertainment and they are equally as corrupt as governments. Neither candidate cares about their constituents and those who think otherwise are foolish. They care about getting reelected and to do so they exploit either the liberal or conservative ignorance. It truely amazes me how devisive politics and the media have become. When you vote in November, vote on policy and not on personality.

      • Pam

        Did you NOT read this letter? She/we are far from jealous.

      • @amy, and did you ever read where she said, they were so broke at times, they had to cash in some Stock in order to get along? That’s the point—they ALWAYS had their nice little inheritances and Gifting money behind them. They were NEVER flat broke !

      • Jane Miller

        You do understand, don’t you, that both of their families were multi-millionaires? But, it was a cute, little “flat broke” story for the masses so that people like you would think they could relate to real people.

      • Victoria Elkins

        Ms. Gilman,
        Thank you for sharing your life to make the point of the struggles of most women. Whether they have the support of a husband or they are single with or without children, their days are never easy.
        I am hopeful that women across the country will stand together against the platform of the Republican party. They can not and will not speak for us, control us or take away our rights.

      • Ann

        I agree with you, Amy. People read into speeches what they want to hear and most people are jealous of people that have made it. These are the attitudes that get us as a nation into trouble….. jealously, greed, cheats, liars. They (Romney’s) have successfully achieved their riches… they have the right to help, donate, invest, the money however they choose… That is the American Dream…. if you haven’t been able to get there, maybe you need to rethink whom you associate yourself with, change your thinking and find those successful people and learn what they did to acquire riches….some may have inherited their riches, but keep following the generations back, because someone ‘busted their butt’, went without to acquire those riches. It all starts by staying out of debt and being willing to live like no one else for a short time to be able to live like no one else for the rest of your lives….. quite making excuses, and get your lives in order people !!! Then you might just understand………and be able to help others in need, instead of whining about how bad off you are living a ‘middle class life’. It’s all about choices and your ‘there’ because you choose to be there….. just sayin !!!!

        • “People read into speeches what they want to hear ”
          Indeed, in speeches and other things. Heck, a whole bunch of people saw jealousy in this letter where there was none.

      • Dan Brayall

        Is that when they sold their stock just to get by? Seems like they had a support system that the author, and most Americans don’t have.

      • murray

        The were never broke, but were always wealthy. They did not work in grad school because they had financial instruments to sell. Learn how to succeed with them? Well, we can’t all get wealthy sending jobs overseas. And, please, nobody is jealous, just disgusted.

      • Sharon logsdon

        I agree with Amy, Ann was trying to say we as women have a common thread that runs through us. We are the care givers. We care for our children, our husbands, our parents, and as an at home Mom the working Moms kids so they could go to work. Sometimes not accepting a penny for daycare because I cared. Being a woman regardless of politics is a hard job. Sometimes without as much as a thank you. I should add being a caregiver for a dying friend also. Being a caring woman should unite us world wide because as Ann was trying her best to relate we are the blessings to others regardless of wealth or poverty.And some days its very hard no matter the shoes we wear. I applaud Ann for the courage it had to take to stand up there and tell her life story in front of hundreds of people. I wonder how many of us çould do that. Please remember we are the same when we face everyday with its problems and pain I am sorry that you only saw the politics. Sherry

      • Scott

        Hi Amy,
        The story that Mrs. Romney told us was a wonderful work of fiction. When she tells the world that they were “flat broke”, they were actually living on funds that Mr. Romney received for the sale of stocks. They did this for over a year! Let’s chalk this up to semantics. During her illnesses, they had health care and support that only about 1% can even dream about. I applaud your compassion and hope of achieving the type of riches the Romney’s have but don’t forget to always seek the truth. It will never lie to you.

      • Sk8eycat

        They hardly started from “scratch.” Each was born with a silver foot in his/her mouth (to paraphrase the late and wonderful Ann Richards)…as were both Bush presidential failures.

        If Mrs. Romney ever had to make “tomato soup” out of catsup and water because there wasn’t anything else in the cupboard, I’ll eat a can of Fancy Feast!

        As it is, I’m stupid to try to support a pair of elderly cats on my Social Security “benefits,” but I couldn’t bear to know they had been euthanized just because nobody else wanted them, and the shelter was already overcrowded.

        When Bill Clinton told people that he “felt their pain,” I believed it because he grew up poor, with alcoholic step-parents. Whe the Romneys and the Ryans try to say the same thing, I say, “Gag me with a spoon!” (Valley Girls get old, too.)

        I have had the distinct impression for years that the wealthy hyper-conservatives want us to all drop dead the minute we turn 65; well I’m going to try to live as long as I can just to spite them…even if I have to get a shopping cart and live on the streets.

      • Ronette

        I realize we are entitled to our opinion and maybe Mrs Romney’s reality of “broke” is not our reality of broke. This being the case she should limit her empathy for the country club women, the socialite women, and the women who’s greatest struggle is determining which place setting to lay out for their next “charity gala”.
        I say good for the Romney’s! They were born into rich families and were supported in ways that many parents only dream of being able to support their children. But they did not start from scratch or struggle to make ends meet but thats ok.
        I am not jealous. I am married with 5 children. I have put myself through school (paid cash) and have a job I love with a non-profit agency as a Director. My supportive husband has worked for UPS for 20 yrs. He comes home each evening moaning and groaning because his knees r so bad from stepping up & down on a high truck. He makes 31$ per hr and works at least 60 hrs per week. After taxes he brings home less than $800 add that to the $720 I bring home each week and we are not starving.
        We are not in debt, our kids do have college funds (because they all got jobs by age 11) we own a home, a beat up truck, a cute car, and we go on vacation once a year.
        This is my reality and it definitely isnt how my life has always been. I have been flat broke in a shelter unsure when I will be safe or have clean dry clothes. I have had days that I wished I could afford tuna fish or anything just to put something in my family’s stomach. We worked hard to get stabilized in life and to show r kids hard work pays off. So how can I now endorse a candidate that represents himself as the average Joe but presents a plan that will cut his legs from under him. How can he want what is best for our nation is he is blind to the needs of our nation.
        Am I jealous of the Romney’s…No. Do I believe that their reality of “broke” is a lie?…No. Do I think that Mrs. Romney can relate to the women of the US ?…No. Does that really matter?…No…because the only question that I need to answers is…Will I vote for Romney?…NO!
        Be Well…Be Blessed America!

        • Sk8eycat

          I am willing to bet the money I don’t have (I’m barely scraping by on Social Security) that Ann Romney has never made “tomato soup” from packets of catsup and crackers taken from fast food joints, and hot water. I have. Quite often.

          Probably neither Barack nor Michelle Obama ever had to stoop that low, but they weren’t raised as part of the country club set, either. Nor did pres. Obama have his freethinker mother baptized posthumously in order to slide her into an imaginary paradise. Ann Romney allowed Mitten to perform that ridiculous act on her atheist father’s behalf. Probably for political reasons…Mitt can’t afford to acknowledge a non-believing father-in-law.

          The Romneys appear to be programmable toy robots who will say or do whatever their handlers think will please the audience.

          • weforster

            I honestly don’t know WHY some of you are playing this game of “I was so poor that…” it just seems that you are very hung up on the amount of money that the Romneys have. Were you as frustrated by how much money money John Kerry had? Or the most wealthy President of all who never worked at a real job (except for his military service) because he lived off HIS daddy’s trust fund until he became President-John F Kennedy? I don’t remember anyone degrading that family for all their money. People, get a grip. We haven’t had a poor President since the 1800′s. It takes a LOT of money and schmoozing of the rich in order to become President . President Obama is in the process of purchasing a $35 M home here in Hawaii, and occupancy is to take place January 2013. It doesn’t matter if I give you facts all day, because your minds are not open to historical truth-or reality, for that matter. As an Independent, one must learn about both sides, get facts, not hearsay, or anecdotal emails that you haven’t fact-checked. And please, please, put the Kool-Aid down! Give someone else a chance to do what this President has failed to do-keep his promises.

          • Laura

            I never claimed to be poor. I am not rich either.

            Mitt and his gang are solely out for themselves and their class. They dint care who they step on and bleed so long as they fun toe show, get their health needs addressed, make their pensions, etc.

            And the point is that Ann claimed to be broke. I question their definition of broke.

          • Sk8eycat

            Well, ex-CUUUUUze ME! Kennedy was the last president whose wealthy parents raised to understand that he had a duty to “pay back” his country by doing some kind of public service…sort of an old fashioned idea that you rarely see anywhere today. Today’s Koch Bros., et al buy their politicians very carefully, and look at everybody else with an “I’ve got mine, I’ll get more, and to hell with you” attitude.

            I’m glad I’m old; I don’t particularly want to live to see the 2016 election…it’s going to be a worse circus than this one.

      • Tiffany

        im not sure what your definition of flat broke is Amy , but they have never been flat broke. Do your research please

    • M lutz

      just as not everyone can reach fame and wealth –though one may try so hard it hurts-so it is that 99% of us are not in the Romney category.
      It is always sad when generalizations are made by very specific
      individuals. Indeed, Mrs. Romney has no clue….

      • Eda Wilson

        @Amy: Oh, for pete’s sake! They were never broke. Ann doesn’t know what that means. They both had parents who were well off… wealthy…. really rich. I’m sure they were NEVER hurting financially.

      • Adam

        A) Obama is also part of the top 1%
        B) This 99% vs. 1% is nothing more than a political ploy to gain votes (and surprise it’s working!)
        C) You are angry about the assumptions you feel Mrs. Romney has made about you but yet you assume to know a lot about her based on a single speech?
        D) There has been a significant shift in the American culture with regards to how we perceive the wealthy. It seems it has gone from respect and admiration to hate and jealousy. Am I wealthy? No. Do I want to be? Of course. We need the wealthy people in our society. They contribute an enormous portion to the federal revenue (which pays for all the programs we are so fond of). They also employ a majority of us. If the rate of the taxes they pay is less than that of a middle class citizen (which I would argue is a minority), isn’t that more a fault of the tax code than the “rich”?

    • If you truly are that jealous of these people you could incite a repeat of the French Revolution. Otherwise, just live and let live. If they have done something unlawful in achieving their wealth, I am sure that it will catch up to them eventually. I would assume that you have no idea what the Romney’s lives’ are like. Wealth does not only bring luxury and comfort. There can be added responsibility and depression knowing that these things do not really fulfill. I am self-employed, and still living at home, and because of this, I have learned that money does not buy happiness. I sure hope you do not think that a redistribution of the Romney’s wealth will do that.

      • Nope – no redistribution of wealth required -just an admission of reality.

      • I would be happy to settle for the end of redistributing wealth to the upper class in the form of ridiculous tax cuts, $40 billion in subsidies to big oil companies, and all the other corporate welfare called for in the joke that is the Romney/Ryan budget.

      • Father Sky

        The redistribution of wealth has happened because Reaganomics allowed the theft of the commons and vultures like Romney to steal jobs and pensions. The redistribution of wealth was to those whose unethical brains dreamed up schemes to accomplish this while not caring about the well paying jobs they redistributed to China and other countries.
        We talk about a reclamation of that which was stolen by thieves like Romney.

    • Eda Wilson

      Excellently written letter, Ms. Walker-Gilman. Thank you for expressing MY thoughts.

    • Steven Clark

      I was deeply moved by Cathy’s letter. Without hesitation, I am sure she speaks for millions of women and families. I have nothing against people who are privileged, whether through hard work, or inheritance. But, like Cathy, it is hard to not speak out when we are told lies–or delusional half-truths–by those in positions of privilege, such as Mrs. Romney. Being out of touch with the average American is not a crime, but it is unconscionable to speak on their behalf when you have no business doing so. Bravo to Cathy Walker-Gilman for sending that message.

  2. Tracy Davis

    Powerful, honest words of truth spoken to a corrupt power structure that allows chickenhawks to masquerade as warriors, conniving warmongers to act as defenders of liberty, and pampered aristocrats such as Ms. Romney to parade around as Everywoman.

    Once again my belief in the power of words has been affirmed. Thank you very much for relating what it means to struggle, and in the process tearing down the dishonest self-portrayal Ann Romney attempted to sell.

    • Thank you so much for coming by. And yes, I thought Cathy did a wonderful job of politely pointing out the dishonesty and disrespect that the current GOP has for the working class. There is a serious disconnect between them and everyone else. They may have bought and sold businesses like cheap monopoly properties, but they have never actually had to work, or truly run a business as if their lives depended on it, or their mortgages, or the food on their children’s table. They’ve never had to choose between paying a medical bill or making rent, or even between buying school supplies and feeding their kids a healthy dinner.
      And my friends who make those choices every day aren’t lazy – they’re all working two jobs just to make ends meet. As Cathy says, shopping at Costco doesn’t even that up.

      • Wonderfully written afrom the truth of the heart.

      • Becky

        I am so delighted to have had the opportunity to read this post. Thank you so much for sharing Cathy’s well written letter. These have been my thoughts for a long time now.
        Again, Thanks for sharing this well worded letter.

  3. psychwoman69

    While Ann Rommey may not have your concerns, she has concerns that mothers can understand as well, dying and leaving her sons without a mom because of breast cancer. No amount of money can assure you can beat cancer. Even with money raising five sons is a daunting task. I don’t think we need to one up each other as women and mothers. That isn’t what we as Americans are amount. I hear her saying I do understand what women go through. No women, no family goes though the same th ing, but we can understand.

    • Yes, Ann Romney has some concerns that all mothers can relate to, that said, she cannot relate in any way to the choices most of us have to make every day just to make ends meet. Not because we are lazy or don’t try or aren’t working or are waiting for handouts – because we’re not. We’re working, often 2 or 3 jobs.
      For her to claim she understands us is disingenuous at best.
      She doesn’t. She can’t. She’s never had to decide whether her kids are going to get milk or medicine.

      • You know what else she’s never had to decide? Whether or not she should stop cancer treatment so she didn’t bankrupt her family when her lifetime cap ran out. A friend of mine made that decision a few years ago and she died – and I’m still pissed off that she had to make that choice. Was it guaranteed that she would have beat the second bout of breast cancer with more treatment? No, it wasn’t – but the fact that she never had a real choice is an abomination.

        And that is the choice that is perfectly A-OK with the GOP. Frankly, I don’t know how they look at themselves in the mirror – I’m guessing that the only way that it’s possible is for them to continue to delude themselves day in an day out.

      • betteramericaforourkids

        We don’t have to live your life to understand how hard it is, compassion please… everyone is trying to make America a better place…and the last four years were not better than the previous four years..

      • Boneal1219

        There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.” Mark 7:15

        The hatred & jealousy will get us, as a country, absolutely no where. Whether they were “flat broke” or not doesn’t matter at this point in time. What matters is whether we can get our elected officials to listen to us as people & have them do what is best for our country. I unfortunately have lost faith in our system & feel we are on a slippery slope to the bottom. It is pretty much every family for itself because no one seems to have an ounce of compassion for the next person. What happened to helping each other? Oh, that’s right, cynicism has taken over because I for one am so used to being lied to. It’s unfortunate that those who bs & lie throughout their lives go the furthest. Nice guys never get to finish….

    • Joyce M

      I do feel sorry for her because she had breast cancer and MS, but I am sure she had lot of help to raise the boys. Those boys did not have to worry about where their next meal was coming from, or if they would have anything to wear, or about going to school or also going to church. She has no idea what is like to be really poor and have to live in shelters and go to soup kitchens in order for the children to eat. She may think she can empathize with others but until she has walked in their shoes, she has no idea. I myself would never say that I understand what other woman who have no money, no homes, no food, no health insurance are going through, because I would be lying for I have no idea. I am not rich by any means at all, just an average American who pay our share of taxes, give to my church, small donations if I can to some charities. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have all the money that they have…My husband has worked very hard all his life on a farm and we have raised 3 children in our 55 yrs. of marriage, & have 7 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. It has not always been easy, but we never went hungry or without. I just can’t imagine how it would be and neither can she! One our of little great-grandsons just had surgery for brain tumor which was cancerous and now is taking radiation and chemo.We have problems in our family just like millions of other Americans so she is not the only one with health problems. We feel that God has blessed us during our lifetime and we thank Him.

    • Mag pie

      Ann Romney has grown children and health insurance. She also has the money beyond that to pay for every drug, therapy and medical specialist worldwide to treat her disease. She’s a lovely person who has grown up and lived her adult life in extreme privilege. Converting to Mormonism a religion that celebrates women as helpmates to men is her point of view of being a woman in America today. She lives in a world foreign to 99.9% of all the women on the planet. Her position on female health care, gay marriage, health insurance, education are all about taking away what little people already have. She has all the choices in the world and wants to take away so many of mine. I kept expecting her to say “Let them eat cake.”

      • Susan Mays

        Can you tell me what exactly she is taking away from you? And who taught you to be so bitter because others have things you don’t have? I grew up with nothing, lived on the wrong side of the tracks, yet my daddy was proud, taught us to be, and said, “Susie, you can’t help being poor, but you don’t have to live like a slob.” And we did nothing but work to live in the most respectable home in the neighborhood; freshly painted and repaired all the time, green grass, fresh gardens. I never felt envy for anyone or hated them because they had things I didn’t. Why does anyone? I don’t understand. It’s simply life. Some are privileged, some aren’t. Some take different paths than others, some manage money better than others, some it’s in the past of their families. Why be so bitter?

  4. Dolores R

    Well said. Thank you.

    • Well daid Teri. I don’t understand all the politically charged vitriol against the Romneys because they are successful. Isn’t the American Dream work hard and build wealth? I dont want a government handout – I want opportunity (sadly lacking these past 4 years).

      • YES, YES, when I read what these women have wrote I hear jealousy(: I raised my children in the 60′s and 70′s and we were very POOR. These jealous women would have a hard time living the way I lived. Times of living in a 1 room cabin with 3 children, no runnning water. Oil stove for heat and a clean river in front of the cabin that I got my water for washing my dishes and clothes. In the summer I bathed my children in the river. I didn’t have a lot but I was happy and I was not jealous of others that had more:) We built our home from the ground up with a lot of sweat and love for hard work. The families of today have TO MUCH and are not thankful for it(: God Bless America

      • Successful? The Romneys are rich because they’re parasites. They sucked the money out of successful companies until they were forced to fire everyone, then sold of the bits and pieces for the final touch. Then, when they shipped jobs overseas in order to maximize their profit. Now, if you’re going to respond that Bain Capital created and built many successful companies, sorry. You’re wrong. That was Bain, not Bain Capital. Mitt even gets this confused himself from time to time. The Romney’s have lied in order to make more money and minimize their portion of taxes. Mitt lied to the SEC about retiring from Bain Capital – that’s been proven now with a plethora of documents showing he was an acting partner earning full shares after he supposedly left in 1999. He just kept it quiet back then and didn’t expect it to surface. The Romney’s are so self-indulged and self-righteous, that they never imagined that the public would ever doubt what they say. Oh, so wrong.

        While you pay for fair share in taxes (assuming you do anyway), here is a man running for the top office of this country – an office which only exists because the people of our country pay taxes – and Romney has done everything he can to avoid paying what he truly owes in taxes. A president is someone who leads by example – which is exactly what Obama has done. Mitt in no way, shape, form or manner leads by example. It only takes one word to properly describe the kind of person Mitt Romney is, and that is a “thief.”

        If how Mitt earned his money is considered the “American Dream” then count me out. I would rather earn my money by being a productive member of our society, not by sucking other people dry. And if I were to ever try on my tax forms what Mitt has done, I would be locked up for evasion. Since he’s running for POTUS, they won’t touch him. We can only hope that the IRS comes after him post-election. Now, before you say something about “it hasn’t been proven he’s evaded taxes,” have you actually looked at the one year that he submitted? The other year isn’t a tax return, but a proposal. Doesn’t count. Well, I have – and I’m still picking it apart since it’s so long. There are items in this return which just don’t make sense. I am not a tax attorney, but I was a mortgage banker and had to learn to read tax returns just enough to determine income, and there’s stuff in his returns for 2010 that are “hinkey.” Oh, and btw… the Romney received a million back in tax returns. Sure they already paid a couple mil, but apparently one million too much. Yet here i am barely surviving on $40k per year, and I had to pay nearly $2,000 to the IRS. Something just doesn’t seem right about all this.

        The Romney’s are nothing but lying thieves who only care about themselves. I have no desire to be successful in the manner they have done. And they are most definitely not fit to run this country. And Ann Romney in the White House? She’s in insult and a disgrace to all the women who have walked those steps before her. Ann would do what is expected of her – but without moral conviction. She’s a puppet just like her hubbie.

        Now you want a role model of success in this country? Take a look at Dyson or Costco. Those are two very successful companies that keep jobs in the US, and pay their employees what they’re worth – which proves that it can be done!

        • Speaking of vitrol…..you spout it. I guess the B. H. Obama is wonderful. He really never had a job or experience for governing. He avoided voting when he could in the state senate and the national senate. Most everything was given to him. How did he pay for his education?? He won’t show his grades in school, still really hasn’t totally proven where he was born. Michelle was from an upper middle class family and she too, is trying to act poor. obama’s give very little 1% to charity and the Romney give 20% of their gross income as well as personal time. In my obserevation Mrs. Romney appears gracious and Mrs. Obama appears mean. Mrs Romney raised 6 boys. Mrs. Obama raised 2 girls. Help or no help. Mrs. Obama had a cushy set up job for lots of money. now she jet sets on our tax dollars like royalty wasting millions of yours and my tax dollars. They should set an example if they want my respect.

          • OMG… you’re one of those. Never mind. Just pretend like I didn’t comment. I have a date with the tooth fairy now. Bye bye.

          • sk8eycat

            I’m with you! Some people can’t see the pennies for the dollars. WT*bleep!* It’s a hot day; I think I’ll go hang out at the ice rink. Care to join me?

          • Birthers. Ick, ack, phtooey. It’s like they live in their own right-wing matrix – just cannot see the truth and live in their own little dream. Sure, I’ll meet ya at the ice rink – so long as you promise to laugh when I fall on my ass. :)

          • sk8eycat

            Heh! I have no intention of setting foot /blade on the ice. It’s been too many years since I did, and I’m too effing old to mess up what’s left of my spine. We can sit on the sidelines in the cool and watch the kids break their necks. And have a coffee or tea or something, and diss the politicians of both parties
            >^,.^<

          • Dan Brayall

            I keep seeing posters here talking about how much money the Romneys have given to charity. Just to be clear. It’s a little misleading to say, given to charity which might imply helping the less fortunate. Most of that money {about 80%} went to the Mormon church, either directly or through thier Tyler foundation.

            “In 2009, meanwhile, Romney’s private foundation gave away a total of $631,000. This was comprised of four gifts:

            The Church of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints ($600,000)
            My Sister’s Keeper ($5,000)
            The Becket Fund ($25,000)
            Mass General Hospital Cancer Center ($1,000)

            In 2009, therefore, 95% of the money Romney’s foundation gave away went to the church.”

            Not that the Mormon church doesn’t do some good things but giving huge sums to the church is not directly helping the less fortunate. It might be building a new temple or fighting SSM in CA. In my book, giving money to the church is not the same as money to charity unless you can designate that money for specific programs. So maybe we can stop throwing arounf that 20% to charity thing because it’s not accurate.

    • It isn’t about jealousy, it’s about accountability.

  5. Teri Moore

    What is wrong with you, woman???? Cathy Walker-Gilman should count her blessings! She does not know what being poor is. She should visit third world countries. She has much more than millions of others, and yes, there are lots of others who have more than her and so on. Sadly, she sounds angry. She is not a happy person. What a way to go through life! Cathy’s letter sounds so political to me. For starters, she is a teacher so she must be connected to Unions and Unions feel threaten and want to make trouble through her or people like her. I hope people see through it. Cathy’s situation is not unique. That is the way of life. If she wants to make changes, don’t change others but yourself. As far as who should be our president? Well….I want to go back to basics, if you know what I mean. I want my children and yours to prosper and excel in life without feeling “guilt” about it.

    • She does count her blessings. If you read her whole letter, she mentions more than once how lucky she is. And she opens with the assumption that Ann Romney is a very nice person. There is nothing angry in this post.
      Cathy is simply pointing out that Ann Romney has no idea what life is like for 99% of Americans, and that she really shouldn’t patronize us by trying to pretend she does.
      There’s no guilt, there’s no name calling, there is just the truth that the Romney’s are not in touch with reality. And, at this moment, neither is the rest of the GOP.

      • amy

        Exactly. Did you even listen to her speech? They were broke, flat broke. She was very very sick. He is a success and he will not fail. Do not be jealous of their riches but learn how to succeed with them.

      • william cope

        Do you realistically think any First Lady can not not understand the middle class unless they are making 45,000$ a year. Why is it those who have chosen a path of school loans and career cut down those who succeeded better. Everyone has the same opportunity here in the USA. I know relatives and including myself who worked summers to pay for school. I finished with no loans, and so did my children. My wife and I are average working people, yet I also know that we do not have to envy those who have more. Many have worked differently in careers that have succeeded because they had different attributes. Would she wish that we have a country were all industry, businesses are ran by the government with no one different than the other. Also how could a person run for President if they had no money. Scares me that this person is an educator also for someones children. I hope she never discourages them from dreaming and becoming bigger than average. that is not the American way.
        One last thing. If this was a Democratic wife of a nominee or the present First Lady, they did not live average lives either.

      • Bella

        I cannot believe people are focusing in on this stuff. I did grow up poor. Family illness prevented my father from working regularly as a carpenter. He had his first heart attack at 34 with 4 kids under the age of 6. I had a drinking problem and drug problem and have been sober for 24 years. By the grace of God my brother and sisters did ok even though none of us graduated college. I do not relate to Cathy’s life at all. Does that mean Cathy cannot relate to me as a woman on some level? I am a single parent who did not get any support from the father and did not use any government program to get by. Does Cathy’s boss relate to her or her bosses boss? Probably not but does that mean they cannot get the job done? I want government to help create jobs period. I do not care if they relate to me. What I want is for them to understand there are some serious problems and put a plan in place to address those issues.

        • Bravo Bella!!! I admire your attitude! You have the right attitude to be successful no matter the challenge. I’m with you. I want someone who can get the job done. I could care less how “like” me they are.

      • LIsa

        And do you really, for one moment, feel that Obama and his cabinet are in touch with reality? Do you or can you really name one thing that his office has done for America to make it a better place? Please, spare me the ‘he inherited the problems’ routine. It’s old and it’s used by every administration that ends up failing in the end.
        Truth is, he has done NOTHING but use tax payers money to support his family trips all over the world, house his mother in law in the “WHTE” house and make his star appearances for every purpose but better our country.
        Yes, Romney may have been more priviledged than most in his early years, but really, is that his fault? Is it his fault that his parents achieved the American Dream and became successful. To further comment on that point, not only did they achieve success but their son followed their lead and chased the American Dream and too became successful on his own accord.
        Yes Mtt Romney and his wife are now priviledged. They’ve earned it and now they wish to share the opportunity with the rest of country. Have you really done your research on who the Romney’s are and what they do to give back to this country? The may not live and walk in the average American’s shoes, where many of us struggle from day to day, but at least he is willing to ACKNOWLEDGE that we struggle and try to do something aout it rather than push it under the carpet and act like it’s not true like our current president. Yes, I did not utilize a capital “P” in president because he does not deserve the “P”. He is just another bag of hot air that caused us much more hurt than help.
        Wake up women…..people of America.

      • Jason

        The writer is angry. She can wrap it in whatever she wants. She’s angry about Ms. Romney making assumptions about her life, yet she and many other posters truly don’t know about her life. We can make assumptions on what we’ve been offered as fact, but we still don’t know. For instance, I’m sure with what I’ve just written, you’d think I was another conservative who has been “bamboozled” into believing the “lies being fed” to myself and all my fear mongering, racist friends, by the GOP. In truth, you’d be absolutely wrong. Quit coveting.

    • AKW

      Teri, I could scarcely disagree with you more. She sounds very happy. Very grateful. She also sounds very frank. Very realistic. This letter makes no mention of unions or ulterior motives. She tells her story and tells us why she disagrees with Mrs. Romney. She is respectful, she states facts, when she makes assumptions she states clearly that she is doing so.

      • I agree, which is why I posted the letter. I didn’t feel any bitterness. I didn’t sense any latent hatred of, or resentment toward the wealthy. Just a common sense calling out of the facts. Ann Romney has no idea what it is like to be an average American making tough choices. Simple.
        Sadly, any time we plebeians disagree with the GOP they assume it is because we resent their money.
        Nope, not a bit. You can keep the same percentage of it that I get to keep. But you rely on this society just as much as I do, so… Pay your fair share. We all use the roads. Even if your kids don’t go to public school, your employees did. We all hope the firemen will come if we have to call. And the police.
        Pony up.

    • kermann

      Finally, someone who “caught” the meaning of this letter. I agree whole heartedly with you, Teri!

    • warren

      BTW I work in 3rd world countries and can assure you that we are headed that way with the kind of thinking you display. The article is about ANN Romney understanding real lives. She don’t can;’t no will ever be able to. It appears you are the one in need of change.

    • It is so amazing how much denial people are in to think that the GOP standard bearers have any resemblance to or understand the realities of the majority of everyday American people. Just because they can buy the media and manipulate American cultural perspectives to mindwash people into thinking everything is hunky-dory, doesn’t make it so. Most of thinking America don’t watch the mainstream media and know how to think for themselves. And there ios not a one that I know that is not deeply concerned about the state of things.

      When a well-educated, hard-working middle-class woman takes a close look at her life, she wonders how she got there, living paycheck to paycheck. The real answer is that her opportunities, all of our opportunities, have been stolen by those who cannot be satiated by their greed. To accurately describe the plight of the fading American middle-class is not whining, it is calling it as it is.

      To blame this on Obama was the full intention of the GOP since before 2008. Let Bush loot the treasury of the country, hand the American economy over to the mega-wealthy with international interests, weaken it horribly and give it to the Democrats to fix making sure they can’t succeed at every turn. They then obstructed and blamed Obama and the Democrats, gambling and strategizing on getting complete control of the country back in 4 years. They, read the oiligarchic billionares, spent tons of money creating a neo-con, ignorant, ranting bogus “party” within a party, sidetracking the national debate to suit their whims. Do they care about you or me? Not in the slightest. And their politicians, they simply sing for their wealthy and callous base. That they can so blatantly lie and have people believing in them regardless is testament to the psychological power of their well-scripted media machine.

      That machine is what is unconstitutional. That machine distorts “freedom of speech” beyond rational and moral recognition and somehow has gotten away with it. God help us all if our karma is so bad as to have to abide a Romney presidency. That will truly be the end of the sacred, yes holy, keepsake of the “American promise.” Working 3 jobs to make ends meet is NOT opportunity. Good education is the key to that promise. Access to higher education was the promise to my generation. Cathy Walker-Gilman’s children, like my own, have been abandoned by this country. education now comes with indentured servitude if you are not ealthy or can’t get the limited scholarships. At least Obama has tried to address the problem, against many odds.

      Is he perfect? What man is? Do I like his pragmatism focused on governing rather than challenging the staus quo. Not all of the time. Do I think there is great potential for all people in most of his policies? Yes. I do know he is a much better man than the alternative. Until we get money out of politics, where everyone with skill and love of country has the option of running for president, things will only get worse. When 24 unknown billionares can control American politics, policy and military activity, we will have become nothing more than a police state.

      God grant us peace.

      • Becky

        Bravo!!! oceanpeople…. Very well said! Thank you!

      • Laurie

        Should have helped Ron Paul…..he wants money out of politics, loves this country and her Constitution…..

      • Lynn

        You are so right. The huge influence of money in politics is at the heart of the problem. Additionally, the collapse of the middle class which affects us all, rich and poor, is the result of corporations which no longer care about their employees or the communities or nations in which they operate, but instead concern themselves only with the earnings of management and their stockholders. The anger by the progressives is not envy for their riches, but in the lies and distortions and the severe “solutions” they promote which will only aggravate the problems of the poor and what is left of the middle class.

    • Terri, you are sounding angry and scared to me.
      Cathy however, I am sure counts her blessings, is aware of them and how blessed we are to have beds for our children and food to eat….and why is making a strong, good point for all, as we should be all doing, about something important, so wrong to you?
      If you want to “go back to ……” whatever dreamland you think that will be created for you, dream on. One can only be happy inside first to radiate it out to find true happiness; you will be a bitter, unhappy person if you don’t think and look into your heart.
      It is our job as citizens of a free democracy to speak out! We can be at peace, write about wrongs we observe, and we can own things, be abundant, that is not wrong…and still have the intelligence to compose such a letter as she did. We also are aware of third world countries, don’t watch Fox TV to see them though, you have to GO there…so are we supposed to now ignore them? No. Help them, find a foundation and support it, travel there and work with some children in India…..and count your blessings. And as for Cathy, I admire her, as many obviously do. No judgement. Just listen and learn.

    • Eileen Scoles

      Teri, I do think that Cathy Walker-Gilman is completely aware of the disparity in a country that has changed it’s commitment to it’s citizens. Where once, striving for an education bought you a better life, this no longer exists. Clearly our elected legislators in Washington have succumbed to the demands of special interests and Corporate America to the point of selling out the citizens. Large coporations have obtained incredible tax advantages over regular citizens. The banks paid $300 million over a period of time getting Glass Steagall repealed in 1999 only to RUIN our Economy with their greed in a mere seven years! What other country would allow CEO’s of major banks and insurance companies, approach it’s government and DEMAND a bailout, then broker their own bailouts with no strings attached. They did this twice, under two different president’s!
      The actuality is, Mitt Romney represents this type of Crony Capitalism, regardless of his personal behavior. His tax evasion in the form of tax havens, his privileged political and economic background etc.
      At another time in our history it might not be such a dichotomy. Right now there is a clear disparity of wealth that has finally burst the dam. The debts have to be paid and middle America is shouldering more of the burden unfairly.
      If Cathy Walker-Gilman is angry, she has a right because the dream is gone. Washington has sold the dream to the highest bidder. The poor are getting poorer, the rich are getting richer and the middle class is fading away.
      Mrs. Romney does not really know!

  6. Teri Moore

    Cynthia W. – Do you know that once you have cancer, there is no money in the world that will cure it? I lost my grandmother, my sister and my best friend to Cancer. I KNOW. You guys are soooo obsessed with putting down the GOP that don’t realize that it makes you look “pathetic”. Empty. Sad!

    • Teri, While there is no guarantee that money will save you from cancer, there is a much better chance of being cured if you can pay for treatment then if you cannot. There is also a better chance of being cured with early detection, something many women do not get because they cannot afford the annual screening. Esp as more and more Planned Parenthood clinics get shut down by anti-choice state legislators.
      Money’s not a cure all, but it does make it easier. And Cathy’s not asking for more money, she’s just asking Ann to stop pretending she knows what it’s like to have to make hard choices, such as – feed my family, or receive medical care.

      • LIsa

        Oh, and OBAMAcare will help us? Please.

      • Bella

        It is my hope that I would keep everything in the content of what is in that persons heart and in doing that I will uncover what is in mine. So I would ask ” Was Ann trying to deceive or put down anyone on purpose?” or another question would be “Was Ann pretending she knows what it is like to have to make hard choices or does she sincerely believe she knows what people are going through?” I have no doubt that Ann has had to make hard choices in her life. We all do. Hard is relevant to each person so what I think is hard may not be what someone else thinks is hard. I do not understand why someone would start a letter out by saying they are giving someone the benefit of the doubt and then in the same letter write about how offended they are. Perhaps everyone could work on being less offended and be more concerned about the real issues of the country.

      • Laurie

        Okay, I see Planned Parenthood was added to the conversation. We need to be honest about it and say that PP is about abortions, not preventative care. Seriously, how many women do any of us know that use PP for cancer screening/referrals?

      • Laurie – Myself, my sister, my mother and my daughters. None of us have ever had an abortion. We all get our preventative care at PP. We all got our birth control there. My husband got his vasectomy there so that we will never have to get an abortion. (Unless of course I am illegitimately raped.) Planned parenthood is about caring for women. All women.

      • Well said, agreed, Teri simply wants this to be a clear-cut discussion when nothing could be further from the truth.
        All of us, and I mean all, have experienced loss, care-taking and first hand experience such as you like to describe with cancer. We don’t tell our tales here. We could. I could easily talk about my brother and how we, my sister and I , had to apply three times for disability aid for him when he was declared “disabled”. There should be no judgement, bigotry, or racism brought into our world anymore….I am sick and tired of it on my weak days. I accept it as yin-yang on my better days. It is called life, but for some people, listen to their stores as you judge who is going to get care and who won’t. Then I might just write the book I have been thinking about for 2 -3 years. Loss? You have no idea.

    • Right, because all of the people who have been successfully treated and are still alive are figments of my imagination. And I’m the one who is pathetic because I’m angry that my friend died when her health benefits ran out.

      • Cynthia, I know it’s hard, but don’t take any of these folk personally. They really can’t see outside their bubble – and they think the same of us. The ideological gap has grown so wide that neither side can see or understand the other.
        There is also the “magical thinking” phenomena that Bill Maher speaks of so often, the GOP idea that if they don’t like something they can simply think/wish it away. Like Akin wishing away the 32,000 pregnancies that result from rape every year in the USA. He thinks if he can just tinker with the definition of rape enough, those 32,000 women will realize that they did actually ask for it, and they are thankful to be pregnant.
        This is why I cannot in good conscience vote GOP, they do not believe in reality. They do not think that A=A.

      • Yes, Obamacare WILL and is helping us. It’s helping ME right now. As it stands, Obamacare has meant a limit on what the insurance company can force us to pay per year out of pocket- the first year I was sick we had 27K in medical out of pocket before obamacare kicked in. The second year, Ocare did not kick in until the last half of the year and we ended up with about 18k out of pocket. This year, with it in effect fully, 4k. My husband’s insurance can’t drop us ether because I am sick, thanks to ObamaCare. And of course there is the preexisting condition issue- HUGE for me. HUGE. .. and all the benefits of the strengthening of the Americans with Disabilities Act that came in conjunction withe ‘ObamaCare. I could go on and on and on and on and on an on and on

    • Jessica

      Um… Really? Because I’m a cancer survivor. You may want to re-assess that comment. K, thanks. :)

      And as far as the GOP is concerned? Hypocrites. Hypocrites leeching off Government funded Health Care that we pay for. We can’t get 100% coverage from Government Health Care, but they are entitled to it! Did you know that Dick Chaney used our tax payers dollars to put a healthy heart in his chest, bypassing all the others that were waiting before him? He didn’t have to pay a cent. No. Those people on the list before him payed to put that heart into his body. Now THAT. Is pathetic. Empty. Sad.

      • sk8eycat

        Does Dick Cheney have a REAL heart now? I don’t think he did while he was busy pulling frontman W’s striings…he had a cash register in his thorax, instead.

  7. I’m Canadian, but I advocate for equality, justice and democracy everywhere. These are things that are fundamentally undermined in the policies of the GOP (and the Conservative Party of Canada). My hope is that people like you, Cathy – and not Terri – will vote. But this is only a small part of it. Most importantly, I hope that the 99% will realize that we’re the leaders we’ve been waiting for. It’s time that we accept that the experiment of the last 30 years has not worked (at least not for our benefit) and that we do have the power to imagine a new way forward. Kudos for speaking up, and speaking clearly.

    • Exactly. The last GOP president with a balanced budget was Dwight Eisenhower in 1957 with an effective tax rate of 91%. And back then, only one person had to work one job in order to pay for a quality life. Now both parents have to work two jobs, and they still can’t afford to buy a house, have insurance, or feed their children healthy food.
      I’m all for paying taxes and getting good schools, good roads, and basic health care for everyone.

      • Exactly! In addition to this, Eisenhower’s final address to the American people was to warn them that things were about to change… the military industrial complex was becoming very powerful and would undermine democracy if it wasn’t kept in check. And here we are.

  8. Jackie Estes

    Well said…the only person in this election that makes sense to me is Mrs. Obama…and I’m a registered republican…Mrs. Romney not so much! Gone are the days of the “Norman Rockwell” family.

  9. Meg

    One does not have to go to a third world country to see poor. We have children and families in this country who extremely poor. Also, not all teachers belong to unions so I would watch making grand assumptions. I’m a teacher in a low income rural school district and am not part of union. What I can appreciate about this letter and the non-rude comments and is that there is no typical American female experience and that we are so lucky to have the right to vote for whom we choose.

    • Cat

      just before you throw her under the bus, I am sure Michelle Obama is wealthy in her own right, geeze lighten up.

      • Fed_Up

        And Michelle Obama was born in a tiny little crowded apartment & worked like a dog for everything that she has. You “lighten up”, or, better yet, just open your eyes.

      • amy

        and she has 26 assistants, all making over 100k each. She is doing just fine.

      • LIsa

        Agreed…It was so nice of her to have her mother come live in the White House at the taxpayer’s expense, wasn’t it. SO thoughtful. Thank you Michelle.

      • Read about Mrs. Obama’s life. Have you done that? Moreover, she hasn’t attempted to act the “I’ve been in your shoes” routine.

        And to Cat above. Pull your head out of the Fox News vacuum. Presidents foot their bills. Food, household staff, assistants and dog walkers are all paid from the Presidential salary. No taxpayer funds. Same goes for non-diplomatic events. She paid for all their birthday and dinner parties from their personal account.

    • Exactly. And I hope we all use that right come November.

  10. Carrie Hutchins Surlas

    This was interesting. I’m glad that this gal is sharing her opinion. Its pretty wonderful that we live in a country where we can do so without fear. That being said, this made me chuckle a little… I have a similar reaction to every liberal female spokesman who claims that women everywhere want the government to pay for their birth control (Sandra Fluke) or those who think its appropriate to dress like giant sparkly vaginas (Code Pink), or that conservatives such as myself are racist every time we say anything negative about current leadership (numerous media personalities), or that women who are ‘pro-life/anti-abortion’ are somehow invalid. I feel like throwing something every time I hear someone say the GOP is waging a ‘war on women’. If you watched Condi or Susana Martinez or any of the other women who spoke at the GOP convention, you’d see that the Conservative movement wants to empower women (not break them down). These folks who stereotype right leaning women are the people who make MY blood boil. I think it would be nice if both sides could see that there is more than one woman out here. We’re not all one way or the other. We are unique. We each matter. Our votes all count.

    I too am a middle class working mother. I’m happily married. We have to work hard to stay afloat. We scrimp and save. We manage. It’s not always easy. So what? Nobody promised that life would be easy. So Ann Romney has had the luxury of wealth…. I don’t care. I don’t choose who to vote for based on their income (or who they are married to for that matter). I choose based on their ideas. Yes, the Romneys are rich. So are the Obamas. So are a lot of politicians. So what? It doesn’t mean they can’t imagine a different life. I like Ann Romney. I think she’s genuine and strong, but she’s not the reason I’m voting for her husband in November. I’m voting for Romney/Ryan because I think they can turn this country around (and obviously I’m of the belief that it needs turning). You don’t have to agree with me. Again – that’s the beauty of the USA. I’m just glad for the opportunity to comment.

    • I’m glad to be able to offer you a place and platform to comment. I agree, there is no “one woman”. There is no universal way of being or believing and that is what makes this country great.
      Thank you so much for coming by and taking the time to read, reflect and state your truth here. I appreciate the dialogue
      One minor correction of facts – Sandra Fluke did not want government to pay for birth control. She wanted private insurance companies to cover it as the basic preventative care that it is.

      • OMG I left for a few hours and came back to Laurie’s comment about Planned Parenthood and how many people do you know who use it? I joined the committee in my town; I want to help raise money for the people you are judging now obviously as “not in your circle of friends’. This is just ignorance. Plain and simple. The mayor of NYC declared it a disaster that money was diverted from PParenthood, all of us know by now that this is a community based and well-used organization. You really do need to keep up with the news, and it has been many moons ago when this was even up for debate, or find another place to try to complain.

    • T. Moore

      Well said, Carrie Hutchins Surlas. I agree and I cannot wait to cast my vote for Romney in November. I don’t want us to be like Canada nor like Europe. I want us to continue being the greatest country on earth. Thanks Carrie. By the way, Lavender, my name is Teri, not Terri.

      • I’m glad that we will all have the chance to vote our conscience and our mind this November, and it is a right that we all continue to have long into the future. For myself I cannot vote for a party that has said they think giving women the right to vote was a mistake. That just feels like shooting myself in the foot.

      • Teri, in case you didn’t know we AREN’T the greatest country on earth. Continuing to think that it is you that need a reality check.

      • Carrie

        Teri, my American daughter is living in Canada with her Canadian husband. She loves it there, and can’t wait to get her national health insurance after she becomes a legal resident. You must think that socialized medicine is a terrible thing, but it’s not. It’s a blessing for millions. I, for one, am glad the Affordable Care Act, was enacted in the U.S. , and can’t wait until it’s fully implemented in 2014.

        • Laurie

          ….and who the heck is paying for it?? Everyone screams about tax increases, yet wants to live off the government teat. Can’t have it both ways. And get back to us when your daughter is put on a waiting list for a procedure that is routine in the U.S., okay?

    • warren

      It ain’t the money it is the perspective it causes in your thinking. The Romneys think “Why don’t poor people just work harder extra jobs” Mitt and hi Staples story is good but the jobs are basically minimum wage part time no benefits. Standing on his business prowess may be good for an image of success, good for him, but it don’t work in politics.You can’t run a Gov’t like a business anyway because a business is not a democracy.
      One success he keeps bringing up is “saving the Olypics” Maybe so but with close to $2 Billion of tax payer money. Nice save for his cronies but not too much fo the US taxpayers now was it.

    • Yes the GOP had the token minorities on hand for display. Do a little fact checking on what Paul Ryan has said about the president. They seem to depend on lies to get over the top.

  11. You are all liberal moon bats and please move to Russia.

    • If you’re going to take the time to comment, at least be respectful here. Fully half of the comments have come from conservatives disagreeing with this post. This comment does not add anything to the conversation and makes you look like an idiot.

      • LIsa

        You only say that because you don’t agree with what we disagreeing conservatives are pointing out. Remember, we all have the right to our opinion. I know it’s not what we are used to, with the current administration and all, but please, try to be fair. :)

    • LIsa

      I agree Jim or any other socialist society.

      • News flash to Jim and Lisa: Russia is no longer a communist (or socialist!) country.

      • LIsa – welcome to my sandbox, where I have been incredibly respectful of all of the opinions here with the exception of blatant name calling. I am not deleting or negating any of the negative comments. I have even thanked most of the conservatives for coming by and contributing their thoughts to the conversation. I welcome and encourage intelligent discourse.
        Leaving a comment that does not contribute and is only rude is grounds for dismissal. Not because I disagree with your opinion, but because it was expressed poorly.

      • Jessica

        Jim and Lisa. Let me give you a perspective check. I believe that Neo-Cons are Nazis that should all move to the Middle East so that they can live with Fanatical Theocratic Fascists, just like they are. :D

        You know… To be fair, huh, Lisa?

      • Jessica

        @ weforster: What in the WORLD does that have to do with me pointing out what it feels like to have mud flung at you? I think that A. You are going off on some crazy town derailment, or B. you are responding to the wrong person, kiddo.

  12. Sandy Woeste

    Does Michelle Obama have any idea of what the average American woman goes through in life? She wears more expensive clothes than most women, takes expensive vacations which most women can’t do. I don’t really understand the difference, Just because Ann Romney has more money than most? That is what America is all about. Everyone has the chance to become a millionaire in this country. Does that make them any better or less than the next. No, and they can still understand and feel for the average American. I am just a middle class single mother with three children and I can empathize with a mother living in poverty because we all are just mothers trying to raise a family the best we can. I just think the spending in Washington is out of control. Even if all the rich people in this country paid more taxes it wouldn’t make a dent in our debt. We need to have someone who can help us make this country prosper again. I don’t know who can do that but we need help somehow.

    • Cathy never said Michelle Obama understood the average American. Though, in Michelle’s defense, she was not only a mother, but she also worked outside the home as many of us have to do. So, she does at least understand having to find that balance of work and parenting.
      Yes, the Obamas are wealthy now, but they were not always. There is a difference in understanding when you have to earn your wealth vs being born into it.
      And no one here is begrudging the Romney’s their money, we are simply stating that they are out of touch with people who were not born with a golden spoon in their mouths.

    • Ann Romney has no idea what it is like to order FISH penicillin for an abscessed tooth like I just had to do because I can’t afford a dentist. smh

    • AKW

      The letter was perpetuated by Mrs. Romney’s convention speech. By her openly stating her own beliefs and how they relate to women. It is wholly appropriate to draw comparisons to wealthy Democrats, but to date, Mrs. Obama hasn’t made a speech drawing any parallels to ‘the every woman’. If and when she does, though, remember that she married a man as smart and driven as Mitt Romney, but with absolutely no money.

      • Well stated. Thank you. And yes, if Mrs. Obama does make a comparison to the “every woman” we will at least know that she has lived it once.

      • LIsa

        Are you kidding me? “Absolutely no money”. Do your homework.

      • warren

        Lisa: What universe are you in? Both Michelle and Barack have actually been penniless unlike the Romneys. You should actually make sure of what you say otherwise you look like a fool.

      • Sue

        Which could possibly be why he added more debt to America than all of the presidents before him combined!!!! And which is also why we need a wealthy successful businessman might be able to get things back in control!

  13. “I believe wholeheartedly that being a stay-at-home mom is a full-time job, but you have no idea what it is like to be that parent and work a second, or even a third job at the same time to make ends meet.” – I could not agree more.

  14. E. Roberts

    no one in office is suffering, there income is for life. presidents continue to be paidd almost half a million dollars per year, for life, beyong their term(s) in office. there is no middle class candidate.

    i wish that the candidates would stop all the negative politics, and just state clearly what their platform is, in an honest way. evry commercial is about the other guy – smh

    • Amen. I agree the negative ads are stupifying. One more reason I don’t have TV. (Though they find me on the internet and radio as well.)
      And no, there is no middle class candidate. I’d be happy just to find someone who wasn’t a career politician, but I don’t think there is any such thing anymore.
      In a perfect world, the other 5 candidates running for office would get equal airtime and we’d break free of this 2 party trap.

      • You know, it doesn’t have to be a 2 party trap. The problem is the extreme divisiveness taking place between the 2 parties. One example is this senseless attack on Ann Romney. It serves no purpose. She is not running for president. She was honestly trying to reach some common ground with women to dispel the myth that the GOP denigrates women. The issue of abortion from the right is due to lack of regard for the baby. They wholeheartedly believe human life begins from conception and they are trying to protect human rights for an innocent life that cannot speak for him/herself. That is another argument altogether… but the GOP does NOT disrespect women. The unfathomable statements of the ignorant few do NOT represent the entire party, and the GOP has vehemently denounced Akin, asking him to step down. I, too, hate the good ol’ boys establishment of rich, entitled men who try to keep others down in order to stay on top. That is archaic thinking when generally applied to the GOP, though. We all need to WORK TOGETHER now!!! Reach across the aisle and pull ourselves back up TOGETHER. Our different viewpoints can make us stronger if we recognize it and stop attacking each other, particularly about something this useless. Look at the intent and heart of the person speaking, regardless of their affiliation. Instead of trying to think of your next argument about how to one-up them, ask yourself if the other side has some valid points… what you and your party can learn from alternative viewpoints, and how we can work together to find a real solution to our problems. I believe health care should be a right, but I don’t think the Affordable Health Care Act is the right solution. I do think we can come up with one that WILL work if everyone puts down their gaurds, rolls up their sleeves with genuine intent to fix the problems. Neither side has the right ideas about health care… people will still go bankrupt trying to fight off cancer with the current ideas… or they will die because their treatment will be rationed… it is already happening as health care formularies, treatments, tests, etc are dictated by health insurance that we are being forced to purchase. Romney does not have to have experienced someone else’s problems in order to provide solutions to fix our nation’s economy. Every plan will have its upside and its downside, including those made by Obama.

      • Jackie S., Mrs. Romney can’t have it both ways. Either she’s a private person that isn’t touched by the media campaign surrounding her husband’s bid (simple public appearances at his side don’t count) or she can give speeches at political events in his favor, at which point she will be scrutinized for her political speech as well as everyone else.

      • Becky

        Amen! but, the reason there are no middle class candidates is they can’t afford to run. I am amazed at how much money each party and candidate spends on a campaign. If you are not backed by millons and millions of dollars in campaign funds, you are not even going to get the opportunity to be heard by more than the local constituents. There needs to be a capped on that as well. So much has been said on this site that I so agree with. I once again want to thank you for hosting this discussion. Some posts have been a little off base, while others have been right on and have even brought up some intelligent ideas. Thanks to all who have posted with an open heart, mind and eyes.

    • Becky

      E. Roberts…. thank you….. I so agree, the negative ads are overwhelming and make me want to not vote at all. But believe me I WILL vote. Just very very tired of all the nagative ads about the other guy/gal. I just want to know what each candidates platform is NOT what they say the other persons is.

    • Eilene

      That isn’t quite right. I agree with the sentiment that they aren’t suffering, though. They get paid a pension of nearly $200,000. Also, they have almost $100,000 for an office and office staff, if they choose to take it. They also have to buy their own insurance, unless they choose to be seen at a military hospital. Secret service protection ends after 10 years. (Much less for children or widows of ex-presidents.)

  15. E. Roberts

    sorry for the typos

  16. John McGrath

    O come on, Mrs. Romney takes good care of her horse. That proves she’s compassionate.

  17. proudliberaldem

    Reblogged this on Duge Butler Jr.'s space.

  18. Oh dear… Teri – this is not bitterness she is expressing, this is her exercising her right not to accept that a woman of such privilege is standing in front of a voting nation and discounting her entire life with a rather uninformed and dismissive speech. Having traveled to and volunteered for those countries I believe you are talking about, I understand what you are saying. But I want to remind you that the way to improve the economic balance of all women is NOT by isolating these American women trying to move themselves forward for the sake of an unflinchingly greedy minority. Hopefully we all will remember that we should \”pay it forward\” – but I don\’t think protecting the wealthy who are asking us to hand away our heard earned prosperity without questioning them is the solution for helping that \”third world\” you mention. This issue is not just about cancer, (a subject I am all too familiar with), and I don\’t think she is minimizing the deeply tragic loss that you and so many other women have suffered when their loved ones are claimed by that terrible disease… (I am so deeply sorry for your losses). – The issue is that however we resolve the issue in our individual homes, even in our own country, we need allies to make this world a safer, healthier place for women. All women. Not just the chosen few.
    \”Women throughout the world face systematic gender-based discrimination and are regularly denied the right to life and security of person, full legal capacity, health care, education, employment, inheritance, and freedom of movement. Women still do not have full access to economic and political decision-making processes in their families, nations, or international institutions.
    In addition to the compelling moral reasons for focusing on women within a broad-based human rights agenda—their poor conditions, continued discrimination, and gender-based violence—there are two crucial strategic reasons for doing so. First, women are unique in that, unlike other groups struggling to achieve their rights, they are part of every community on earth. To bring women together as a group is to literally cut across all boundaries of race, ethnicity, national identity, and, of course, class. Second, it is widely acknowledged in development and poverty alleviation circles that women’s traditional roles within families and communities as caregivers—especially for those most at risk, such as children and the elderly—mean that help provided to them is help provided to all. \”

    If you want to think globally, think about the woman right next door, or here on this thread, and try to understand that global health and wellness can begin now… with the right advocates who want to move us forward, not backwards.

    I would count it an honor to have passionate women like yourself, like Cathy, be the change agents in this world, despite the political grandstanding we are all caught up in right now. I know we can reach for that. But we need stronger leaders to help us. Much stronger. Peace.

    • Thank you for coming by, and for your response. I too have been to “those places” both in the third world, and here in America where the legal right to health care does not translate into actual access to health care. https://thinkbannedthoughts.wordpress.com/2012/08/27/the-silent-ones/
      It is for those reasons that I posted Cathy’s letter. I think that she speaks for many Americans, both male and female, who feel disenfranchised at the moment. We are tired of being patronized and condescended to by the GOP.
      There really is a war on women, and it is at our front door. I’ve seen the results in small towns and conservative states where legal health care for women is no longer available. And I will not be silent in the face of such attacks on my personal liberty.
      I do not agree with the GOP that my liberty ends where my uterus begins.

      • weforster

        I really disagree with the idea that the GOP thinks your liberty ends where your uterus begins. They simply believe a person has the freedom of choice and should take responsibility for your bad ones and well as the benefits of your good ones..

    • Ashley

      You have my vote Jewlish.

    • John

      so you want someone who does not know how to be a success, has no experience with budgets or making huge amounts of money from starting dead broke, does not have money so she is more relate-able to you…well you have it right now, how is that doing for you?

      • Much better than the previous 8 years. Thank you for asking.

      • Becky

        Yay! thinkbannedthoughts…. it is much better than the last 8 years… good for you.

      • Chris

        John
        The current President and his policies are far from perfect.

        The problem I have with Romney is that I know very little about his policies as he’s said nothing about them, except for wanting to cut taxes and increase miltary spending. If he’s going to do that cut the defict, then he’s going to have to severely cut spending on everything else. His tax cutting only benefits people who earn more than $500,000, everyone one else will end up paying about $2,000 more in taxes.

        By the way, Romney has never been dead broke. He’s been poor by the standards of the rich in having to sell stock for living expenses but he’s never been poor.

        He’s been a successful business man and turned a medium size fortune into a big fortune. There’s no doubt that he’s an intelligent and hard working person.

        I don’t see that he has a vision for the future of the country. If he has, he hasn’t done a good job of explaining it.

  19. Leigh Ann

    Dear Teri,
    1. It’s supposed to be political, it’s aimed at the wife of a presidential candidate.
    2. To lump all educators as union members with a hidden agenda is ridiculous. No one becomes a teacher for the political ties or money.
    3. She never says that money cures cancer, she says that it helps pay for support systems such as babysitters, maids, etc.
    4. The only pathetic thing I’ve read is your post, because you clearly did not read her letter all the way through.
    Sincerely,
    One of those political, commie, teachers who are just trying to teach kids while making ends meet for her own family

    • So true. What is it with everyone thinking teachers are such lazy overpaid government employees? My mother in law is a retired teacher. She retired at the highest level of pay available, which was roughly equivalent to the average starting salary of a young professional just out of college. She had a Masters degree in education, worked year round and poured her heart and soul into that job and those kids.
      I’m with you – a liberal, commie, free education for all kinda gal who thinks teachers should be paid a living wage.

    • LIsa

      Teri, unfortunately, there are not many of your type of ‘teachers’ still left.

      • Eilene

        LIsa, that is ridiculous. I have been teaching for 21 years, and I work like a dog every day, for less money than most people with equivalent degrees, because I like working with kids. Every year it gets tougher, and every year the public opinion of teachers gets worse, but we soldier on, because we are there for the kids. I had a pay cut 5 years ago, and no raise until this year, which amounted to $31 a month. Wow, thanks! Which, by the way, is eaten up with the increases to my insurance plan. I realize that I should be grateful, because there are plenty of people without jobs out there, but with all of my education and experience and hard work, it’s hard to swallow. And, I work in a state where unions are illegal, so I’m no union lackey. I can’t figure out where all this snideness towards teachers come from. Almost every educator I work with is there for many hours beyond their contractual obligations, working hard to help our students. Stop trashing us, please. Are there a few bad apples? Yes. Are they incredibly few and far between? Absolutely yes.

      • regan

        there are lots of great teachers out there lisa, you just have to be open to seeing them, many times teachers are demonized and are put into the same lump with administrators and the school board, when in fact the three belong to different unions, many times there is a bad teacher and the admin does not handle it properly, but the teachers at the school, not the administrator gets a bad rap….

        this is not directed at any individual, just a general post.

        Also the obama administration has done many great things, one that might stand out most is that he is the least spending president in recent history, please check out Forbes Magazine, they did a whole write up about presidential spending budgets. As Forbes is focused mostly on money, finances, etc, I would expect them to be a credible source. President Obama is the least spending and one of the more efficient spenders since Eisenhower…I may be off on Eisenhower, but having a degree in economics, I was very impressed by the article when I read it.
        I am sure I can more accurately find other achievements, but this is the most recent I was happy to see out there.

        I do not feel I can relate to Cathy or Mrs. Romney, but I do feel that Cathy’s situation is a bit more realistic and that she is achieving the American Dream…she works hard and spends her money well. I can relate to some other candidates better than I can Romney and Ryan.

        Without health care being changed, my mother, who taught for 40 years and since retirement became aware she has pancreatic cancer, would not be able afford the treatments she has to receive every week (for most of the year it was 3-5 days a week). She was told she would be dropped from her insurance, but thankfully was not. Without the health care reform I would not be able to afford or even get my birth control, which is not to keep me from getting pregnant, but rather to help with a medical issue.

        I own my own business, I teach martial arts and self defense to all ages. I teach at schools and churches and summer camps as well. But to supplement my income so I can make payments on school loans, medical bills, and the credit card I use for my business as well as to pay my rent, I have 3 jobs and work 7 days a week. I hope one day to not need work 7 days but for now I am happy because I work hard and work to have a positive impact on my community.

      • regan

        here are a few other .coms

        many sites are bias one way or the other unfortunately…the only reason i cited the forbes magazine is because several of my econ professors concur…i emailed to ask their opinion of it.

        i also read this little blip today comparing the depression to the recession and from all of the econ classes i took it seems more appropriate…

        “The Great Depression caused the deficits, not the other way around. The first deficit year was 1931, after the depression had been going for over a year. When FDR brought in the New Deal, the deficit spending was actually a shot in the arm for the economy. We got double-digit growth the first year and continued strong growth every year FDR continued his New Deal policies. The only down year he had was in 1938, the second straight year of fiscal restraint. Similarly, stimulus spending stopped the latest recession, turning an economy that was in freefall to one that is growing (albeit slowly). Predominant thinking amongst economists is that FDR’s and Obama’s responses were both too timid, and that greater spending would have helped in both situations.”

        http://www.classwarfareexists.com/obama-spending-is-less-than-every-president-since-at-least-1982/#axzz25jmNxzf5

        http://www.forbes.com/sites/rickungar/2012/05/24/who-is-the-smallest-government-spender-since-eisenhower-would-you-believe-its-barack-obama/

        http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Did_President_Obama_spend_more_money_than_all_the_former_presidents_of_the_US_combined

        i enjoyed your site as well, thank you for sharing

  20. Margaret Wennberg

    I took the time to listen to your ridiculous speech at the GOP convention to hear what you could possibly have to say to the women of America. IT WAS SHAMEFUL! You are so ignorant & I am trying to be polite…..you really have your head in the sand!!! What do you know about poverty. What woud our poor do without food stamps or welfare asistance. Martin Luther said that God has 2 hands….the church & government. Thank God for Presidents (all Democrats) who have given us Social Security & Medicare & Obamacare. When the rich young ruler came to Christ and asked how he could receive eternal life. Christs answer was “Go & give ALL you have to the POOR!” (and the rich young ruler turned & walked away!!!!) TO WHOM MUCH IS GIVEN…MUCH WILL BE REQUIRED! Take Heed Mrs. Romney

    • Time to move on

      Martin Luther, anti-semite, is not a great role model, and aborting babies, many of them female, is not exactly pro woman. Planned Parenthood was started by Margaret Sanger, a great proponent of eugenics.
      For centuries, there was no welfare or food stamps and we seemed to have managed. No one replying here is part of the 99%. Look at the world people. And what do you think is the greatest country on earth? Why do people want to come here?
      You don’t have to be poor and downtrodden to be a good person. We need someone who can fix the economy.
      Obama himself said if he couldn’t fix things in one term, he should not be reelected.

      • I really don’t think all people are wanting to come here. How does one fix the disaster of the Bush administration in four years ? You have a short memory span. Trillions of debt piled up in two uncalled for wars. If the GOP would get rid of the crazy Christians( you know who I mean ) the part y would be better off but they would lose to much of there bias ( oops) I meant base.

      • Becky

        But the Republicans said from the begining that they would do everything they could to keep President Obama from succeeding so that they could make themselves look good and get control of the country again.
        How do you expect a president to do his job when one party sits in the hall acting like little children, saying things like .. If you don’t do this, we won’t let this or that pass….. good grief. Ya, know, there is so much more I could say, but, it is so crazy that our citizens do not do their own research. So much of the negative comments are comments that have been proven to be wrong over and over again.
        I went to Planned Parenthood, but I never went for an abortion. I don’t understand anyone who says that is all they do. It is things like this that don’t make sense to me. If you think something is so bad, go look it up, but do it with an open mind. If you go in to look something up and you are not willing to see the whole picture and not just what you have heard on the news or some other one sided opinion, then you will miss something very important and will not be able to make a fully intelligent and informed decision.

        • Laurie

          Reference was made to doing research. It applies to all posters, I suppose.
          The GOP controlled the house and senate for first 6 of 8 years of G.W.Bush’s presidency. The last 2 were controlled by the Democrats. So the mess that Obama inherited was a Democratic run mess.
          Now, everyone needs to learn how to hold hands and sing kum ba ya….

    • weforster

      Again, Margaret, Mr. Romney just last year, gave 20% of his income to charity-over $4M. He worked overseas as a missionary before he ever took his first job. He gave away his inheritance from his father to charity. He didn’t take a salary while he was Governor of Massachusetts for 4 years.Our current POTUS gave 1% of his income while he lived off of us for nearly 3 years. I agree wholeheartedly with your Biblical reference that to whom much is given, much will be required, but it our President who will be accountable!

  21. John

    The thing is, the numbers aren’t adding up for me. She says that she has been teaching for 17 years, and has a BS,,MS, and (I’m assuming) an EdS. Here in Knox Co. Tn, someone in that position is earning $45K to $50K a year and has been earning more than $40K for many years. And this area is known for paying on the low end of the national pay scale. Assuming her husband is in the same position, that means that for at least the last 10 years, the household income has been over $80K, rising to around $100K.

    So, your friend Cathy cannot manage a decent life on that much money? My wife and I raised our son, sent him through college, she went back & earned an MS and PhD, and we have a fairly decent life. And in our best year over that last 30 years? Our income was $67K, most years it was less than $45k. So I’m failing to see how Cathy should be saying that Ann Romney can’t understand her life. It sounds like Cathy would never be able to understand my wife’s life, based on what she says in her letter.

    But you see that’s all beside the point really. The Romney’s didn’t always have money, nor did they always have staff to help them. Yes, their parents were successful, and as part of that helped them through school. (You do know that Mormons require a 2 year unpaid mission after college? The missionary has to raise that money themselves, not their family.) So they came back from that, to work their way through Grad School, then a career. Their parents money? When they inherited it, it was all donated to BYU.

    Can everybody start with little to nothing and make a successful life? Yes. Does everybody? No. My father passed away last year, and I was staggered to find that he had left us a estate worth well into 7 digits. He truly started with nothing, the most he ever made in a year was $40K just before retiring. He wasn’t lucky, nor did he have much education. He went broke and was out of work several times. What he had was a willingness to work hard, two sometimes three jobs at a time.

    But really, the thing that bugs me about Cathy’s letter? It’s implicit assumption that because your life and my life haven’t followed the same path, I can’t emphasis or understand your life. And I simply don’t buy that assumption.

    • John

      I wish we had two stable teacher jobs and summers off, btw..are they working this summer or going to the beach? I also wish i had parents living across the street to take the kids on a whim and no sitter cost. She is very rich if she took the time to look at her situation and i wish she and the other ladies that are so jealous of this woman behind one of the greatest businessman in this country would just leave her alone. Look at what this president has done for the country which is nothing. He spends billions of dollars that we do not have to fix problems. He does not know how to budget and is a horrible leader. He will bankrupt this country in the next four years.

      • Meg

        There is no insult more than saying teachers get the summer off. I’m a teacher and those 8 weeks I have “off” I’m in trainings, getting Continuing education credits we are required (and should be required) to earn, and working to prepare for next year. As well as working a second job. I’m not complaining; I wouldn’t have it any other way. But I do wish that people who are not educators would stop saying that I work half a year/ part time/ go to the beach on my summer vacation. Why are we ripping apart the people that prepare our kids for greatness? Romney or Obama wouldn’t be where they are without teachers. And not all teaching jobs are created equal because education is still not equal! I’m not happy with either sides stance on education, we arent numbers we are people teaching the next generation. All kids deserve an equal education and teachers should be respected more than they are. Notice I say respected and not paid, it’s not about the money. I will find a way to make things work in order to do the job I love and believe in. Just don’t belittle it please.

      • Becky

        Thank you, Meg. For comments and especially for your dedication to teaching our youth. Teachers are definately under appreciated! So again, I say thank you!

    • Time to move on

      Yes!

    • Glad you brought up the Mormons. Look up some of Brigham Young’s quotes and see his views. Mitt is committed to his Mormon faith. I see nothing special about missions that try and convert people to this ridiculous theology. Peace.

    • You’re making some interesting, and false, assumptions about how much Cathy and her husband are paid, as well as the cost of living in their area.

      • John

        No, I used the current data for where I live. I also know that the Knox Co. Tn school system is nowhere near the top end of pay scales across the country. I also know how to make comparisons in respect to the cost of living in differing parts of the country.

        Not knowing where your friend lives, I had to use my local area as a basis. What I do know is that based on _what_she_said_ is that in my city location, their family would have an income of $80K to $100K+. I also know that other areas of the country that have higher cost of living, typically have higher pay scale for teachers. For example, we have relatives that live in Fairfax Co. VA. A teacher with her background would be earning $70K to $76K and her husband a similar amount. $140K to $150K is a lot of money, but that’s an expensive place to live! Even so, it’s possible to have a decent life. (If an auto mechanic & school secretary can do it, why can not two teachers?)

        And yes, I do read a bit of whining in her letter. How old is her car? I’m betting it’s just a couple of years old. I drive a 12 year van, bought two years ago with cash. My wife’s van is 8 years old, again bought used with cash. To paraphrase Dave Ramsey, If you insist on having multiple car payments, and toy payments (boats, etc.) and Visa payments, and let Aunt Sallie Mae live in the spare bedroom, then you will live a poor existence indeed. (How do I know that’s true? Because I’ve done those stupid things myself and had to dig myself out.)

        You can dislike Ann Romney all you want. You can think that she doesn’t understand what it’s like to suffer. But what you are doing is based on envy and an unwillingness to accept the fact that our own lives are what we make of them.

    • Eileen Scoles

      John, just a note on Romney mission. He received a deferment from our military as a Mormon and did his two year mission from an old mansion is Paris, with a salary I’m pretty sure for expenses.

      • anonymous

        Eileen….Missionaries dont get paid…Mormons SERVE with no pay in return…their leaders and teachers in their congregations dont get paid…NONE of them!!! I have never heard he stayed in a mansion…and if he did…most likely another fellow Mormon member let the missionaries live there while they served for 2 years. Please do not speak about what you do NOT know. For petes sake…you angry people need a life or anger management…or God!!!

  22. Molls

    Ann Romney can hardly relate to any woman who isn’t super rich. Her and her husband both were raised in families that most likely never had huge problems like this. And MS is a terrible illness, my boyfriends aunt has it. The poor woman can’t even stand up by herself. I’m sure its awful for Ann as well, but I don’t feel sorry for her. Not because she doesn’t deserve sympathy, but how hard is it when you have the best healthcare in the world.
    My boyfriends aunt is poor. She’s on Medicare, but she is alone and can hardly work because of her MS and other health issues. The woman was hospitalized for over 2 months.
    She has two terrible kids that steal her drugs and leech off her for money.
    It’s again a terrible illness, but I just can’t see it as bad when I have to see this physically weak and tired poor woman who can’t even walk on her own.

    • M.Stein-Evers

      I am an American woman who has lived outside the US a lot, the past 16 years in Australia, a country much like ours.
      Australia has ‘nationalised’ health care and thanks be to G-d for it, as I have several chronic ailments which could only go untreated in the US as they were pre-existing. But the wonderful health care we get here is only possible because of a 50% income tax rate, as well as an additional surcharge on those making over A$100,000 and because there are fewer than 25 million people in the entire country.
      I wish everyone in the US could have even a portion of this kind of care, but the social contract which used to be in effect in the US before 1978 (when Howard Jarvis in California set out to destroy it with the help of the GOP) no longer exists in America. It may never again without a very large miracle.
      I make sure to vote in every US election for which I am eligible because I so love the US; it is my home. It is the home I will never be able to afford to live in again (because I’d health care costs) and that angers me. Parts of my family began coming to the US in 1804, I was brought up to know who and where and why they came ad to be grateful that they did. I am angry that because of Ronald Reagan’s foolishnesses I will never be able to intimately teach these prescious histories to my own daughter because we live here.
      A few respondents spoke about the ‘anger’ of liberals; I think that liberals—or anyone who honestly remembers the US before 1980— must be angry but must use that anger to fight those who will not stop until the US is a Third World country and the richest 1% is diminished further to .5% .

      • Timothy

        Respectfully, your figures are off, and make national healt care seem less affordable to Americans, which I think is opposite to your point.

        The top income tax rate in Australia is 45%, which is paid on every dollar after the first $180 000. There is no 50% tax bracket, and even people in the highest bracket don’t pay it on all of their income, only on the income over $180 000. Their first $18 200 is tax free, like everyone else’s, and so on up the sliding scale, and most of us end up paying either 32% or 37% for the last dollar earned in any given year.

        The added 1% levy kicks in at $84 000, or ($168 000 per couple + $ 1 500 per dependant child after the first) and is on a sliding scale so it could go as high as 1.5% if the couple earned $260 000 a year.

        http://atotaxrates.info/ATO-Tax-rates-2013.html

        America really could afford national health care. They could even have a system like Australia’s where you pay extra tax if you are a wealthy person who chooses not to have private health care. Americans choose not to, as is their right. I do worry, though, that its because they simply don’t understand why we thought it was a good idea.

  23. Kells

    I want to find and personally thank her….. Hell I wanna hug her!!! That so touched the heart. I’m in tears

    • I’m so glad to have been able to share it with you. And with everyone else. I know it resonated with me. And by the hits my wee blog is suddenly getting, I’m guessing it resonated with a few others as well.

  24. For your edification, Teri, Canada still has a AAA bond rating and lower unemployment than the US. Yes, we have higher taxes. Yes, I complain about paying them. But like many others on this post, I am thankful that my job pays well enough that I have to pay them. When my husband tore his Achille’s Tendon, needed surgery and a three-day hospital stay (two years after he needed double-hernia surgery) it didn’t cost us a dime. Nor does it cost a penny other than our tax dollars for preventative medicine such as pap tests, mammograms and vaccinations that will hopefully allow us to diagnose major, catastrophic illnesses quickly.

    And for those with the misfortune of such a diagnosis? Well, that’s covered by our universal health care, too, from surgery to chemotherapy and, sadly, if it’s required, palliative care. Of course we face the stress of being unable to work while undergoing treatment, but at least we aren’t getting slammed from both sides – having to pay our mortgages or rent, car payments or keeping the lights and heat on, AND paying astronomical medical bills.

    Oh yeah, we also have a Conservative government and have had that government for close to a decade.

    You’re a little quick off the hop to say you don’t want the USA to “be like Canada.” Maybe big brother should take a pointer or two from its little sister and see that, while the way we do things isn’t perfect, we may have an idea or two that works.

    My policies aren’t fully in line with our Prime Minister’s. But just as Cathy chooses to think Mrs. Romney’s a good person at heart, I truly believe that Stephen Harper does believe his government doing what is right for Canada. I can’t see how anyone who claims to love their country – yours, mine, or any nation in Europe – enough to put aside a career where they can make millions of dollars to earn a couple of hundred thousand each year and age 10 years in their first 100 days – wants to see their country fail.

    So maybe dial back the rhetoric a bit. Learn a little more about the countries you claim you’d never want your country to be like. You might just find, we’re not so bad after all.

  25. Janet Clarke

    Another very typical liberal view. Anne Romney does understand, they started out very poor and she talks about this. What they have they worked extremely hard for and did it on their own. She has had cancer and is battling MS so she also understands this. And for your information, you don’t own your bodies, God does. Maybe if we all relied more on Him, we wouldn’t be in the mess we are in. It looks to me that you have a pretty good income and life, and the choices that you make as to how and where your money is spent is exactly that, your choice. I was a stay at home mom with 4 kids. They didn’t have the options to go to hockey or karate or any of these privileges, but they had me every day, all day and both mom and dad every weekend to spend quality time with them on a family basis, not spending all our time and energy running from here to there to make sure they were entertained. And believe me, none of them are any worse off. If you have trouble making ends meet, try cutting out one or two activities your kids are enrolled in. You would have more money for gas and you could also spend some quiet time at home with them and maybe save some money. What you choose to do in life is your business. Don’t critizice Anne Romney for hers. She understands more than you know.

    • Sceptic

      The Romneys did not start out poor. His father was an auto executive and governor of Michigan. They had incredibly pampered childhoods in some of the wealthiest towns in the US far removed from the poverty of Detroit just a few miles away. During college they didn’t have to THINK of working part time because they were able to sell off stock. http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2012/08/fact-checking-ann-and-mitt-romneys-hardknock-early-years/56321/

    • Charlene

      “And for your information, you don’t own your bodies, God does.”

      When did America turn into a theocracy? News flash: many people don’t believe in a God. You should respect the rights of us that have different beliefs than you. Your religious beliefs should not be legislated on the rest of us.

    • warren

      Wow! are you on another planet. Hate to break it to ya but over 90% of the population couldn’t start a business nor have the skills to run one. They will never be rich except in family. Their needs will go un-met because of money but their life doesn’t have to be that of a slave. People are entitle to PURSUE Happiness. If your happiness is money or your money buys you happiness then good for you. God may does own our bodies then why the hell are you wanting gov’t to rule over you and your God.

    • God does not own my body. I do. There is no God. Please stop trying to legislate your faith.

      • D'Ann Lindun

        Bravo!
        Anyone who owns a dressage horse cannot begin to understand my life, or the way we barely get by. The Romneys have no concept of a normal American’s life. Of what it’s like to choose between gas or groceries.
        Someone above said we need to work together….where was all this lovey-dovey when a GOP congress blocked everything our president tried to do?

  26. Sonia

    Comparison kills joy. Not a single one of us face the same struggles in life, but we all face struggles. Some of us more than others, depending on our life choices. But that is life. And life is not fair. Were life fair, we would all be on the same level playing field from birth– but that leads to symmetry. Our struggles, lessons, and choices are the very fabric of our character. Do I know what it is like to raise 5 boys? No. Do I know the terror of a cancer diagnosis? No. I do not share in those struggles with Mrs. Romney. I am grateful that those are struggles that are not mine. I spent the better part of 10 years as a stay at home military wife– on a shoe string budget– to the last penny. E-3 pay for a family of 4 is not much. We made it work. And those struggles shaped us as a family, made us who we are. Have times been rough? Certainly. But that is life. And that is the life I chose. I have no complaint about that.
    One of my coworkers is from an African nation. She parked her car behind mine, but she thought she had left enough room for me to be able to get out if necessary. When I asked her to move her car so that I didn’t collide with her rear quarter panel, she made the comment, “You would never survive in a third world country.. because you don’t know how to drive crazy.” People who live in “third world countries” don’t spend their time thinking about how they live in a third world country. They live there. It is their first world. Instead, many of those “third world countries” have a philosophy of “Ubuntu”. Easy definition: “I am what I am because of who we all are.” -Leymah Gbowee.
    We spend *so* much time berating each other. We bring others down for folly, or to scream at them because they don’t understand our struggles. Our struggles are not theirs. Happiness is a choice. Joy happens to those who are open to it. Spending your life comparing your struggles to others, and breaking others down kills your joy. All of our lives will be better when we no longer focus on strife, but how to foster our interconnectedness. Stop the labels. Stop killing your joy by comparing your life to another. What have you done today to make your world better? Focus on that. It is a much better use of your time.

    • Cathy is an incredibly joyful person. She counts her blessings daily. That said, she, and many of us, are justifiably outraged that Ann Romney would pretend she has any idea how we live. She does not.

  27. YourGrannie

    Here’s point one in response to that letter: Choosing a PUBLIC SERVANT teaching job in this market is very POOR due diligence. And going for a Masters degree in the same a shrinking field is even more foolish a financial decision. And don’t give me the noble “It was for the children” argument. If it was, there’d be no reason to talk about where you shop, or whether or not you clean your own house and raise your own kids. This letter is pure class envy, and I wish people would GET.OVER.IT. We all make choices, and must live with the consequences of them.

    • What kind of society makes teaching a poor choice of career? A stupid one. Don’t blame people for having ideals and living by them.

      • Amen – shouldn’t being a teacher be the most revered profession instead of the most reviled. We’ve gotten so turned upsidedown when people think that using public money to pay for education is class warfare. Oy vey.

      • Amen. It’s just SAD that the wanna-be Romneys and Ryans would criticize someone for choosing teaching as a career and wanting to be able to make a living wage doing it.

    • Geo

      Lol so it’s fiscally irresponsible to become a teacher and people who actually perform due diligence would never chose that career? I’ve got an idea. Let’s send all of the children to your home to learn fiscal responsibility since you’re clearly an expert.

      • Heather

        Class Choices? So I CHOSE to be born to a welfare queen? I CHOSE to undergo living in a ghetto, treated like meat and lesser class citizen AS A CHILD, grew up abused, yet married a working man that busts his butt 14 hours a day with a shattered spine….we are middle class and we didn’t choose to be. I was hit by a truck at 15 years of age which IMMEDIATELY took specific careers off the table due to physical impairment. I STILL held 2 or 3 jobs at a time. Because I wanted to work. I am now a 238 year old mother of 2 who is basically couch bound due to that car accident that I never chose. I cannot work. I can barely keep after my 3 year old. None of this is a choice, it is what is afforded to me and my family based on our upbringing, educational system we were “offered” in public education, family wealth or lack there of so no college here and no way to pay for it when the best job I ever had was at a dog rescue cleaning the house and caring for over 50 dogs….and i was 32 when i got that job. Our medical insurance leaves a huge gap in financial coverage so “getting fixed” the right way is reserved for that day I win the lottery with that spare dollar to buy the ticket that we don’t have right now. We are balancing rent, a car payment, medical bills that piled up to save me from paralysis that now my husband is faced with the same problem and waiting till we can “afford it”. We have electric, phone, cable and internet bundled for a miniscule savings of probably cents, not dollars. That doesn’t even include the food we have to buy to survive. Or the full coverage to keep that car payment….or the toys I provide my poor daughter to make her feel better since I am unable to run around with her at a park due to my broken down body.
        So while you claim we CHOSE to be a certain class or we CHOSE a certain career, that is simply untrue. We are all a product of our upbringing and exclusive life events. Maybe you had it good and were able to shop at the college store and career market to choose what life you wanted, but IF that ever happened, it was only available for a specific “lot” of people….usually that 1% that the rest of the world watches on TV.

  28. Termudgeon

    The Romneys weren’t poor when Mitt was in college. They chose not to get jobs, and lived off selling stock he’d been given. http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2012/08/fact-checking-ann-and-mitt-romneys-hardknock-early-years/56321/

  29. You are the perfect Obama supporter. Someone who blames others for the choices they made, spends money they do not have and then expects someone else to bail them out. Your have an achievement, which makes you feel ENTITLED to something. And now you wish for a society in which everything anyone else has is more equally distributed to those who made less.
    When you take responsibility for your choices and accept that you need to create what you want to have, you will be a Republican ….and empower yourself.
    If your dream of a country in which there is equal distribution based on no merit, is realized, you will be living in a country that had a GREAT deal less and so, YOU will have even less than you have now.
    Spend less. Live on a budget, SAVE money, and find a situation in which you are valued added to some enterprise or municipality. It really is pretty simple, once you get over your simple envy.

    • Dina

      I would rather have less -knowing that I helped someone that was less fortunate than I am- than try to sleep at night knowing that I am more than capable of providing a little bit of ease to the strife of another and having done nothing to help. That is called “by-stander apathy” and I am sick and tired of that being my country’s modus opperandi. And I don’t have much to begin with. And I struggle a lot. But I work hard for everything I have and at the end of the day, if I have a little to spare, I do. Because that is the right thing to do. And its not because jesus or the president of the UN-united stated of America said so…its because I know in my heart that we were not put on this earth to turn a blind eye to those who are less fortunate than we are…whether there is merit or not.

    • I have to ask if you read the letter or just jumped to the comments and began making assumptions about the author.
      Cathy never says she begrudges the Romneys their money. She just says they can’t relate. She doesn’t want to redistribute their wealth, she just wants them to admit that they’ve always had it and that they’ve never actually had to worry about making a payment on anything.
      She’s not attacking Ann, she’s just asking her to stop pretending she’s “just like us.”

    • Chris

      I do and have always taken responsibilities for my actions, pay my way and live within my means. That doesn’t mean I’m a Republican. Ever Republican president since Reagan has left office with a bigger deficit than when then he became president. The party of fiscal responsibility is the Democrats. Clinton left office with a surplus that GW Bush turned into a massive defict with unfunded tax cuts, 2 wars and increase in spending. All of which Paul Ryan voted for. Where was the deficit hawk when we needed him?

  30. Holy Hannah, RIGHT ON!!

    Pearl

  31. Sghadry

    So beautifully said! Thank you.

  32. Al Winchell

    What a moronic, short-sighted, self-serving, divisive diatribe. She should be ashamed. Money has nothing to do with your ability to empathize and understand the position of other. I could find a person in true poverty who could write exactly the same letter to her. I have travelled the world seeing the truly poor and destitute. People living in shacks with no water or hope of medical care. Children who’s parents die in the night and walk out of their homes to a life slavery.People that would look at this woman’s life, with her daily food, ability to send her kids to school, employment, housing, heat, water,clothing and all the things she is ranting about, see her in exactly the same way she sees the Romneys. Does this make Mrs Gillman unable to identify or truly CARE about these fellow human beings. Does the fact that she has much more than these people will ever know, dismiss her ability to empathize? Shame on this woman and shame on all that speak of fairness with no idea what it means to be fair. To treat others as you would want to be treated no matter what their circumstance, good or bad, desired or not. She is everthing that is wrong with this country’s soul. She is why we all look for ways to be divided rather than united. She is why change may never come.

    • Doss

      Finally, a strain of sanity in this sea of narcissistic sheeple.

    • william cope

      Very well put Al

    • The difference is, Cathy wouldn’t walk into those people’s living rooms and tell them that she understood their life and that if they just get off the couch they can be just like her. Cathy knows that isn’t true.
      Just as Ann knows it isn’t true, but she said it anyway. That is disingenuous at best and deserves calling out.

      • Ummmm…. exactly how far into her speech did she say that “if they (people) got off the couch they cab be just like her”? I missed that part…

      • Bear

        There is no reason to think that they don’t understand. You, like all the others, are assuming that her and Romney don’t understand. Maybe to them, coming from a privileged life, it seemed like they were having a hard time. It might not have been like what others, like me, have gone thru and still go thru, but it doesn’t mean that they don’t understand or can’t relate in their own way. The assumption that because they were better off than most is very arrogant. It’s being discriminatory just because they have money and seemed to have a better life than most and might not have struggled so much but in the same light, there is no proof what so ever that maybe they didn’t have as much access to money as you think they had. It’s like this teacher who authored this letter. She is making a lot and doing good.. funny how I noticed him checking in on how much one like her makes and you saying he is making false things yet when he retorts on it and says he checked into it, I noticed no one who says he was wrong ever respond back or bring up proof that this so called ‘poor’ teacher and her teacher husband were making so little. In my eyes, this author is part of the upper middle class elite.

  33. Doss

    So you and your husband are the ones indoctrinating our children with your left-wing liberal agenda. I also see Obama’s class warfare strategy is working well on your simple minds. Please don’t forget, the one in charge while your life has been so difficult that you have inherited a hate for the wealthy is your messiah Obama. Elect BHO and we will be equaly in misery. I also see you had to throw in the “my body, my choice”, So let me get this straight, you’re having so much sex you need the government to pay for birthcontrol and you want the choice of killing an unborn child, but you try to justify it by saying “if it’s this many cells and this developed, it’s not human”. Oh yes, your the one I want teaching my child.

    • Charlene

      “you’re having so much sex you need the government to pay for birthcontrol”

      You clearly don’t understand how birth control works. Most women take a daily pill, and the pill must be taken daily for the medicine to work. The amount of sex you have has no bearing on how much birth control you need.

      You believe life begins at conception, yes? And that this is an absolute fact? Then how come for hundreds of years the Catholic Church taught that life began not at conception, but at quickening?

    • Samantha

      “So let me get this straight, you’re having so much sex you need the government to pay for birth control”

      Wait, so married couples aren’t allowed to have sex whenever they want unless they want a child? Well that takes all the fun out of it! Your partner must not be doing it right.

    • Samantha

      Also…
      “Oh yes, your the one I want teaching my child.”

      What does her sex life have to do with her ability to teach?
      By the way, it would be “you’re,” not “your.” I hope you aren’t teaching your children…

    • Cathy did not display any hatred toward the wealthy. She just said they didn’t understand what is like to be working class.
      As for my body, my choice, no one is asking the government to pay for birth control, we just want it covered as basic health care by private insurance companies.
      And abortion – because we live in a country where there is supposed to be separation of church and state, you don’t get to legislate your belief that zygotes have souls and women don’t.

      • Bear

        so then if the majority of the people were Atheists and if they all believed that abortion was wrong, what then? What would the basis then of the argument be if the “Church” thing was gone? Funny how everyone has to make it about religion.

  34. Dina

    You know…as I’m sitting here reading the comments from both sides of the fence, there’s something that bothers me that never seems to be brought to light in any political conversation to which I have been privvy -in the real world or behind the screen of a computer. There really are only a handful of things that we can legitimately say we have in common with another human being…things that transcend gender, race, religion, creed, class, political affiliation or sexual orientation: that we are in fact human, we are born, and one day we’re going to die. There is no stopping that-despite any advances in medical treatment; we have the ability to prolong life but eventually it will end without apology. So who are we to decide how anyone else spends the precious time they have been granted?

    That said, I believe our political system is greatly flawed. We live in a world driven by corporate greed and the desire to undercut others in order to prosper rather than ensuring that the choices made are what’s best for the whole all the while drawing comparisons that simply make no sense and are besides the point entirely. Our row in life should be to take care of each other, so that we all may enjoy the fruits of our labor…so that we may all be prosperous and can leave this life knowing that we worked hard, did the best that we could, helped others carry their weight when it was too heavy to bare and did right by the community.

    That is what I am looking for in a leader, and frankly I don’t believe I have seen a candidate yet who has made me feel that they have any idea what its like to be a member of a community. To effectively lead you must be able to not only make the hard choices but to also know when it is time roll up your sleeves and provide support to the constituants that are supporting you. As constituants we must feel that we can put our trust that what is best for us will be the forefront of that political philosophy so we may all work together for a common goal. They don’t say, “There’s no ‘I’ in ‘team’” for nothing and until the leaders of this country embrace that ideal, we’re doomed. If we can never find a way to work together instead of against each other (on all levels: (wo)man to (wo)man, government to populace, country to country, and so on…) we’ll continue to stagnate and evenually destroy ourselves from the inside out. And at that point we deserve it.

    Yes…life is what you make it. But if we are not all afforded the same quotient of opportunity, how will we ever be able to progress as citizens of this country let alone citizens of this world? If we continue creating restrictions that penalize all for the actions of one, we’re missing the point of life entirely. We don’t know why we’ve been put on this earth – we may never know the answer to that- but that doesn’t mean we should spend every day at war with one another on the road to answering that question. The whole must be greater than the sum of the parts and until we find a leader that can fully embrace that idea, America will never again prosper as a nation.

    • Dina

      If you cannot respect humanity, you have no place in society.

      • I respect the person who wrote this letter; but, she is wealthy compared to my income and I cannot afford $10.99 shoes. Mine were $7.99. I think Mrs. Ann Romney’s speech was just what I needed and she is a great woman to be able to do what she has done. They give more money to charity percentage wise than most people. Her husband did not take a salary when governor or when he worked for the Olympics. They have received their money and paid their taxes legally and I respect that. Mrs. Romney will make a great first lady!! We need to turn this country around!! I love our country; but, I have a daughter whose husband lost his job after 9/11 and cannot find another job; so, he is starting his own business. He cannot affort to buy insurance. What is he to do when Obama Health Care goes into effect. They are doing their best. We need a change. I respect your feelings and I hope you respect mine!!

        • Read through what ObamaCare actually offers people like your son in law – he will be better off with it than without it. He will also be able to go back to school should he need to to gain skills for starting his new business. And it is Obama who continually fought to extend unemployment benefits to people who were struggling to find work after the crash,

          • there is different class of people and the rich is the onley ones that can aford to run for president . and non of them earned the money .non of them in any party understand poverty as we see it and live in it .both sides say what theTHINK that most voters want to hear .

          • kenny mcgee

            It seems that no matter what candidate is running for office, there wil be complaints: so get over the personal hack-job on their personal circumstances. It seems to me that the teachers in Chicago are crying because $70K salaries are insufficient- other teachers get paid poorly- maybe thea smart thing to do would be to relocate from laid-back poorer communities to the congestion of big cities (your choice). IF Jesus Christ, Allah, Muhammad, The Pope, Jessie Jackson, John Smith, Budda-man, six-headed Shiva and the big kahunas representing all of the other religions of the world were running for President of our Universe, who would win? More importantly, would there be mudslinging as in this blog or any other pre-election in the Universe? There is no way to satisfy everyone, History proves that the lowest common denominator of conflicts arises in the differences between the “have’s” and the “have-nots”. What else is new? Your complaints of hardship are no worse for wear than any of your neighbors- just a different definition of the same thing- Sacrafice and trying your best to have the same amenities as the wealthy, keeping-up with the Jonses, Would it make you happier if everyone made the same wage? Perhapse you may learn o few things if you first discussed this with peoples from China or other Socialistic countries. Ask the multitudes of European and Canadian patients who travel to our country as a last resort in order to gain timely access to medical services.not made reasonably available to them via long waiting-lists. This is America- You are not denied making choices- and therein lies the path to your circumstances. We cannot all be millionaires or win the lottery, nor can we expect welfare abuse to cease to exist. The current administration has already demonstrated that it is on the fast-track as a one-man crusade at tampering with our democratic (ie: non-socialistic) principals- promoting Big Government/Big Brother over-regulation, and THAT my friend, will not stand with the silent majority. As you know, it is almost impossible to fire someone who has a government job (discrimination)- and that sector is full of dead-wood…. there are a lot of teachers who need to retire, not necesssarily because of age, but because of competence/senility/apathy (a small fraction I hope, but it plainly exists). I know3 you can lead a horse to water, but when so many kids are pushed through school and graduate with a 4th grader’s aptitude- something is wrong within public schools. Uncontrollable drug addiction, gangs and punks with teacher- restricted discipline doesn’t help. As far as Wealth goes, some luck-into it, others fight and earn it after multiple failures through the school of hard knocks, lucky breaks, or by using their brain and setting goals instead of waiting for another government handout. One man does not make the choices- it takes an act of Congress. Although he is a nice person, I can think of 10 trillion reason$ why I, again, cannot support this administration. It’s time for new blood. Give someone else a chance to lead the sheeple.

        • Jessica

          I respect your feelings, but if you are worried about jobs, then Romney isn’t your man. He likes to outsource American jobs. It was his job to buy healthy companies. Fire everyone. Bankrupt the company. Then send it over seas, and employ cheap labor. Look up his old jobs. No kidding.

    • Life is about getting ready to die,so make it a good one.
      I really love that quote I read recently. I do wish more people would concentrate on what really matters and what saves, helps, protects all living things.
      It comes down to the simple things, doesn’t it? Are you helping with problems and victims? Are you judging and deciding for other people what they should have or not have? Are you sharing or are you greedy? Do you actually love who you are, and can accept others for who they are? Politics are a reflection of who you are.
      Thank you Cathy for a letter.

  35. Mike

    This “letter” makes me laugh…. Obviously this woman doesn’t have it to bad if she can put her kids through violin and riding (assuming horses). Rather than a normal middle class parent who puts their kids in football or basketball…… If you would even listen to the speech in an unbiased manner you would realize she did have it hard and for you to basically brush her dabilitating illness under the rug because she has money is absolutely SHAMELESS… Stop trying to morally persecute a family for being successfull….. And your inference to her being part of 1% of women in this country is even more of a joke….. Stop living in such a close minded world….

    • william cope

      I agree Mike. all I see here is much envy! I know educated individuals with school loans 20 yrs after college. What I also see with them are those who feel entitled to a big house, new cars, trips and brand new modern latest greatest everything. This adds up to poor money management, no budget etc. Maybe this is why as a liberal she sides with the Democratic party.

  36. Cassie

    Reblogged this on Cassie Being Cassie and commented:
    Brilliant!

  37. And the media never reflected a fraction of what is so beautifully and accurately depicted here.

  38. You know what my favorite part about this letter is? It’s respectful. It disagrees w/ Mrs. Romney’s speech without resorting to name calling or degradation of Mrs. Romney. That’s refreshing to say the least. I have a completely opposite point of view, but I won’t express that here. I’d just like to thank the writer for remaining civil. It’s so nice to see agreeable people disagreeing.

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to come by. And for noting that Cathy was, in fact, quite polite. If you ever wish to express your POV, and can match the tone of respect that Cathy set (which it seems you can by this note), I would be happy to share it here.

  39. lori

    How many carats of diamonds did Michelle Obama wear to the inauguration party? Some pieces of her clothing could feed a family for more than a year. What about the vacations she takes on the taxpayer’s dime? …and I’m supposed to relate to Michelle Obama. I’m a single mom who after buying and doing for my child, have nothing left for myself. Can Michelle Obama relate to me?

    • Dina

      I’m having a little trouble discerning your point here? Replace Michelle Obama with Ann Romney and you have no difference in comparison.

      • lori

        Dina, that was my point exactly. There’s no difference. They are both completely unrelatable. One’s husband is just a little less nauseating.

      • warren

        The issue is the ability to relate to the middle class. They can’t. On the other hand the Obamas’ have been broke without any stocks to save the day. I agree with you Lori that Barak is less nauseating.

    • Diane

      I don’t think Michele Obama made any claims that she does know what the average woman is experiencing. I could be wrong about that–I’m not a big follower of politics. The point being made by Mrs. Walker-Gilman is that Ann Romney shouldn’t claim to understand where she can’t possibly actually understand. It’s patronizing. It would have been wiser of her to not go there. It didn’t sound to me as though there were any resentment in the letter that the Romneys (very reasonably, given their socio-economic status) can’t relate to those who have to struggle. The only issue I heard being addressed is that there was a false claim made.

      • Bear

        And what woman does she not relate to? Maybe not some liberal and democratic leaning ones, but apparently she related to a heck of a lot of other women. You’re assuming she was talking to all you..lol!! So in an essence, the audience she was targeting was the ones she relates too.. just not you.

  40. I love what you wrote. Thank you for speaking for a large number of American women. We have a serious problem with white privilege in this country, and I believe that Mrs. Romney (she seems to like identifying herself as nothing more important or individualistic than that) represents the “white woman” image a lot of us are trying to separate ourselves from. I love education, I love being a mom, and I kind of love working – but I wish I didn’t have to do so much of it to survive from month to month. I too am lucky to have work, to have a child, and incredibly PRIVILEGED to be a white woman in this country. That means I need to be responsible and make an effort to accept the suffering of people who are not in my shoes, or my straight blond hair. Michelle Obama is a godsend. She is intelligent, she is physically fit, and she is a mother. Is she not allowed to have diamonds and high fashion because her skin in darker than other first ladies? Besides, she probably bought her diamonds at Costco. haha. Why does shopping at Costco make Mitt Romney seem remotely blue collar. Give me a flipping’ break. He has so much money and privilege, he would never HAVE to work. This is just another accomplishment on his resume, as far as I’m concerned. Let’s keep this country diverse. Let’s celebrate color and a non-white-60 something-rich dude perspective. Let’s provide care for women BEFORE they give birth to all the Meth babies being born. Let’s give mammograms to the women without money before they are at death’s door. Let’s keep working to improve our foreign relations. C’mon!

  41. kermann

    And, are you guys doing better under the current administration? Hmmmm?

  42. Emily

    And don’t forget the women that choose not to get married or have children. Or lesbian women who can’t get married and face many legal and social obstacles if they want children. According to Ann Romney, these women don’t even exist.

  43. k

    This cracks me up. You are such hypocrites. Do you have a problem with the Kennedy’s or Kerry’s being rich and running for office, or is it just rich GOP candidates that you can’t relate to?

    • maryj

      Great great point!

    • warren

      Ain’t the money its the hypocrisy of the GOP and this woman trying to tell you they can relate. Total horseshit.

    • We don’t have a problem with them running for office. We have a problem with them lying about who they are and where they come from.

      • Bear

        And what proof is there that they lied? When one really believes in what they say, is it lying? Even then, compared to the ‘Royalty’ of America, the Kennedys.. people that mainly liberals and Demos had elevated to that status.. the Romney’s were beggars in the streets. Even that twit Kerry was way way richer and better privileged and unrelataed to anyone else.

  44. Reblogged this on HIT FOR HIRE and commented:
    It doesn’t matter what your political views are, you should read this if you plan on voting in this coming election.

  45. My problem with Ann Romney’s speech was not so much her assumption that she could understand women of all economic backgrounds, although that is hard to buy. It was that the hardships she mentioned seemed almost trivial compared to the hardships that her party is willing to inflict on women. Not being able to buy gas and having to scrimp on groceries has been my way of life since long before 2008, but what about this retrograde motion on women’s reproductive rights and affordable healthcare and public services? Those things really impact women, so I’m not convinced that Ann Romney’s party backs women’s interests and rights when it promotes policies in the current GOP platform. I don’t expect a first lady to have similar experiences to mine, because as someone mentioned, unfortunately today one does have to be wealthy to run for president. But I do expect the interests of common citizens, middle and lower class, to be considered and defended. I don’t have a problem with someone being wealthy but what about those of us who never will be weatlhy or even prosperous? (And do not tell me everyone in America has the same opportunities–that is just not so. We have classes and obstacles to success just like other countries.) Do I not also deserve access to healthcare and crucial services and the right to decide what is best for me and my body? These are things the Republican platform does not recognize. Therefore Ann Romney does not understand and support my needs as a woman or a citizen.

    • Exactly. Her husband’s party is working very hard to strip women of the many civil rights gains we have made since women’s suffrage passed. If I cannot control my body, I cannot control my family or personal budget and I cannot influence my own economy. If it’s all about the economy as the GOP claims, then they need to be defending my right to contribute to it, not trying to erase me from it.

  46. Nita

    that is one angry woman! her bias screams loudly and demeans her rant. should i assume that “she is probably a pretty nice person with a good heart”?

  47. I don’t think this letter was meant to express hostility to the Romneys’ wealth. Wealthy people can be good, decent people who care about others, and I don’t know too many people who wouldn’t themselves like to be at least a little wealthier than they are. However, the point that the writer is responding to is that Ann Romney claims that because women are all pretty much in the same boat, she is just like the rest of us. She isn’t. I don’t care if her family is rich. I care that they don’t seem to understand that the rest of us aren’t, and that it makes a difference in how we live.

  48. Miko

    Why do you choose to ignore the fact that you CHOSE to be a teacher knowing full well that it is not a good paying job, put YOURSELF in debt by choosing to take out loans you weren’t sure you could pay back and you made the decision to children at the age you did, knowing you weren’t financially stable? Why don’t you take some responsibility for the poor financial choices you made to put yourself in this situation? This whole letter sounds like, “Why should I feel bad for you because my problems are worse?!” I’m so sick of Americans living these credit-based lives then crying when they can’t pay back their bills and they’re in a tight spot.

    No, I’m not rich. I live hand-to-mouth, paycheck-to-paycheck and I barely scrape by. But I’m not in debt. I don’t bounce checks to put gas in my car (which is CHECK FRAUD and illegal, btw). I don’t have a mound of debt sitting behind me from borrowing money I couldn’t pay back. Sure, I could have gone to college and pursued my passion, but I chose to live a life free of debt instead. Why build a mountain of debt for yourself then complain about the burden?

    I’m just saying, don’t moan about your situation when you put yourself there. No one held a gun to your head and said take out a mound of student loans or have kids you’re not sure you have the resources to provide for.

    • And yet the GOP is telling women that they think we should be forced to have a child every time we have sex. (Cutting access to birth control, as well as making abortion illegal) So… Pretty soon it actually won’t be our fault if we have children before we are ready.
      Cathy’s not asking for handouts, she’s just explaining that Mrs. Romney doesn’t understand her life and shouldn’t claim to.

      • Time to move on

        You don’t get pregnant every time you have sex. And they are not cutting your access to birth control pills. You just can’t have them for free.

      • They are working to cut access to birth control. They are trying to get many of them relabeled as abortifacients and outlawed.
        And we’re not asking for tax payers to cover our birth control, we just want our insurance providers to do it as basic preventative health care, which it is.

      • T. Moore

        What you are saying is just a LIE! A LIE! Something that you hear and automatically you believe. Are you that Gullible? NOBODY is cutting your access to birth control, you just have to pay for it! Why should I??? Anyways, I don’t know why I am wasting my time in this blog. This is my last comment as you guys are too far gone liberals. My time is too precious to be wasted this way. You guys get busy TELLING/INVENTING LIES while we go on working hard to be productive to make this country the best it can be.

      • Bear

        no, they just want you to buy your own birth control. simple. If you can’t afford it, don’t have sex.. or use a condom. It doesn’t cost much. You can get condoms free everywhere, so birth control isn’t a problem.

  49. None of us picked our lot in life. We had no choice in how wealthy or poor our families were. No, Mrs. Romney probably doesn’t know how the middle class mothers of America make ends meet. It isn’t about her sharing our circumstances, it’s about who do we best believe shares our beliefs, our hopes and our dreams for America. Everyone needs to check out both parties and make informed decisions. I would like the American people to have more of a say in how our country is run. I am more concerned about why our senators and congressmen voted themselves life time pay checks. I don’t get my paycheck from my job for the rest of my life. Businesses can’t afford to continue to pay former employees and neither can America. I also don’t think the men and women who are in Washington representing us should have different health care than they are willing to pass for us. It is for the people by the people. Our health care in this country does need reformed. I think the people in Washington are all out of touch with the people back home. I think before the senators or congressmen vote themselves another pay raise it should be decided by their constituents, in their individual home state, weather or not they have earned said raise. Have they done the job you wanted them to do? Have they truly represented you? Decide what you want for America and then vote for whomever you believe can accomplish it. You are not just voting for a president and vice president you are voting for the senators and congressmen that will help them accomplish it. No one individual and their ideals can run this country, I hate it when people say Obama failed, well he didn’t do it alone he had the help of every person in the senate and in congress. It is impossible to accomplish your goals when you have people who are determined to see you fail. It goes back to person that said President Obama didn’t deserve to have a capital p in president. We have all judged President Obama just a little differently simply because of the color of his skin. I don’t think we are as non-racist as we would like to believe. Here in my town we had to have parent permission slips for children to hear the President’s first speech. I cannot remember another time when it was deemed necessary to have permission for our children to hear what their President had to say. We have come along ways but, we still have a long ways to go.

  50. Very powerful! Thank you on behalf of one of the 99%

  51. The National Caucasion Party has no clue. Your letter says it all for women.

  52. Rita

    People, please, get a grip. This is a woman who has MS and has fought breast cancer. You may not want to feel like she represents you, and you’re probably right- how many complainers here have had to suffer physically the way she has? I guarantee you that she would trade her millions in a heartbeat for the health you enjoy. Stop, stop, STOP the hating! If you don’t agree with her husband’s politics, that’s fine, but leave the woman alone!

    • Well said Rita. This disgusts me. These people will try to come up with anything to bring down a successful family. Is it any different that Obama pretends to the “black experience” yet started at that amazing Hawaiian prep school? Are these hateful people going to put down Condi too? Good luck with that one.

  53. What a hate filled diatribe. You “assume” the best of people? Oh brother.

  54. Anomymous

    I am a 55 year old separated woman, I recently lost my job of 30+ years due to cutbacks. I have been in search of work since Feb and can not find a job making paying a salary nearly comparable to what my salary paid . I also have a pre-existing medical condition so I can not find an insurance provider that will pick me up. I am hardly serving on living unemployment benefits and bills are piling. I do not qualify for any type of government programs for assistance. I am more than frustrated and actually pissed that for I have paid Congress and Senates salaries and lifelong benefits most of my life and have people how have never lived my life “relate” to my life now, or at any point. These people don’t have a clue to wonder how they will feed their children or put a roof over their head. Mrs. Romney, until you’ve walked in my shoes….Keep your fucking mouth shut!!!!

    • anonymous

      ANONYMOUS……TRASHY!! Really the F word…hace more grace than that please! Mitt Romney has helped feed many poor and down on their luck people through his church…he understand helping the needy more than any other president…especially the one in office! You are successfully using the system under Obama so of course you dont want a President that will clean up our system of people abusing it. Obama has actually made it harder for the Needy to get all they need medically speaking under his new plan…ask any DR…they are all talking about it and how frustrating it is. He bviously isnt helping you! Romney can and will…the difference is…he cares for all people as Humans not just a vote!!! Clean your mouth up too!!

  55. Pingback: I don’t want your money. | ThinkBannedThoughts Blog

  56. Pam Mountain Home, ID

    I think that everyone whom has responded to this did not totally get the picture and what she REALLY did say, it is like 10 people can read the Holy Bible and they come away with their version, REMEMBER we are not voting for the wife we are voting for the President and Vice President of these United States. We need as People to stop being Sheep and make our own very informed decisions.

  57. cathy agnello

    thank you for your thoughtful essay. Many of us have found ourselves in the situations that you describe and we sometimes still do have to juggle money and needs in order to provide for ourselves and our loved ones. I am hoping that Mrs. Romney’s husband does NOT attain the presidency, for the sake of all of us.

  58. Ted

    What was it about Ann’s expression of love for her husband, her family and her country that ticked you off to the point of apoplectic rant? What made you see a slight against females in general and you in particular when Ann listed the examples of how women many times carry the extra burdens of empathy, sympathy and worry about family, friends and neighbors as well as their own kids, own husband and the difficulties in this economy? I can’t imagine who’s speech you read Cathy Walker-Gillman, but the things you reference in Ann Romney’s speech simply are not there except in your biased imagination. Ann’s speech spelled out the very sort of family and struggles you recounted in your letter as your own, as follows, ” And I want us to think tonight about the love we share for
    those Americans, our brothers and our sisters, who are going
    through difficult times, whose days are never easy, nights are
    always long, and whose work never seems done.
    They’re here among us tonight in this hall. They are here
    in neighborhoods across Tampa and all across America. The
    parents who lie awake at night, side by side, wondering how they
    will be able to pay the mortgage or make the rent. And the working moms who love their jobs, but would like to
    work just a little less to spend more time with the kids, but
    that is just out of the question with this economy.
    Or how about that couple who would like to have another
    child but wonder how they will afford it?

  59. Ted

    In consideration of Cathy Walker-Gilman’s letter to Ann Romney part 2. You are a mean woman Cathy Walker-Gillman. Ann Romney made no mention of her wealth. You, on the other hand, wrote,”We don’t have a housekeeper or a nanny. We don’t have personal assistants.” Did you overlook Ann’s explanation of a door on sawhorses and an ironing board dining table in a basement apartment? How did we get to the point that the Romney’s success, in this great nation; taking advantage of education, hard work, and one’s God given talents is somehow a reason to denigrate her and them instead of admire her and him while feeling great pride in a nation that offers the opportunity for ANYONE in America to succeed……just like the Romney’s, the Clinton’s, the Powell’s, Condoleeza Rice or Clarence Thomas? Cathy Walker-Gilman, how did you become so jaded as to twist and distort the good and loving words Ann spoke into, “When you suggest that it’s a “woman’s lot” to work all day then come home and cater to her husband and kids, and that you hear my voice, my blood boils.” ? No where in her speech does she use the words you quote. By putting them in quotation marks you mislead all who have read your letter that Ann used those words. She did not, and you implying she did so, is nothing short of reprehensible. But worse than that you imply that Ann Romney suggested that women should be relegated to a role of catering to kids and husband. You know that is not what she implied. As a teacher I hope you have enough intellect to understand how you have distorted and misrepresented the truth, the messages, and the intent of Ann Romney’s speech. YOU, are what is wrong with America. Your hatred for those different from you (Conservatives) seems to give you license to write such a disgraceful polemic. Shame on you.

  60. Leoncefalo

    “The Love of Money is the root of all evil” It has been said a million times and will be said forever. For all the people here without a clue, this honest woman spoke her mind crystal clear. It is truly an insult to say that people who do not work for their wealth are the same as those who do. This is the essential dividing line, but a blatant lie in the mouth of politicians and people running for public office. The Romney’s are the ‘out-of-touch’ rich and nothing will ever change that. Because of how the Bush regime looted this country blind, there is great rage against all wealthy people, a rage that borders on insanity. It is because the predators in the White House, the Congress, and Wall Street have no clue whatsoever of the consequences of their actions, that a great social upheaval is happening under our noses. This woman Cathy is the direct result of this rage, and it will not surprise me to see movements that are not peaceful against the moneyed interests if Romney/Ryan end up in Washington. The sleeping giant of the middle class has been aroused with pain and suffering, and someone is going to pay the terrible price.

  61. Privateman

    No one cared how much money the Kennedy’s had back in the 60s, but boy let a successful GOP family run for President and the liberals whine like the baby pigs in fear of not getting fed.

    • warren

      The Kennedy’s never acted like thi. It isn’t bout the money pal it is about the lady understanding the middle class working woman. This Romney gal is as much of a fake as her husband.

      • Bear

        no, the Kennedy’s just acted like they owned the country and it was there playground and that they were above all the rest of us.

  62. Karolina Kat

    Everything boils down to voting for the lesser of 2 evils . Just like it does EVERY election. Only thing left with enough money to run and buy votes are people who have NO idea what the Middle Class or even an Average Family consists of or goes through. And judging from MS. Romneys speech has no lucid intention of ever finding out . May God have mercy on all our souls.

  63. My heart grieves for so many that feels the need to respond so unkindly.She is a lovely, caring woman so what if she is rich? It would be wonderful if I was also but I am not. I so not understand why the Dems seem to truly despise the people fortunate enough to have more, Why can’t you get it and Mrs Romney you do speak for me.

    • warren

      Sorry for you Mary Ann that you can’t speak for yourself. If you think she understands what it is like as a middle class women then you are truly delusional.

  64. Lisa Kaplin

    Just beautifully written, clear-eyed and so true! I could have related to Mrs. Romney if she didn’t patronize me and really showed an understanding for the battles of the average American woman. Thank you for being that voice.

  65. Apryl Kilgo

    This made me tear up! I am so proud of the woman that wrote this and I really hope she reads this comment! <>

  66. JB

    I am fine with this as long as you write the same letter to Michelle Obama. She is equally as wealthy and has access to the same lifestyle accouterments as Mrs. Romney.

    • Lisa Kaplin

      No she doesn’t and she never has. Michelle Obama grew up in a one bedroom apartment with her family. She and President Obama have never made $2 million dollars a day. Only over the last couple of years have they become wealthy and nowhere near the level of the Romney’s money. Not to mention that Michelle Obama grew up during the end of the civil war movement and she is black. Every first lady has access to an upper middle class lifestyle but not the lifestyle of a billionaire.

      • You don’t even need to go there. The indictment against Mrs. Romney here is not that she’s rich, its that she’s claiming to ‘understand’ middle class struggle, that she is one of them.

    • Did Mrs. Obama make a speech claiming to speak for every woman? That is the issue here, not simply being rich.

    • Mrs. Obama never claimed to be, or understand, or relate to “every woman.” She just claimed to be herself.

    • Mostly doing it at the expense of the taxpayers, please note.

  67. Pat

    You guys are so angry about the rich thing. Most of our greatest presidents have come from wealth… All of our founding fathers owned slaves and land (oh yeah and the majority believed in a Creator). A man that has never had a real job managing people or finances and balancing a budget, ie running a business should not be running our economy. I would not hire Obama to manage my ice cream shop. Too many free samples to non paying customers. It’s common sense. I remember vividly when Obama said he was gonna reach across the isle in bipartisanship, and yet we haven’t passed a budget in 3 years. Afraid of something Mr President? The harsh reality that this country is about to take a nose dive? Did you know it’s compulsary to have a job and vote in Australia? Not saying I’m gonna move there but doesn’t that sound like a great idea, even after considering the necessary alottments for the pangs and tragedies of life that would barr a person from contributing in that way? After four years, the proof is in the pudding people? When there is no more oil in the tank of our economy’s engine, the dogs of this country will be eating each other and there will be much gnashing of teeth in the streets.

  68. Christina

    You dislike someone beause they are successful that is so insane. Is it Romney’s fautl that you have to work to jobs? Who has been the President for the past 3 1/2 years? Are you gonig to blame Bush? Look at the Obamas and their Hollywood millionaires. Do you hate all the actors for having more than you do? This is America – with dreams to own your own business or make your millions. Stop blaming others for your lifestyle – if you don’t like it then do something about it. Just try ti take responsibility for your own life and stop hating people for being successful. I would rather have someone who is successful running our country rather than someone who is giving our country away and running it into the ground. What the hell is wrong with you poeple. This is about AMERICA – Our Country – not just you and your own personal agendas. Our country is falling apart and all you people care about is if the person running for President is wealth – Who friggin cares – CAN HE DO THE JOB – DOES HE HAVE THE EXPEREINCE TO DO THE JOB – PAST EXPEREINCE PROVES HE DOES – I’LL TAKE ROMNEY. He has proven to be successful. Obama has done NOTHING for our Country but run it to debt.

    • Romney’s success in business consists of taking in companies, loading them with debt and looting the carcass. Not the qualifications one would like in a leader.

      • Beth Browne

        Thank you for posting this, it is incredibly insightful to how arrogant she assumed our postion. My family and I are less fortunate in that we don’t really even have enough to buy the $15 payless shoes. The shoes I wear now are at least 5 years old that I have repeatedly have had to superglue together, that is my choice so that we can save up enough money to buy my son Dollar General Store shoes…. I had never wanted to go onto welfare but after my health took a very serious turn, I could no longer work and my husband tries but he is actually an amputee and can no longer work either…. My oldest children have found employment, my oldest son chose the Army and my daughter is in her chosen field but it is only part time, I am very proud of them.. There are times when we are lucky to have tuna fish or noodles sometimes not even that but we manage. I know as hard as we have it I know that there are so many more that have even less that we do……

      • You are seriously misinformed and obviously understand little about how these companies actually work.

      • Becky

        Thank you cafeeine.

      • Leslie Peasley Taylor, I understand just fine, but thank you for your condescension

    • Christina: You don’t read much better than you spell. It has nothing to do with them being wealthy. It has to do with how they made their money and what their priorities are. Yes. It’s about America… and they are buying the election with the money of huge corporations… many, including his, made their money buy pushing American jobs out of the country. WE are not the one’s breaking the pact between Americans. We went to work. THEY stole our jobs and sent them off-shore to make a little more money for the already-bulging bank accounts.

    • J

      “You dislike someone beause they are successful”
      No, she dislikes her presumptiveness. If you’re wealthy, fine, but don’t pretend that managing your stock portfolio is work in the same league as that performed by your average paycheck-to-paycheck worker.

      “Does Romney have the experience to do the job?”
      No. His statements on the campaign trail already show that he has no clue how the federal government, which he proposes to run, actually operates. It is not a for-profit business; it is a nonprofit provider of services. Its budget is parceled out in unpredictable short-term continuing resolutions that are the result of partisan bickering. Furthermore, Romney has said he will balance the budget by cutting taxes, cutting non-Defense discretionary spending, and protecting Defense spending. Since Defense spending is by far the largest item in the discretionary part of the budget, it is mathematically impossible to balance the budget without cutting Defense or raising taxes, and it is perfectly frightening that Romney does not seem to know this. Has he never bothered to look at the federal budget?

      This is what drives me absolutely crazy about politics today. The facts get buried. I wouldn’t mind so much if our political divide were a genuine disagreement about where we should spend our money; but there isn’t even a common, shared understanding about what government is and how it operates. People don’t even know the most basic things, such as how much of the budget goes to Defense vs. education vs. anything else. They start with vastly distorted (and wrong) beliefs about the reality of how things work.

      And I hope the people posting so passionately here on this blog actually show up and vote when it counts.

    • Patricia Moore

      I agree! You make some good points!

  69. It’s apparent right from the begining you have a aditude toward Mrs.Romney, bottom line this election is one of America’s most important and we need the leaser of two eviles as the VP choses Biden is a joke compaired to Paul Ryan and As President Nobody can denile that obama is the worst President America has ever had , he can’t run on his record that is a disaster ,he wants to continue spending and borrowing and taxing so he wants to continue down the same path of disrtuction we will be a bankrupt Country and under water with china’s debt ….Romney Can turn this Country around and bring us back from near death were facing ….Romney/Ryan will do a fine job have faith any other chice and you will have a nightmare to write about instead of complaining of dollar differances…..This applies to everone reading this comment as well every vote counts, please make it Romney/Ryan America is counting on You !!!
    Thank You.

    • Rodney: If you’re going to post, the least you can do is a little homework first. You’re wrong about Obama and completely blind to the faults of those who put us into this mess.
      Paul Ryan has a serious problem with lying. And you have a serious problem with not knowing how to spell.

      • Becky

        Seriously, Rodney? I agree with ellae, Ryan hasn’t told the ‘whole’ truth yet. He has stated some truthful facts, taken out of context, to make them look good, but in actuality made them untruthful. ellae is right, check your facts before you write.

    • Chris

      The issues I have with Romney / Ryan is that I’ve no idea what the policies are that are going to perform the turnaround. They haven’t said anything other that “trust me”. Not sue I want to take that risk.

  70. janet morris

    They made money the old fashioned way. They inherited it!

  71. Margaret Wachtler

    Phew! What a set of commentaries! I know where I stand but choose not to set it out here.

  72. Beautifully and tastefully said.

  73. Tom

    Yeah. I have a word for Ann Romney and it’s not bitch. Think of the word that begins with the letter that follows B in the alphabet. There ya have it.

  74. Jill

    What a joke, this is a generalization. Michelle Obama or Hilary Clinton can’t relate to you either. No one is controlling your body except so if you are sleeping around use birth control. Trying to protect the unborn. And that life belongs to a father too. Get a clue.

    • Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton didn’t make “relating to the common woman” the center of a speech that they gave. Perhaps that means they are more self-aware than Mrs. Romney is.

    • Ya. Even if that “father” has sex with you against your will because the sleeves on your shirt were to short and it got him going…

  75. Staci Staler

    Thank u for your beautiful, articulate words.

  76. Nancy R

    Perfect!! Thank you for expressing my thoughts as well. I am retired (forced out by an auto parts manufacturer who moved to Mexico). I could only imagine the life she lives!! They will never have the beliefs and ideals that struggling middle class Americans do!!

  77. Jane Masterson

    You have no one to blame except yourself. No one forced you to be lazy in college. If you worked harder, you probably could have at least taught college. No one forced you to breed and multiply. The world has more than enough children. Stop complaining. You have/had every opportunity in the world. I am a woman of color who was raised in the Queensbridge projects in New York who makes a high six figure salary every year. So please, stop complaining. I’m not defending Romney, I’m just sick of entitled people like you ruining it for the rest of us.

    • I didn’t think Cathy was complaining – just illustrating her life. She made the choices she did and is happy living with the results. She’s just offended that Ann Romney would even pretend to understand that life.

    • Congratulations to you Jane! Well done…….and the opportunity is available to everyone, to every woman who can get out of her own way and do whatever needs to be done to succeed…whatever that means to her. Bitterness and anger are just stop signs on the road to true success.

  78. ever thankful I live in Canada….

  79. Lindsay

    thank you for writing this. Her speech made me ill.

  80. To the few women who blindly support Mrs. Romney and her husband:
    They did NOT work their way out of poverty. They broke laws, stole from people, borrowed without repaying and in other ways cheated their way out of poverty. That can only happen if you have no problem with immorality.

    The use of Walmart as a way to identify with the “everyday woman” really irks me. Walmart’s business plan has always been as offensive as Mrs. Romney’s words. Because they are willing to manipulate small businesses to bankruptcy and destroy entire communities in order to have just one more successful store… well, I’ve worked very, very hard and have to watch my spending but I’ve never been in a Walmart or a Sam’s Club and will work very hard to continue that streak.

    Both the Romneys and the Waltons are at the root of the problem in our country. It is not money that is the problem, it is their LOVE of money. Still… Mrs. Romney, keep right on believing the lies you tell. You may never face your just come-uppance here, but eventually even the richest and most powerful people must face their end and see exactly what they’ve earned.

  81. Ryan Sheridan

    The distain for those who have worked hard for what they and their families before them have earned escapes me. I thought as Americans we’ve been taught individual success is a prized virtue of the American dream.

    (Our) god given and consitutionally protected ability for one generation to build their families financial security so that their children will be able to do the same for themselves AND others is a concept that seems lost on Mrs. Walker-Gilman.

    I’d remind Mrs. Walker-Gilman that she and her husband freely chose their careers. Careers that historically provide modest compensation for very important services. (Unless you’re an administrator or a union rep.) She and her husband are employees of the the people. And it’s the peoples ability and means that finance their paychecks. In an economy where 23 million of her countrymen don’t have an income & 23% barely have a part time job, she should be a little careful about pulling on over taxed hart strings.

    I would instead ask Mrs. Walker-Gilman to look inward to her own choices and use those to demonstrate to her children what freedom can provide. The basic ideological choices are easy: Love and embrace a system the celebrates individual success of all kinds. Or, embrace a system that hold success in contemp where all success is illegitimate unless the government and society approves it.

    What Mrs. Walker-Gilman is expressing is the basic premis of communism. (Please read the Comunist Manifesto) A person who was able to acquire wealth nolonger is a contributor to society. As such, they must be forcibly returned to their previous status and their property distributed among their neighbors.

    As a teach she should know better. Teach and prais success and you will get more of it. Teach and propagate jealousy and lose your freedoms and respect for yourself.

    Ryan Sheridan

  82. Greg Smith

    Cathy, Maybe you should also write the same letter to Michelle Obama. Don’t be blind. You’re lucky that you have the right to make your own decisions. There are those who are working to provide you the relief you so dearly desire. The price is very reasonable. It will only cost your freedom.

    • I am amazed that people are so blind to the issue at hand, that Mrs, Romney claimed, erroneously to have a kinship of experience with middle class women. This is not people lashing out at the rich willy-nilly, so bringing Michelle Obama into this is irrelevant, as she didn’t make this claim.
      Also, vague scary accusations of impeding loss of freedoms is not an argument, its just scare tactics.

  83. Lisa: If you cannot even write a response without putting the White of White House in quotations marks, how am I supposed to see you as anything except racially motivated in your dislike of the President?

  84. Melissa

    You can see right through this woman’s bitterness and spite. . . . Illogical if you ask me!

    • How is it illogical to call out a political figure for lying in a major stump speech? And yes, the spouse of a political candidate is a political figure, esp. when they allow themselves to be used in order to try to gain the votes of a particular segment of the populace.

  85. linda pantano

    Right on sista!

  86. loangirl4663

    this letter could be addressed to Michelle Obama and most everyone else in Washington. Ok, maybe they can’t relate to “average” women but we all make our own choices. Stop criticizing people for being successful! Make your own success…this is America, land of opportunity. Take advantage instead of waiting for government handouts!

    • Cathy’s not waiting for or asking for government handouts. She’s just calling out a woman who spoke out of turn. And she did so very politely and with a lot less hate, fear or anger than her detractors so far.
      This isn’t about class warfare, this is about honesty.

    • Michelle Obama didn’t give a speech claiming she was “one of the middle class women”. Mrs. Romney did. As soon as Mrs. Obama makes the same claim, we will tell her off too.
      No one is attacking Mrs. Romney for her wealth, but for her comments. You do believe in people being accountable for their own words, don’t you?

  87. Marie

    You are more than right !!!!!!! Go ahead !!!!!

  88. Obama has done nothing. Until the people of te USA understand their own government and how it works you will never learn. In Canada, if you have a liberal prime minister with a minority to a conservative opposition nothing gets done. If you have a democrat president with a senate of primarily republicans it goes no where. He is a brilliant man with great ideas and motivation. Your opting to vote in a man who belongs I a government who feels they own you vagina (no matter what class or age you are) who could care less about your lives or your health. He will make life better for the rich. He’s been well off for so long he’s forgotten what’s its like to struggle. You people can’t see the forest through the trees and with a misplaced vote it won’t matter because you’ll burn thy shot to the ground.

  89. Susan Mays

    What the hell does it matter if they were ever broke or not? We are voting for someone who can run a country, not a wife who can or cannot empathize with who we are as women.

  90. mdrake

    But in light of many of the comments made about “working hard” and “equal playing field” and “USA being and equal place of opportunity” you live in a vacuum. Please remove yourself from the bubble you live in and look around you. America is so shattered and so very broken. It isn’t one parties fault but it is both parties responsibility to fix it. We are a nation so heavily divided that someone like Ann Romney really believes her speech was relateable. I could barley sit through it. I don’t disagree with being a republican or a democrat but I have a huge problem when a very very small minority of people control either house and use fear and a persons phenomenology to create a platform for political gain. Especially when it greatly effects the rights, freedoms and livelihood of other Americans.

    And … healthcare is about privilege in this country. Period. if you don’t think that try almost dying with out it and you let me know how much it cost to save your life. It goes back to the argument about Pro Life … If you are then you should be very very excited that people will no longer unjustly die from diseases that are completely curable. Ann has the very very very best insurance and if she didn’t have insurance she has enough money to pay out of pocket for all of her expenses. That is not jealously that is fact, that is remarkable, but it IS what saved her life.

  91. Steven Jeffries

    It is so sad that people can’t receive and accept a simple message from a lovely lady without trotting out a bunch of “pc” garbage! Thr Romney’s are genuine and gracious. The same cannot be said about Mr. Obama.

    America will begin to get better once we get people like Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden out of power!

  92. mdrake

    This is great example of why the “haves” do not get the ” have nots”.,Romney can not relate to a “bug bite” medical expense.

    http://www.eod.com/blog/2012/09/bugged/

  93. Reblogged this on Susan Daniels Poetry and commented:
    Wow–this says it all.

  94. I think you missed the point. She was saying the majority of the time women are the caregivers in the family whether you work outside of the home or not you make sacrifices. They were not always wealthy but really so what if they were. No amount of money can protect you from MS and no amount of money can guarantee your cure of cancer. I am not bitter or jealous of their success ,I admire it. She is a woman who loves and cares for her family and I hope you are like her in that respect. I know I do.

  95. Kat

    I would like to see any of them live on $760.00 a month from ssi (due to handicaps) when your rent is $560.00…. your husband, who just had a terrible accident, cant collect even welfare to help out till he is done going thru the 3 yrs of red tape for disability, (after the dr’s told him he will never work again.) I own my lil mobile home..and have been living ,not week to week, but day to day, to pay bills, buy meds, make it to appointments and feed our family. Is there no way to “fire” all the politicians an start new? Are they not supposed to work “For The People”? When are the citizens gonna wake up an ban together to demand a better way??? I am ready….cause if they take away much more, I will be living in a box,

    • Laurie

      There seems to be a problem of identifying the problem with most people. It has nothing to do with right/left or party affiliation. It has everything to do with who is controlling it and why. Obama is a puppet, just like Bush, Clinton, the elder Bush, and on up the line, was. The agenda is to scrap the Constitution to take away the liberties and freedoms of which we have grown accustomed. Until people get their proverbial heads out of the sand and take notice, America will no longer exist. So the question is: who really cares what Mitt and Ann Romney thinks, who cares what Barack or Michelle Obama thinks. We all better start doing some critical thinking and get our White House in order.

  96. Money is to the One the 1%ers as shoes are to Imelda Marcos

  97. Susan Mays

    Yes, accountable for your words. But did you have to hit yourself with a hammer to know it hurts? Do you have to jump off a bridge to know it’s not a good idea? You don’t have to experience everything to understand it. How will you help your child with something you never experienced? What if you’re a single mom with a son?

  98. please delete my second “the”.

  99. Lame

    I find it very hard to believe that 2 working professional adults have to struggle the way you’ve presented here. While it’s always easy to pass the blame onto other why not just point the finger at yourself. We know very little about you to make a comparative. I would venture to say you may be overspending or over leveraged. You may be making very poor financial decisions. You may be spending too much on things you don’t need. Maybe you are in a home you can’t afford or driving a car you shouldn’t have spent so much on. It’s always easy to point the finger at other and say oh ‘they had it easy’… well its just not the case. Most people that are entitled with money really don’t do anything with it. They spend it and don’t do much with their life. While you are probably a nice lady your article falls very short of making any credible point except to join with folks that are making plain ‘bad decisions’ particulary bad financial decisions with their life.

  100. I did not read all of the replies but find myself amazed at the rancor in so many. Ann Romney is just like every one of us…a caring and empathetic mother and grandmother, a woman who has been strong through being left on her own much of the time to raise 5 boys while her husband traveled for work, a woman who has been through illnesses that could easily devastate her life…and she did it not being rich for a great deal of her youthful marriage. These are people who are caring and put their money where their caring is and have spent much of their time in service to others. If you don’t feel a connection to any of these things I suggest your issues are yours and not a reflection of the Romney’s.

    • anonymous

      Leslie…AMEN..THanks…my thoughts exactly!! I am so sick of everyone being so incredibly divided! It is Heart Breaking actually!!! And the mean things said. I do not remember anyone bashing Michele Obama this way. Sad just sad.

  101. Lee Meyer

    They received everything they had when they were “starting out” from stocks? They had parents loan them money and buy them their house? They they did NOT BUILD IT! They had other people build it for them. Aww, the poor little spoiled brats. Now they want to tell everyone how to do things. I don’t think so.

    • Bear

      someone sounds jealous that their parents loved them enough to loan their kids money or buy them a house as a gift?

  102. Listen too many people have a MONEY MANAGEMENT problem, but they don’t want to hear it ! I think that is you and your husband’s challange/problem. Let me recommend Dave Ramsey on Fox.

  103. Susan Mays

    OMG! Life happens. Some people happen to be privileged and some are not; it is the way the world is. I was not. I was happy every other week on paydays when my daddy came home from the dime store with the little toy that was sewn with string on the back of the cardboard as our treat for those two weeks. I wore the same dress to school two to three days a week because that’s all we had (and they were hand-me-downs); and I was bullied frightfully. I never regretted my life because my daddy never whined; he was a proud man and proud to be an American. He never took a handout and taught us never to either. I no longer have to live that way, but I am extremely happy to understand both sides of life, and continue to live with both groups of people. I cannot believe how many people in the world whine about who they are and what they don’t have while others have it. It’s called life.

  104. This is a poor argument for what you are trying to argue. We have a pretty good home, a pretty good life, and we don’t make what two teachers make on average so to make it sound like you can’t afford the normal things in life must be untrue. We had higher hopes but our severely handicapped child’s situation meant we had to change our plans, yet still I am grateful for what we have. We pay for our kids with special needs to participate in activities that are much more expensive than activities for typical kids, we go on vacation most years, except for those years that we have had exceptionally high attorney bills to get our kids their education. I don’t disagree with everything you have said, but the truth is, if you think you have it tough you probably chose the wrong profession. Teaching is not going to make people rich, you should have known that going in, but I can’t believe you are as poor as you make it sound. The fact that you can’t do anything but live paycheck to paycheck tells me that you make choices that cost more than they need to. We make less than what you must make, yet I buy clothes at Nordstrom and Hannah Anderson, I have a newly remodeled kitchen, and though our house isn’t everything I would like it to be, we live pretty good. We have a savings account and retirement accounts. Maybe trying gratitude would help you to realize that you really don’t have it so rough.

  105. Susan Mays

    Go Linda. The first person I have read who made any sense yet.

  106. orvida

    You have said a mouthful! But i agree with you on everyting tha you have just said, how dare she compare herself to me and many other women out here struggling to deal with our lot in life. I’m poor! I have seven children ranging from ages 21 20 19 16 12 9 7 and i raised them. I went to school and worked for years but just as you stated i live month to month on a disability check yes my children may have more than others but i go to thift stores or people may throw away something and if it’s in good ondition and can be used i will take it.

    I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth not by a long shot but i love my freedom of choices very much and your husband is trying to take my rights away as a women and shove his beliefs down my throat and i will not stand for it.

    yours truly Ms.G

  107. Susan Mays

    Who is taking your rights away? And what rights are being taken away? Isn’t Obama taking our rights away with more and more imposed government? Hello. Everyone will HAVE to have insurance. No choice! Thank you very much once again. I prefer when I live in a country with choices. There are plenty of socialist countries out there, if you like them so much, please be my guest and go live there. I have (Canada and Japan), don’t like it, am back and want my country to remain free.

  108. Wonderfully written and very well stated! Thank you Cathy for the letter and thank you Dee for the platform.

  109. Madam, it is a simple reality that every politician (and their wives) tries to draw equivalencies to the electorate. Meanwhile everyone on the left makes it clear that if you have money and you’re not a liberal, you are clueless about anything affecting those less fortunate while guys like the Kennedys, Al Gore, John Kerry and John Edwards get a pass. Why is that?

    No she hasn’t faced the same challenges and so what? People of good character do their best to empathize but I’m sure you won’t give her credit for that either.

    • Chris

      As speeches go, Ann’s was a decent speech.

      The challenge is that Mitt’s refusal to release more than 2 years of tax returns and Ann’s ‘you people’ comment have put and continue to put their wealth in front of everything they say. Is it fair, no but that’s life.

      • Susan Mays

        I understand they do; empathy is a common human trait. It exists in us all if we call it to the forefront of our being. The problem is, few people use it these days.

  110. Sadaf

    What a Fantastic letter!!! Bravo!!!!

  111. Susan

    The Romneys may not live as we do, but neither do the Obamas.  Or any other recent President. We presume to know what the day to day life of the Romneys is like. We have no idea what it is like to be under constant scrutiny by everyone. No idea. Wealthy people do not necessarily have it easy. Or even easi-er. There’s always some trials to deal with in life. To assume “a life of privilege” is equitable to an easy life is unwise. If a person believes that is true, perhaps they should read more autobiographies/memoirs. 

    • Gordon Koerner

      Sorry Susan, at least the Obama’s, especially Barack, knew what it was like when he was growing up.

      • weforster

        Please, Gordon, you really don’t know what you think you know about Barack Obama’s growing up years. He attended the most elite high school in Hawaii, and was able to go to both Columbia and Harvard, without ever working a day in his life. He had a lot of help from very wealthy people, and likely government as well, which is why he thinks that everyone had the same benefits from government that he had; hence, the “you didn’t build that” comment. He and all of his friends are very well off, just as the Romneys are.
        I can’t help but wonder if some of you will be as critical of Mrs. Obama when she says things like, “I was never proud of America until now.” How can you relate to that comment? I don’t know anyone who is an American, who would say such a thing, no matter their plight or struggles.
        I have always been poor, having to work full time, raise kids, forgo my education and support my family, due to a disabled husband. I never blamed this country for my lot, and my God-fearing American-loving sons went proudly off to war to fight for our freedoms here. The Obamas both hate this country, and want to see it go the way of Europe. We can see how well socialism is working out for them. Europeans came to this country to be free from intrusive government and taxes. Wealth and success aren’t things we resent in America-it’s something we celebrate!

  112. The American Dream has turned to dust for me: I hold an advanced degree (Master’s in Library Studies) but cannot find a job in my field due to the extremely tight job market where I live. Because of the custody laws where I live (WI) I don’t have very many options to move to a better job market if I also want to preserve a decent quality of life for my daughter. So we make do on $12 an hour, child support, and the humiliating experience of having to get aid through the county and asking for waivers for any school activities my daughter might like to pursue. And I *still* somehow make too much for my daughter to qualify for free hot lunch. I have no idea how Mrs. Romney thinks she could speak for me.

  113. Cathy Walker-Gilman sounds a lot more like my mother than Mrs. Romney does.

  114. craig kelly villanueva

    this was very good, it got us all talking some good, some not so good. its nice that we all live in a place that we can do this!!and you all have a point, weather i agree or not is what makes this great!!!!!

  115. Gordon Koerner

    All though not the same words, I heard about the same from Laura Bush and look what we got for 8 years. I Will not list them. You all know what they were/are.

  116. Lilandra

    I bet this will get deleted or regulated to the other page so it doesn’t soil the bashing discussion.
    I will state very simply, I support Romney/Ryan and what you are discussing is a letter filled with envy and class warfare. In what country does a financially disadvantaged person run the government? We are experiencing a period in our country where our leader doesn’t understand how big business works – and before you say you don’t want Romney or someone like him in charge of this country, please take a moment to think about our military, government agencies, wall street etc. These are all big business and need an experienced CEO to run them, be it a high ranking military official or an actual CEO.
    About Mrs Romney, yes she is of wealth and privilege and you don’t think she can relate to your lives – but can you honestly relate to Mrs Obama? She has had the same lifestyle as Mrs Romney but her mission is for the inner city people, and doesn’t include the middle class.
    I take offense with this letter because if two college educated people can’t manage their household with what they are earning, maybe they need to take a long look at how they are spending their money and live within their means. I want this country to be managed by people who will make the tough choices and trim the wasteful spending and function within our economic means. This means we might not all be able to eat steak and lobster but there is no shame in tuna fish and mac-n-cheese.
    I live on a small family farm, and am a stay at home mom… we know tough financial times in this household. BUT I have two kids in college that were in FFA, 4-H, sports, drama, band. We did the private lessons, camps, fair and athletic contests – didn’t miss a one! We spent our money on what was important and made the tough choices and made it all work on less than what two teachers make.

    • This letter opens with a perfect example of true GOP “poor me” thinking. I have not deleted or moved a single comment that made a point. Heck, I even let the “liberal moonbat” comment stand because he didn’t use an explicative. I have deleted only the 3 blatant name calling comments which contributed nothing additional to the conversation. 2 of them were from “liberals”.
      I have thus far encouraged discussion, even and almost especially discussion that disagrees with the letter posted above. I dig free speech. And I find it interesting how often the people who claim to be with the party of individual liberty only want that liberty for themselves.
      You are free to disagree here. You are free to state your case and your truth.
      I’ve got no problem with that.
      Just remember, I get to state my truth too, and so does everyone else who is able to be respectful with this liberty.
      Welcome to my sandbox.

    • “About Mrs Romney, yes she is of wealth and privilege and you don’t think she can relate to your lives – but can you honestly relate to Mrs Obama? She has had the same lifestyle as Mrs Romney but her mission is for the inner city people, and doesn’t include the middle class.”

      How has Mrs. Obama had the same lifestyle as Mrs. Romney?

      I also can’t help but scratch my head at the statement: “Her mission is for the inner city people, and doesn’t include the middle class.” I am not sure I even know what that means, unless you are suggesting that because she is African American and grew up in Chicago that she is only interested in people from the inner city. If that is the case, can you actually say -much less believe- that she has enjoyed the same lifestyle as Mrs. Romney?

      That seems like a pretty significant contradiction to me.

    • Janet

      Well said, Lilandra. I live on the east coast in a very busy area. I so agree that I want someone leading our country who knows how to be successful in business and with people. I am not sure what has caused the resentment some of the others on this page feel but I know the answer is not in government handouts or in resenting those who are successful. We tell our son to watch those who are successful and learn from them (in sports, relationships and student government). Adults can still learn too. I think I could learn a lot from Ann Romney I don’t resent her wealth or success, I can learn from it!

  117. Ariana

    Thank you. And saying this I hope you know the extreme gratitude I feel in you saying these things.

  118. jerry333

    Just a reminder that regardless how you feel about this Mrs. she is not running for office. That said this is an issue of compassion; while I cannot judge someone’s heart I can make an opinion based on their actions. Policy that sends young people to college and assures healthcare for children and seniors as put forth by the Obama team reveals compassion. In contrast policy that sacrifices safety net programs to help the rich get richer is amoral regardless of what words its supporters select to pretend otherwise.

  119. Roberto

    One has to wonder if you felt the same way (“You are an incredibly privileged, elite, distorted version of American womanhood, and you have no idea how the other 99% live”) about Teresa Heinz Kerry, 2004 democrat presidential candidate John Kerry’s wife. At the time, the Kerrys had at the time approximately five times the wealth the Romneys have now. Just asking.

    • This is not about how much money either family has, it is about what the candidates want to do as president. Mrs. Romney wants it to appear that she understands what it is like to be a woman but as any feminist will tell you, women don’t want to speak for “all women” because there is no one single experience of womanhood.

      Mrs. Romney is open to criticism because she purports to speak for “women.” When she does this she is open to responses from people from different stations in life. That is all. I think the letter addresses this point, as does the “response” link to those who do not agree with the author.

    • Fact Check: Mitt Romney is wealthier than John Kerry.

      From the Wall Street Journal: http://blogs.wsj.com/wealth/2012/01/03/romney-is-richest-candidate-in-a-decade/

  120. Well Mrs. Rommey were waiting on a answer, You have had so much to say stand up and talk to the real woman that you say you know so well.

  121. Great letter and to the point. But, as I’ve learned, as I wrote on today’s MisfitWisdom blog, you can’t confuse issues with the facts.

  122. kingmidget

    Reblogged this on KingMidget's Ramblings and commented:
    Nothing more needs to be added to this…

  123. That’s what is missing from my life………….”my trust fund money”!! Oh wait, I don’t have a trust fund.

    Mr. Romney never once mentioned the companies he raped while at the helm, filling his pockets while running them out of business – contributing greatly to the unemployment rate. I wonder if he bought a horse for those folks so they could “heal” before the bank foreclosed on their homes………

    It is quite amusing how the “Haves” always try to relate to the “Have Nots” during election time. More manure than a chick house……and just as malodorous!!

    Aleister Nacht

  124. Emma Ramon

    You definitely knew how to say how the other 98% think, feel and live. Except you forgot those women that are uninsured and have a catastrophic illness with no way to pay for expensive medical care but make just enough to not qualify for welfare. God bless you.

  125. joe costello

    GOD bless you !!!!! bravo !!!!!;-}

  126. Kieran Kilday

    A very nice letter. I have a wonderful 30-year marriage to an elementary school principal. We live in Houston and have been able to have a good happy life. I am proud of being an American. I believe we are the best country in history. As a Vietnam vet I have had government assistance with my own college education and my children’s. In reading your letter, I felt compelled to plead with all American mothers of young men. Please never, ever vote Republican. Vote for the candidate who will respect borders. Vote for the candidate who is a seeker of peace. Vote for the candidate who will follow the rule of law. Avoid the ones who speak of our great flag as the strong guiding force for the whole world. This is a lie. Republicans are owned by the oil companies and have sold out. During the next 2 months you will be inundated with advertisements paid for by big oil who will use Romney to kill for oil. They will speak of increasing the military as a way of helping the economy. They will speak of keeping our country safe and how we are justified in attacking others for peace. This is a lie. Mark this warning, they will bring back the draft. They are coming for your sons. They will kill for oil and use your sons as fodder. We must respect humanity even if it means riding a bike or a bus.

    • Eileen Scoles

      Thank you, keep repeating these facts. Our government is being bought by powerful corporations and they are driving this bus! If war will profit them, wars we will have and Yes, the GOP is beholden to them!

  127. Christa Vine

    Wow!!!!! I couldn’t have said it any better if I tried. The Woman who wrote this letter NAILED IT!!! Thank you for speaking out and setting her straight. Clapping enthusiastically for you :)

  128. Sharon Hawk Pedersen

    Thank you so such for putting into words mt thoughts, I am the daughter, wife and mother of teachers and know how hard it is to make ends meet and live month to month. You are so right Mrs Romney knows nothing of what the middle and lower income have to do just to survive.

  129. Kelleynr

    I think the person who wrote this missed the point of her speech because I did not take away the same feeling as the person who wrote this. I felt when she spoke of women she was mentioning that our job is 24/7. There is no leaving our job at the door when we come home from work. The work is non-stop. I think she also forgets there was no nanny or housekeeper for Anne in the beginning. They were students. While she may not have had to work two jobs or may have never bounced a check I am sure she is well aware of what is going on in the world. How could she not as a member of the church.

  130. Janet

    Reading this letter and the comments which follow has made me very sad. We are so polarized as a country; I don’t see how this is going to change. I don’t think anyone here knows Ann Romney personally, yet the resentment and hate seems so personal. We may not agree with each other, we don’t have all the same life experiences but we are still all human beings with feelings and families whether one is rich or poor. What is rich and poor anyway? I don’t have a lot of money but I feel rich and secure because of the love of my family and friends. I think because of that I don’t hate or resent those who believe differently than I do. I do feel sad today though for the anger that fills so many.

  131. A. Guerra

    ‎1. I work very hard in my daily life to assume the best about people. My response: Aren’t as educators assume the best in our students?

    2. Allow me to introduce myself.I am a member of the middle class, but I haven’t always been. I have been teaching middle school since I graduated from college. My response: Congratulations! You bettered yourself.

    3. We continue to live paycheck to paycheck. That’s what two teachers with two kids do. My response: a lot of people do. And they don’t complain.

    4. All our limited disposable funds go towards riding and violin lessons, karate class, field trips, and school clothes for the kids. My response: Wow, You have disposable income? I though you lived paycheck to paycheck?

    ‎5. We have debt and student loans that impede our financial progress, both of which have accrued over the years as we have tried to live pretty average everyday lives. My response: everybody has bills, and you have to pay the money back. It was your choice.

    6. Disposable income for this middle class family is a joke. My response: maybe you should think before putting your kids in so many after school activities. Violin and riding classes are very expensive.

    7. Your life does not resemble mine in any way. My response: everybody’s life is different. Live your own life. The grass is always greener on the other side.

    ‎8. Have you ever been forced to calculate the cost of your groceries as you shop to be sure you’re not over-budget? My response: please take away an after school activity, or something. Do not blame a third party for your life choices.

    9. I have a job, as does my extremely supportive husband. We have two sets of grandparents a stone’s throw away who take care of our kids when they’re sick or they have days off of school so we don’t have to miss work. We have a roof over our heads, food to eat, and we have each other. My response: You are awesome! Can I come have dinner with you?

    10. If you want to make this claim, if you want to try to convince me that we are more similar than different, you’re going to have to spend a week or so walking in my $15 Payless clearance shoes. My response: I’ve gotten better deals at Marshalls, go check out their shoe rack!

    11. As your husband and his party try to control my body, my choices, my well-being, please remember that you and your party will never speak for me. My response: Great! Thank God for freedom of speech. I would be more concerned with how Obama is spending my money, than how someone is spending theirs.

    BTW – Since when are other people responsible for one’s choices. This woman claims to be an educator. I hope she begins her lessons with: Let’s see what You’ll be accomplishing today, and not: Let’s see how the government will help you pass Language Arts today.

  132. Karykay

    What a whiner. You chose your life & lifestyle. You are not suffering as best I can tell. This too shall pass why go on & on? You realize it was a woman, Hillary Clinton who said,”it takes a village to raise children.”. You actually have a village, so count your blessings and for cripes sake QUIT BELIEVIMG OBAMA CARES TWO SH!TS about you or your situation enough to help. He does not feel your pain, he only on tends to increase it!!

  133. carol caplan

    What a letter. To bad this lady couldn’t run for office. I think she speaks for a lot of us women. I’m 68 and been there , done that raising 4 children & for a good period of my life by myself with not one penny of child support. Yes , I also worked three jobs at one time. So I also agree wholehardley, Mrs Romney you don’t know anything about the middle class woman at all !!

  134. missjanenc

    What a bunch of whiners. If Romney was a tax cheat, criminal, etc. don’t you think the Obama team would have ferreted all that out by now? Ann Romney’s parents were immigrants who achieved the American dream. George Romney was not born rich but worked hard and became successful. When he died, Mitt gave away his everything he inherited and made his own fortune. My own dad did the same. I am currently unemployed and living on $500 a month. I don’t care how much money Romney has (funny how nobody begrudged John Kerry’s wealth) or how he spends it. And regardless of his personal beliefs it’s ludicrous and blatant fear-mongering that those terrible Republicans want women barefoot and pregnant. Four of six women governors are GOP, as are numerous women in Congress. And it is Congress who passes the laws. Oh, and by the way, Susan B. Anthony was a Republican…

  135. Charlie

    It sounds to me, from reading your blog that you are distressed about your own hardships and want to somehow accuse Mrs. Romney of somehow “not getting you”. She may not know what it’s like to have walked in your shoes but I think she was trying to be uplifting in her speech. Did it work? In a general sense I think it did. However you sound like the typical liberal minded person. Hate others for life being hard, blame the rich because they don’t deserve it. To be so bent ou of shape because of this speech speaks volumes to your frustration. Vote for Obama vote for Romney, I don’t think it will matter for you. Your own choices are exactly that, Yours.

    • Mrs. Romney was the one who claimed to speak for all women – it is fair then to rebut that assumption. Mrs. Romney has no idea what most of us live like, and it is fair to point that out.

  136. wayno

    Cathy walker-gilman…you are awesome!!!!!!

  137. LP

    Uhm… if you can afford “riding and violin lessons, karate class, field trips, and school clothes for the kids”, You most certainly don’t suffer from having “limited disposable funds”.

    I respect what you’re trying to say – but good god. If you can afford violin and riding lessons – then you should also have a savings. If your kids have to go outside and play street hockey to get some exercise instead of paying for expensive horse riding lessons… so be it. I’m sure they’d prefer you have emergency savings so you’re NOT living paycheck to paycheck.

  138. Johnny

    Those that are complaining about th amount of taxes theRomney’s are currently paying. Do you know what capital gaines taxes are,, and the reason why they are so much lower than income tax?

  139. Mr. Mom

    I also resented Ann Romney’s remarks as I am a male and in addition to working a full-time job and managing the household repairs and grocery shopping and laundry and cooking dinner and getting the kids to school on time and trying to make ends meet I raised my daughter and stepdaughter when their mom ‘checked out’ emotionally. Enough of the stereotypes, Ann Romney.

  140. JGolden

    It’s amazing to me how many people idolize and defend the Romneys, like they’re celebrities who’ve stepped off the set of a reality TV show about rich folks. I’m sure they’re lovely people, but qualified to lead the country? I don’t think so. Mitt Romney did not distinguish himself as a governor, he’s not a leader and he fails over and over again to relate a consistent, sensible plan forward. In fact, he and the Republican party appear to be determined to take us backward in time, based on a platform that is a virtual mirror of the one the party approved 32 years ago, not to mention all the despicable and open efforts at voter suppression.

    Ann Romney doesn’t speak for me, either, and I fully understand why so many women are offended by her statements. But she’s a symbol of a much larger problem. She is the iconic stay-at-home mom of the 1950s, which is exactly where the Republicans want us to be – except when it comes to tax rates on the wealthy.

  141. Janet

    At first this discussion discouraged me because Cathy’s letter sounded resentful and jealous. Many of the comments that followed seemed to project that same resentment and pride. I actually think many just begrudge someone who is more successful. It is too bad for them. But, then so many others I read today sounded like strong, independent women who know they can learn from successful people not resent them. So many of you know you can live a thankful life, work hard and live with the results of YOUR choices. We can all be successful at what we do. We don’t have to be rich to realize that fact. We know the best things in life aren’t “things” any way; they are the relationships we have and the inner peace of doing the right things. We could all learn much from each other. It’s hard to learn from someone if you resent them though. What a waste!

    Cathy wrote of Ann Romney:

    “You are not every woman. You are an incredibly privileged, elite, distorted version of American womanhood, and you have no idea how the other 99% live.

    As your husband and his party try to control my body, my choices, my well-being, please remember that you and your party will never speak for me.”

    I want to say to Cathy: Who do YOU think you are?? You don’t know Ann personally. These words are so hatefully judgmental. Cathy only sounds jealous and angry. Makes me wonder what is really going on inside her. In our country there are millions of women with very different life experiences but we are all human beings with feelings and needs and dreams. Cathy’s experience is one, mine is another. Ann has her challenges as well. As far as Cathy’s final sentence about the party of Ann’s husband, I don’t know, but, I would say: then go be who you are in the Democratic Party but know this, you are responsible for everything YOU do and say, and, one day you may wish you had learned how to be gracious and kind not wasted time being resentful of people you don’t even know.

  142. Cristy

    PREACH IT.PREACH IT.PREACH IT.

    THANK YOU.

    HIGH FIVE

    YOU ROCK.

    I wish YOU were running, YOU GET IT. Thanks so much for taking the time to do this!!!!!!

  143. Mary Kay

    The letter writer andost of you replying sound like a lit of very jealous, bitter people. And, no, I am not rich, I am retired and live on a fixed income. My children did not have the extras that even the letter writer says er kids have. And my children worked during college just like my husband did when we had two small children. They also are paying off school lians which they are paying back without colplsint. The trouble with most of you us that you think you need everything to be happy. Not true! Instead of being jealous you should look at what is really important, and be happy when others are successful. The world does NOT owe you anything, get over it and get on with your life!

    • Mary Kay, you sound like you haven’t actually read most of the comments here, or the original letter. The problem is not Mrs. Romney’s riches, or the Romneys’ shared financial success, but the presumption that her own quite pampered life reflects the life of middle class American women. It isn’t about jealousy of riches. It’s about keeping a person accountable for their own words, especially when they are used as a political tool.

  144. Danielle

    It really hit a nerve with me listening to the author complain about her so called hard life. She is trying to pass off to all of us that she has it hard? Her first job was $1300 a month,, and that was how long ago? I can’t get any work and my husband got work 2.5 years after he was laid off (the whole time, couldn’t get any work) and now he has a part time minimum wage job where we are lucky to make 600 to 800 dollars a month. Yet, she made that much AND has a husband who also works. Really? I’m sorry, but I have no sympathy for your hard life in any way. You complain about not having disposable income as a middle class person? ummm being able to give your kids riding lessons and violin lessons and so on is what disposable income is for!! Riding lessons?! REALLY?! We have to go to swap meets to get clothes for our kids and to food banks to feed mine and yet you go on about how poor your life is and how hard it is. Oh boo hoo. Trade places with me and others then bitch. ok? Both educators? What the two of you make together you should be doing fine! I sure wish I made what you did. Some people are just so not appreciative of what they have. here’s a hint.. unless your kids are going to be ranchers, how about you skip the riding lessons and violin lessons (that’s what band or music class in school is for.. or do you instead spend money on private school?) and use that money you save for something better.. or maybe go help someone way way less fortunate than yourself out so that they and their kids can one day get to a place in life where maybe they could afford that luxury of learning how to ride. That helping would be a far far better learning and ‘enrichment activity’ for your kids anyways.

    Yours Sincerely,
    A real couple who are trying to stay alive.

    • So your situation is even worse that the author’s. Sucks for you. How does this affect the content of her response to Romney? Should everyone who is marginally better off then you shut up because they are ‘doing fine’? Heck, you must be doing fine, what with having computer and internet access and all, why shouldn’t someone worse off than you tell you to shut up?
      My parents weren’t rich either, but they decided to send me to a private school even though (as I found out later) it placed them in great financial straits, because they thought it would be in my best interest. The relevant point here is that the Romneys have never had to choose between school and non-second-hand clothes, or the occasional trip to the amusement park, or violin lessons, and therein lies the difference.

      • Bear

        Oh, and Obama is any better? That guy never had to live hard ever in his life, came from a well to do family too and ended up in Harvard and is a millionaire. His kids alone go to private school for elites. Don’t give me some story that he supposedly knows what’s it like to be me or anyone in the middle to lower class. Oh, what, he once worked at Baskin-Robins and now hates ice cream because of it as he says? He worked a few normal, menial jobs so that he can at least later say he worked like the common man and woman? He can’t eat Ice Cream because of it.. yeah, that says a lot to me on what kind of man he is that when he worked a regular joe job that he can’t even eat a typical desert his constituents eat now. So, Romney’s parents were rich or earned their money and made sure their kids didn’t have to worry on it and made sure they had the best.. like yours did when they sent you to private school. So basically it’s fine for you to get that extra special help in life, but no them? Talk about a hypocrite.

      • Bear, the difference is that I’m not claiming to know what it’s like not having to go to school because I couldn’t afford it. That’s where one becomes disingenuous and where hypocrisy lies.
        Also, whether (either) Obama is guilty of the same issue doesn’t excuse Romney saying it.

  145. Dear Cathy Walker-Gilman,
    Sadly, your open letter to Ann Romney drips with dis-ingenuousness and envy from the first sentence, and it is clear that you had already formulated an opinion and had entrenched yourself in it before listening to Mrs. Romney’s speech. You make an assumption for which you have no evidence; namely that Ann and Mitt Romney have had everything handed to them. According to what Mrs. Romney said in her speech, this hasn’t been the case. According to Ann Romney, “We got married and moved into a basement apartment. We walked to class together, shared the housekeeping, and ate a lot of pasta and tuna fish. Our desk was a door propped up on sawhorses. Our dining room table was a fold-down ironing board in the kitchen. Those were very special days. Then our first son came along. All at once I’m 22 years old, with a baby and a husband who’s going to business school and law school at the same time…” Nowhere did Mrs. Romney say that other people have not also worked hard to pursue the American dream.
    Congratulations that you have obtained a master’s degree and lifted yourself out of poverty and into the middle class. Let me get out my violin and play a sad song that you have had to work hard and have had to hold down more than one job to do that. So what! So have a lot of people. And are you really saying that you and your husband have been unable to manage your affairs with a combined income (now) of more than 60, 000 to 80,000 a year? (It sounds to me like you need to participate in a Dave Ramsey personal finance class for getting and staying out of debt.) Could it be that secretly and deep down you are angry at yourself for picking a life path that does not pay you as much as you would like? It appears from your tone and endless whining that you are projecting your dissatisfaction onto someone who in reality you envy! Before you also accuse me of not knowing what it is like to be in your shoes, I must advise you that I too am a teacher.
    The question really is this? Do you begrudge Ann and Mitt Romney’s success? Do you begrudge the fact that they evidently have created (through thrift, hard work, and the wonders of compound interest) the monetary resources to finance additional support systems? Whose responsibility is that? Don’t you also have the ability to increase your wealth through thrift, hard work, and the wonders of compound interest? Please do not insult the great majority of us who do, and quit making sweeping generalizations that 99 % of the population are as ungrateful as you and are also as inept in planning for the future as you. If you don’t have the ability to fend for yourself in this land of opportunity and heretofore most prosperous nation on earth, whose fault is that? It is becoming increasingly apparent that you think you are a victim and that it is the government’s job to take care of you.
    Has it been established that Ann Romney had a nanny to help her care for her kids? I am not aware of it, and yet you assume that she had one. Are you that arrogant that you assume that Mitt and Ann have always lived the charmed life? It becomes clearer and clearer as one reads your letter that you believe someone else owes you a living and that you would gladly give up more of your freedom if only other people who have had greater financial success could have their incomes leveled to match yours. Evidently in your world view safety and equal poverty for all is preferable to liberty and risk taking. I will take it upon myself to remind you that the debt and student loans that have impeded your financial progress are something you subscribed to without anyone placing a gun to your head. As far as your children’s options for higher education, no one owes that to you either. With a bit of planning, you can over time save the money for them to go to school through the wonder of compounded interest. However, it does require planning and additional sacrifice on your part.
    I hear something different from you regarding (your words) a “woman’s lot” in life than what Ann Romney was actually saying. It is obvious that you have projected your stereotype of the little woman who brings her husband his slippers and a hot toddy when he gets home onto Ann Romney when she is not saying that at all. What I heard Ann Romney saying is that women are the nurturers and “… are the ones who always have to do a little more…” such as help the children with their homework, check on elderly parents, take children to the emergency room, etc.
    If you have bounced a check, it is not something to be proud of that links you somehow with a mistreated underclass that needs greater understanding. No, the truth is that whenever anyone does that, he or she is linking himself or herself to others who have broken the law and acted irresponsibly.
    That you are whining about having to calculate the cost of your groceries as you shop to be sure you’re not over-budget is laughable. Isn’t that the definition of being responsible and something you want to pass on to your children? Lots of people have also had to tell their children that they will have to wait until after payday before they can have new shoes that fit. So what! What amazes me about people like you is that because of the spirit of envy that has taken hold of you, you will gladly throw the entire nation under the bus to vote for sophists like Obama who will say anything to get elected as they gladly take the people of this nation down the path to serfdom through the type of unsustainable European Socialism that is currently ruining Greece.
    Your last comment that the Republicans want control over your body, choices and well being is laughable because the exact opposite is true. Republicans want you to take control of your own life rather than simply allow life to happen to you while expecting others to be responsible for you. Freedom works. Try it. However, you do have to be a risk taker. Liberty is not the path for collectivists who willingly give up their sovereignty to the nanny state.

    • Susan Mays

      William Jackson, thank you so much for finally eloquently saying what I haven’t been able to say. HURRAH for you for understanding a free country where I want to live, and not some socialist place where I’ve experienced before and never care to live again. They don’t understand. I despise whiny people; admire proud, hardworking people. I remember my parents, neither of them finished middle school, but raised a family of six children on a foreman of a city water plant’s salary. My father said, “Susie, you don’t get to choose if you are rich are poor, but you don’t have to live in shame.” We always worked hard and kept our place perfectly kempt. Mom kept a budget with cash and envelopes; it was simple but functional, and every bill was paid on time and we always had holidays. We didn’t whine and we were happy. Thank you for saying it so well. Life if full of choices, I made mine; married, moved every two years or more, including overseas, not speaking the language; uncomfortable, yes, but worth every minute of it, and it paid off. However, the rest of my family; not such risk takers. Stayed in MN, everyone of them, and mostly whine. How sad.

    • weforster

      Individual responsibility for our choices means that we should never resent some else’s success for making different choices; or even for getting different results by making the same choices. Some may do better, some may do worse. We’re all in this thing together, and dividing us as Americans does not remedy the situation. We don’t need a “Divider-in-Chief,” but a “Unifier-in-Chief.” We are not black or white, but black and white. We’re not rich or poor, but rick and poor. Robbing from the rich to help the poor is not sustainable; for soon the rich run out of money. Neither is it desirable nor honorable to do so. Everyone, everywhere there is social justice, is unhappy. There is no joy in being forced to give what you have earned. There is only happiness and satisfaction when you cheerfully give from your heart. (Obama 1%, Romney 16-26%) And God bless you, William Jackson, for explaining very plainly what the problem seems to be!

  146. I applaud you for writing this,, you are a much kinder more Patience woman than I am. I’m working class, was not born with a silver spoon like those people. They do not live in the real world and have no concept of what reality is all about. I remember in 1982 when I was a laid off single mom,, reagan said I didn’t exist. They have no concept of how hard life is for us. GodBless you

  147. A little exercise for Mrs. Romney—-I want you to close your eyes, please, and then I want you to imagine yourself as a middle class, middle income female in the US, who suddenly is diagnosed with MS and cancer. I want you to imagine you have a family who depends on you. I want you to imagine what so many females have to cope with every day—-No insurance- or if you do, they can cancel you or have limits on what they are going to pay , no extra money, and THEN try and tell us you know what our lives are like. You don’t have a clue. Don’t pretend you do.

  148. I felt I was in Mrs Romney’s speach and the beginning of this letter with my same cirmstances –married in college, 3 children before my degree with part time jobs and small help from our families. We did go on to work all of our life, put money towards our childrens education and social activities and made ends meet (barely) in a middle class life. I feel differently about Mrs Romney than Cathy Walker-Gilman does. She did speak for me, she sacrificed for her children and so did I without jealousy of others and I had only Joy to do what we did for our 5 children.

    So many of the comments and replys show envy, jealously and maliciousness to a lovely lady. Mrs. Romney did speak for me. Our circumstances are different now as our children are grown, successful and, our financial situation is very,good. I feel satisfied that I sacrificed for the children, stayed with my hubby for over 50 years and look back at those years of sacrifice as the best of my life.

    It does look like now we may have what we have scrimped, saved and worked for taken away from us by the government to support cronyism and graft and erronous unbudgeted spending. Most entitlement programs should be run from private trusts and charitable organizations not by a government like failed Europe. Also, when I die, I want my children to inherit anything I have, not give it to the government through tax to waste away. I feel that that is stealing. Notice how flippently government spends money like: a few million here and a few million there. What we could all do with a few million.! I might even get rich like Mrs. Romney. We all should be so fortunate. I also, am a breast cancer survivor and didn’t miss a working day through all of the intense surgery, chemo and sick days.for an entire year. I I used sick days for the surgery, & did chemo on Fridays Life is tough and we have to live it. Instead of Mrs ,Romny, we should be angry at the government. Mrs. Romney speaks for me!

  149. Suzette Hollingsworth

    I think the letter is a little unkind. It needed to be said but not belittling whatever suffering Ann has. The writer implies that having money trumps all other suffering; it does not. I have almost lost my house, my financial woes are enormous, and yet there is no amount of money which I would rather have in exchange for my husband. I think the letter is an eye-opener but it shouldn’t have been done presuming that we understand Mrs. Romney’s trials or her life (the exact thing we are accusing her of); we don’t. Also, to lash out at Mrs. Romney will only justify her in thinking that Democrats are crazy; we are better than that, we are known for our compassion, and it could have been a good opening for discussion and broadening Mrs. Romney’s mind and bridging the two parties. Living with a debilitating disease is horrible, and we don’t know the problems Ann has; maybe her husband is self-absorbed, maybe she struggles with depression, maybe she longs to have her own career, maybe she doesn’t have a single good friend who loves her for herself and isn’t seeking to climb the ladder, we don’t know. Living in that circle has it’s definite disadvantages. Every person matters, and every person’s suffering matters.

  150. Karen V

    I believe you have spoken the truth for many, many women. Your letter is a work of art and insight. Thank you so much! I hope this letter goes around the world. Kudos!

  151. WOW, seriously, some of you should really, and I mean REALLY do some research and turn off the lie media! Those of you who think you have information on the Romney people, have the wrong, or not all, if any FACTS! What is more funny is some of what is posted is 100% pertaining to the obama’s NOT the Romney people! Do you have any clue how rich the Obama’s are? Have any clue how many people they have screwed over? Start your research on his Senate seat, and keep going! Are you aware of how many years Romney worked for free? OR how many businesses he helped to become successful ? I can tell you the Obama’s have given our jobs, American jobs to people overseas, and our tax dollars! Are you aware both the Obama’s can no longer practice law? (license removed) Romney is a business man, he helps to build them, not destroy them, if you were willing to vote for some guy who can’t prove his past and only spent 146 days in the Senate, then you must give Mitt a chance, someone who can show how he has helped Americans and does not get a ego boost from division among Americans. As for the writer of the letter,…you think Mrs Obama can relate to you at all ? When was the last time you wore a $5,000 dress.

  152. Beth Teague

    Major Point: Educators just do not get paid enough. Period. That is the sad truth. Thank God for people who choose to go into education; talk about public service.

  153. pierrerod

    I am no Romney supporter but feel badly that so many of my fellow Americans are so jealous of success.

  154. Trying hard is not enough when you are inside the box of a system that is not going anywhere else. Education is highly important, so educators need to receive as what their significance suggests.

  155. tired

    He knows how to make money, and that’s what should matter to the people of this country… We need to financially put this country in much better shape and he’s got the experience of making lots of money, so let Romney work for this country and it’s people now or our children will face a much worse existance…

  156. Hope and Change...LOL!

    Anybody writes something like this about Michelle Obama and they are labeled a racist. Fact.

  157. Hope and Change...LOL!

    Anybody writes this about Michelle Obama and people cry racism. Romney busted his ass to get to where he is today. Instead of blasting him, you should all be hopeful someone like this, with any sort of business sense, will lead this country. Jealousy is not an attractive trait.

    • “Romney busted his ass to get to where he is today”
      Actually, he busted several other people’s asses into unemployment.

    • Jessica

      He busted his ass by buying out healthy companies. Firing all the employees. Bankrupting the company. Sending the company name overseas. Then employing cheap labor. Yep. I want a president that in his career life, screwed over happily employed Americans by firing them all, and sending their jobs overseas. There’s a great business model.

  158. Tpaulschulte

    You write a nice piece vilifying Ann Romney for her misfortune to have been born into a family with money and to have married a man who came from a wealthy family. The sad thing is that is you would be exactly the same if born into similar circumstances.
    Do you honestly think that Michelle Obama can relate with you better? Both the Obama’s and the Romney’s are millionaires. Does it really matter how many more millions one has than the other. I agree with a previous poster. Look at the issues and vote your conscience.
    I have been and am now where you are, but I think we see things very different. I am against entitlements. I personally know families that have been on welfare for generations. It is the family business, yet they manage to go to the nail salon or have big screen high def TV’s in their houses. How is this possible? The sad part is that both you and I could qualify for these same entitlements but we don’t do it. We find a way to make it. Our kids have clothes, they do sports and they realize that it isn’t stuff that makes one happy.
    So maybe you should cut Ann Romney a little slack. Is she in touch? Probably not. But, I think she cares. Just my two cents. I really want my children to have it better. That is my concern.

  159. Martin

    I found this quote from Mahatma Gandhi : “Honesty is incompatible with amassing a large fortune.” I guess there is some truth ….

    Shouldn’t the people that we elect be our representatives?! The word “representative” means a person that can represent us, you and me, an average American citizen. The fact is that 47% of our Politicians in Congress/Senate and the White House are Millionaires also they paying themselves “modest” average US salary of $174,000!! I know I am sarcastic but c’mon, this is just plain wrong! But it not even the money: Most politicians are lawyers, bankers; why don’t we have a statistical representation of other professions such engineers, farmers, workers, doctors, teachers, scientists…. in our congress ?! Honestly we don’t need politicians that are these selfish, egocentric, arrogant, over ambitious maniacs. We don’t need politicians that are disconnected from the average citizen’s lives/reality and claim to represent You and Me, the America People! We need real people in DC with heart and minds, who are willing to sacrifice their popularity, their own political career by making decisions that are unpopular to the influential, the powerful, the wealthy, the party etc. but are the best decision for our country, the United States of America and I emphasize the word UNITED!!! I don’t care if this politician is a Republican, a Democrat, an Independent, we need a Representative that wants to find solutions, brings us together and doesn’t divide us!

    ** Definition of ma·ni·ac
    1. An insane person.
    2. A person who has an excessive enthusiasm or desire for something
    3. A person who acts in a wildly irresponsible way.

  160. Lola Bonne

    *applause*

    The Romneys are completely clueless about what real Americans go through every day.

  161. Bravo!!! Such a well thought out and written letter. I was beginning to think I was the only woman who feels this way. My husband is in the military and I work part time so I can stay home most of the day with our daughter. We don’t have any stock shares to sell if the Navy shorts his paycheck, we go without something.

    She has no clue how (to paraphrase the right) “Real Americans” live. He also inherited a lot of his wealth so he didn’t even build most of what he has.

  162. Robin Bobowiec

    Perfect letter. This is how it is. My husband and I worked all our lives and still struggle to get by. My husband is retired and 70. Our daughter is 13. Yes as many working people we had our daughter late in life thinking we could give her more than we had. God we will have no house trying to send her to college. I am sure Mrs. Romney has no clue how most of us all stuggle in this world to get by.

  163. Brilliant! Thank you for taking the time to even bother communicating with that clueless woman.

  164. Barb Ziek

    Incredibly well written! Thank you.

  165. Krista

    Have you lived in her shoes? No! So you have no room to judge. You’re opinions are based off of “media” yes, they have money but they are still human beings!

  166. Lynn

    Spoiler alert (Negative Comment) I can’t believe someone would be so callous to write “she got sick after the poor years” as if that mattered. Romney worked his tail off to be a success….Ann stayed home with five kids when he was off working, traveling trying to get a business going. It used to be that people who were successful were admired, now people are so jealous they become bitter and petty. I grew up in a lower-middle class family with millionaire relatives. My dad worked until he was 72 and was never wealthy like them, but he got a salary from them for 45 years. It takes people taking risks to make this country great and provide jobs for those who don’t want to take risks. But don’t feel you deserve what they have just because you work hard. You chose your field of work. If you don’t like your compensation, do what my boss told me 16 years ago “If you don’t like what you’re being paid, go and find another job.”

  167. Wow, what an amazing response to Mrs. Romney. I’m not a big fan of either party and am a bit concerned with the Republican platform. I was skeptical when I heard through some media outlets that Mrs. Romney had hit a home run with her speech. So I decided to watch it on Youtube, or part of it anyway. I was taken aback when Mrs. Romney tried to “lump” herself in with knowing what the average American woman is going through. Does she know what it is like to be a single mother having to decide between food or diapers? Does she know what it is like to have a week left in the month and no money in the bank to take care of basic necessities? My thoughts would be she would answer no. Hearing stories about people you do not know, in places you have never visited, does not give you the right to say, “I know what you are going through”. Maybe if their dilemma was deciding which cocktail dress to wear as your nanny Maria watched the children, then you could attest to the fact that you know what they are going through. But do not give us this, “I am an average woman and understand what challenges you face”.

  168. Estelle Sutter

    Riding Lessons for her kids? Who does she think she is, Mrs. Romney?

  169. zundie

    I have cancer stage 4 which I will always have and will forever be dependent on chemo ( have been on chemo for 7 years and I am 45 years old). My husband makes too much for us to qualify for any assistance but it is a struggle to pay the 12,000 monthly payments for medical insurance with 50 dollar copays which are sometimes 2x a month. I feel guilt to pay those copays when my kids have needed shoes for months. Even having cancer is different when you are lower middle class. I wonder if Ann ever once had the thought that her medical needs were to expensive and maybe the kids would have a better life financially if I would stop taking treatment ( which would mean giving up my life) so they would be able to get a college education. If the Romneys would volunteer to put as much of their personal wealth toward the poor as they put up for their campaign. I would vote for them but I don’t believe they know how to make personal sacrifices which they are asking us to do. I had to give up a successful career as a nurse because of my condition and am no longer able to work. I think the Obamas would be able to relate to my needs more than the Romneys.

    • weforster

      Dear Zundie,
      I am so sorry for what you’re going through. My husband was in a similar situation when his chronic diabetes caused us financial hardship year after year for most of our 28 years together. We were financially in some very difficult places, so I can appreciate the way you feel. My husband felt the same way, but he fought a brave battle for the last 16 years of his life. Your children would rather have you, no matter the cost. That’ what I told him, also. It was true. I worked very long hours, sometimes 2 jobs, to meet expenses; and fortunately, after we reached our catastrophic limit, we didn’t have to pay any more for the rest of the year. We almost lost our home. I do understand, and will pray your battle for life. I do hope that some of this good legislation will remain, no matter who is President. Many times, politicians will say or do anything to be elected, so don’t put your faith in men, but in God, who is the only one who can be trusted not to lie. Let me just say one thing. A person who cares for others will always prove it by putting his money where his mouth is. Barack Obama gave 1% pf his wealth to charity, Biden less than that. Mitt Romney willingly gave 16-26% of his income to charity, depending on the year. That is a percentage of his gross income, before taxes or deductions. That should tell you who has the bigger heart for those less fortunate. Let that be your guide, and encourage you that there are people out there who really care.
      God Bless you-Eileen

  170. S. A. Bendall

    This was a thoughtful and incredibly true to life letter, and I heartily commend Cathy for writing it. I was offended by Mrs. Romney’s attitude that we women are not as interested in the issues as are the men. As someone who comes from the low part of the 99% who finally became a physician, I know a lot about student debt, material sacrifice to try to improve things for my children, about suffering serious medical issues that cut my career far too short (after getting a very late start in the first place. Mrs. Romney’s assertion that she knows something about low income by living in a “basement apartment” when her husband’s father was governor of Michigan just doesn’t wash with me when I lived in a one room place with a Murphy bed when I was a kid, and there was only one bathroom per floor and six apartments per floor! Plus it was in a rough area of town where I had to walk by drunks when I was just in elementary school. Still, this was a lot better than the situation of up to one third of the children in the U.S. now who live in poverty. Unfortunately, there is no real representation for the 99% in this country any more. Until we have elections limited to public money instead of private, it will be only the wealthy that can buy politicians.

  171. Golden Compass

    YES…..i do not know Cathy Walker-Gilman …….But from her letter i can simply guess she is a noble person…..it’s disgusting how people still think……all about money,fame,and other things we happen to see in everyday life ….this woman spoke for every woman she described “ill”……not just physically ill !! Let the world know ….with every ROMNEY’S TYPE PERSON WE SEE , THERE WILL ALWAYS BE A WALKER-GILMAN TYPE TO FIGHT BACK …

  172. MM

    @Becky,hang in there, I know what it is like to be minus $10 in your bank account and not do your physical bc you are $200 behind on your electric bill. Hang in there. I give credit to Mrs. Romney for raising her 5 children, nanny or not, it’s a lonely and often thankless job. It’s tough. Am sure she didn’t have to worry about money and that is what most of us worry about. I can’t sleep at times when I wonder how to get an extra $5 for a field trip, and I am a single mom with two degrees and yet can’t find a ft job bc they want you to have all these other skills or they offer only Part-time jobs with no benefits.

    I often say husband or no husband, as long as I have a source of income coming in and my health is relatively good, I am on top of the world. And my kids are healthy.

    But I also see a lot of middle class people, even two-income ppl who live beyond their means. They live in a bigger house than they need, or drive the latest SUV, or have credit card debt, or even small things as cable.

    I don’t have cable, drive a 12 yr old car, rent a small apt., and make like $10 an hour after my divorce. It’s not fun. Somehow I survive each month. I wish I only had a second person income. That would be living it. So ppl need to look inside and ask themselves what can I do without, U have to cut something out to make savings…good luck everyone! We need it.

  173. Laura

    To those of you who defend the Romney’s, you have the right to your opinion. I would love to see their tax returns for the years they were “flat broke”. I wonder if they had school loans to repay like most of the working class. I wonder what “flat broke” means to them – $30,000. $50,000, $100,000? Based upon their current financial situation and their backgrounds, it’s all relative – their idea of being broke could actually equate to an average middle-class wage. The wage that most of us raise our children on – the one that is shrinking day by day.

    I am a single mom who raised my son on my own after his father signed away his rights and walked away because he couldn’t muster $300/month for child support. My son is now 24 years old and a college graduate. He has over $30K in student loans and begins his adult life in almost as much debt as I have compiled over the years raising him on my own.

    I didn’t take government assistance, but I don’t belittle or begrudge those who do. I had a supportive family who helped to watch him while I worked two and three jobs to make ends meet. I put food on the table and picked which bills I could pay for the month. As a result, my credit history is spotty and I pay more for the money I borrow now. But, you do what you gotta do to make sure your child can eat, wear clean clothes, get to school, etc. When my son was in his junior year in high school, we moved in with my parents so I could help them (my aging father had been laid off) and it would help me (with the hundreds of dollars that normal high school activities cost when your children are upper classmen).

    I was brought up in an upper-middle class household. We didn’t really NEED much of anything. I worked from the time I was 15. I got good grades. I went to college (but didn’t finish because I had a child to raise on my own since his dad decided to walk out on us). I have triumphed and I have lamented in this life. In the end, this is the “lot” I was dealt based upon the decisions I made and based upon the household I was born into.

    Don’t underestimate wealthy backgrounds and influential family units. Please, don’t pretend that doesn’t make a difference in people’s outcomes. Some can overcome the obstacles and rise above and some struggle all their lives. We are all different, with different circumstances.

    Mrs. Romney will never speak for me. She and I live in two different worlds with two totally different realities. I highly doubt she had to go hungry so her child could eat. I doubt she wore clothing with holes that had to be patched to lengthen their life. I doubt she or her children had socks and shoes with holes in the bottom of them.

    And, I am luckier than most. I have worked hard so that I will be debt-free (sans car payment) in less than 6 months. It has only taken me 24 years to achieve this great feat … but I am there. Truth be told, I would sacrifice it all again for my son. I just wish he didn’t have to start his life with a debt load (which, I guarantee, the Romney children will never know). But, I know he, too, will work hard to overcome.

    We believe in the American Dream – did I mention my son was born on the 4th of July? We believe in loving our fellow countrymen – we believe in supporting our President (agree with him or not). We believe that women should have a choice on how they care for their bodies. We believe that trickle down economics makes the rich richer and the middle class poorer.

    • Sk8eycat

      Laura, you have more backbone than I ever did! When I was 19, I was 2,000 miles from home, pregnant (and single), and my lover said he couldn’t/wouldn’t marry me because he had a fiancee back in his home town in Cuba. This was years before The Pill and more years before Roe v. Wade. My employer located an MD who would do an illegal D&C for $300 (ALL my savings in 1959!), and I have absolutely no regrets. I was too stupid and messed up to raise a child to be a self-sufficient sane adult.

      Anyroad, I have read somewhere that the Romneys’ idea of “flat broke” meant that they had to cash in the portfolios that their parents had started for them when they were born…About $100,000 each, I think.

      Don’t forget, Mitten’s daddy was (is?) also wealthy, once governor of Michigan, and Pres. of American Motors (Nash and Nash Rambler) before that, and ran for president, but lost in the primaries. He’s almost a carbon copy of W Bush…without the ability to fake the folksy charm.

      The GOPhers have been calling the Democratic party the “tax & spend” party for decades, but all they do is spend & spend without ever figuring out (or caring) how they’re going to pay for anything. Probably because the party big-wigs are all people who have never had to worry about such “little” details. They just whip out their plastic, and their staff takes care of the monthly bills and bookkeeping.

      Once upon a time there were some honorable men in the Republican party, but I thiink Barry Goldwater was the last one.

      • Laura

        Hi Sk8eycat,

        It seems to me that you have great insight on the matter. People tend to forget that the reason the past decade was such a disaster is a result of trickle down economics, poor governmental decisions, etc.

        Furthermore, I am sickened by a party (which, by the way, I used to be a member of) that failed to support the progress of our great nation at the detriment of the American people just because they didn’t want someone to actually make progress.

        Stalled progress and a list of broken promises belong largely to the speaker of the house and the congress who stonewalled their President. There was a time that the actions of our “Speaker of the House” would have been considered treason. In my mind, they were, are, and always will be.

        I wasn’t a great fan of George W. Bush, but he was my President and I supported him because I support my nation. I want to see a better world for me, my child, and my grandchildren. I want to see a better world for all of the children I used to teach in Sunday School.

        I don’t want to see a world where Women’s rights are reversed. First abortion, then what? Prohibition? How did that work for us in the past? I guess people are quick to forget because they only want a simple fix. They are upset because an economy that was so broken wasn’t repaired in four short years. I wonder if anyone has taken a simple economics class? But, I digress.

        We all have different opinions, that is what makes our great nation GREAT. I fear that the Republican Party has shifted so much since the inception of the party (and quite frankly, with the advent of the Tea Party) that we should all be very concerned of their “POWER” because that is what they have wielded for four years and that is what they continue to wield.

        If I didn’t think it was such a Godforsaken job, I would run for office just to push for things like (1) the expectation that our Senators and Congressmen are present for at least 90% of the votes. If they aren’t, they shouldn’t be eligible to fun for re-election. (2) the politicians should be eligible to the same healthcare as the rest of the nation – with ONE exception – and that is the President of the US, WHILE IN OFFICE. (3) Pensions for politicians should be re-examined. It is been a long time since Grant was unable to bury himself. The necessity for these pensions existed in a time when ex-Presidents families couldn’t even afford to give them a proper burial. There was a NEED then that no longer exists. Ex-Presidents now make millions on speaking engagements alone. They don’t need the large sums of money that have appropriated for themselves on the backs of the American worker. (4) Congressmen and Senators should be required to have 20 years of cummulative service before they are eligible to receive a pension (that should be far LESS than what it currently is). Six figure pensions need to be taken OFF the table for these people. (5) Cut the FAT. We don’t need as many representatives as we currently have. They can’t seem to get the job done, so whey do we need them? I fail to see it. In other words, break up the damned BOYS CLUB.

        Furthermore, I think all politicians and political pundits should have to pay into a “LIE JAR” – yes, boys and girls, I believe they all should be fined for telling lies. And, I think the fines should be used to pay down our debt. Maybe then there will be some honesty in our political forums again. I include in this group the television reporters and Rush Limbaugh types who make stuff up from thin air just to sell to their lemmings who don’t know any better.

        Okay, I am off my high horse. I pray everyone gets out to have their voice heard – oh, wait, what about the people who are going to be prevented from having their votes counted because the Republican party has voted to (1) require a birth certificate and (2) the entity that provides that birth certificate in PA is run by a republican who is stalling issuance of these documents to people. Shame on them. That is anything BUT American!
        :)

  174. shari hamann

    Ann R just could have no idea of the life of any woman who is not “of her class.”

  175. I hope Mrs. Romney got an actual copy of this letter. Get a clue huh? I would rather give Obama another 4 years than vote for the change we will get if Romney is elected. The constant bi-polar government has to stop somewhere.

    • sk8eycat

      The “change” that Romney and his financial supporters are pushing for is a RETURN to the “good old days” of de facto Prez Cheney when banks were allowed to run wild with other people’s money. In other words, back to the same old, same old where the middle class ends up paying for everything. And losing their homes, 401K savinigs, pensions, their minds, etc. (I lost a friend on June 20th who was in that situation. She was a wonderful, intelligent writer, but she was wiped out financially, and finally took an overdose.)

      You mentioned “bi-polar.” Heh! This quote has been credited to everyone from Ben Franklin to Alcoholics Anonymous to Albert Einstein; whoever said it first… was/is 100% correct.

      “Insanity is repeating the same thing (or the same mistakes) over and over, and expecting a different result.”

  176. ” I take issue with her assumption that to understand, empathize with, or be able to help “average” Americans, one must actually BE average or below average income earners to even apply for the job, so to speak. That wealth automatically disqualifies one from understanding. I.e. one has to actually BE a drug addict to know what they go through, empathize with their plight, or know how to really help them. If this were true, then we would have no effective rehab facilities. Drug addicts after all, cannot help themselves out of the destructive cycle; someone has to give them a hand up. Now don’t go taking my example to the extreme. Obviously the average working American is not a drug addict in need of rehab….”

    For the rest of my blog post inspired by this rant, enjoy:
    http://tesorensensa.wordpress.com/2012/09/12/whose-reality-is-realer-a-bloggers-look-at-mormons-and-naivete/

    I whould also say that people don’t buy a support system with financial means. They access a support system for themselves by investing in supporting others. The Romney’s primary support system is almost assuredly found within their family and church. A whole community that they have devoted themselves to from day one together.

    • Laura

      I think to properly govern a country, one must empathize with ALL of their constituents. The Romneys are clear that some people in America are not entitled to the American dream.

      Furthermore, good for the Romneys that they are wealthy. But, dont pretend be what you aren’t. In a recent interview, Mrs. Romney said she may not know what it is like to struggle financially, but she does have empathy for others.

      So,wait? Which comment is rooted in reality? And how am I supposedtobelieve her?

      • Laura you seem to buy into the idea that to empathize, she must have, at some point in her life, BEEN poor to be credible. I have never gone without, and I’ve never been excessively wealthy. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t empathize with poor people, and feel their pain. Any more than a mother has to be the one who broke her arm on the swingset to empathize with her son in that circumstance.

        As a missionary in the Amazon, I lived in poverty-level conditions during a sixteen-month period. I had enough to eat, and had seven outfits that I wore over and over. The six outfits I left with a neighbor upon leaving were gladly received, like I’d given her a bridal dowry. I walked among and taught Brazilians every day who were in devastating poverty by no fault of their own. I understand what it’s like. I loved these people dearly. We bear each other’s burdens, it’s what family and friends do. I don’t imagine Mrs. Romney to be pretending that she is something different than she represents. What evidence do you have that she cannot or does not understand? You would have to know her personally to substantiate your assumptions. The original author makes many more assumptions about her that I won’t even start on.

      • Concerning your first point, I will agree to disagree with you on your statement that they are clear that the American Dream isn’t accessible to all. I think they’d strongly oppose your assertion. I would need hard data which backs up your statement.

  177. Sandi

    YOU are my new HERO !!! THAT was BRILLIANT!

  178. Sue

    I think you should run for Public Office…YOU spoke very well for the women voters and majority…God Bless you in all you do my friend!!

  179. It is interesting that so many people that have never been wealthy are appalled that a wealthy woman thinks she can understand what they think and feel, yet they are able to talk with absolute certainty about her thoughts and feelings. Just saying………..

    • People can comment on the content of Mrs. Romney’s words and the connections of those words to reality. If these words don’t reflect her thoughts and feelings, that is not anyone else’s problem.

      • The problem with your statement is that you make a faulty assumption that the person commenting on [the content of Mrs. Romney's words] actually knows her well enough to discern IF they connect to reality, and/or IF they reflect her actual thoughts and feelings. The idea that a person completely unacquainted with the woman could possess any knowledge of that nature is ludicrous. Melinda is perfectly accurate in her observation of that reality.

    • What is the level of knowledge necessary to comment on these issues, by your opinion?
      I do not need intimate knowledge of the Romneys’ personal life to understand that getting through college by selling stock, with a wealthy family behind you if a tragedy happened to strike is not the same as living from paycheck to paycheck without any sort of safety net.
      I can even be charitable and say that Mrs. Romney sincerely believed she was ‘roughing’ it, which only shows how big the divide is between the Romneys and the middle class families she claims to understand.

      • Arlene Stromberger

        Ann Romney didn’t always have it so “easy”. And if you listen to Dave Ramsey at all, you would know that you didn’t have to take out thousands in student loans to get throguh college. What is the value of the house in which you live? Because two teachers with two children should be able to do quite well, thank you. You are certainly not ‘every woman’ either. Ann Romney simply stated that she undersood that we all have struggles. Would you trade any of your life for multiple sclerosis or breast cancer? I think not.

      • What does Dave Ramsey, whoever he is, have to do with this situation?
        I’m not every woman, this is true. And if I ever claimed to be so, or to know what all women go through, you could call me out too. But I haven’t done so. Romney did.

  180. Susan Mays

    You people never quit. He lost; she is not the first lady. You won, and you still want to bitch. It wasn’t about winning after all; you just want to criticize no matter what. What a sad world we live in.
    lishareading

    • Susan,
      If you check the date above, you’ll see that this was written and posted in August. It was a response to Ann’s speech at the Republican convention. I am not going to delete it simply because Obama won, that’s not how my (or any other) blog works.

      • I think you’ll find Susan knows this, as she was posting in September (do a search on her name on the page)
        I suspect that Susan got, as I did, a notification when that spammer posted earlier today, and without thinking, concluded there was bitching going on, and came to express her displeasure and confirm her preconceptions about Obama supporters.

      • Susan Mays

        My apologies. I thought the post was made today. I am truly sorry. I should have looked before I leaped; just really want the mudslinging to stop; I am so tired of all the negativity.

        • Dan Brayall

          Seems like the mudslinging and negativity was coming from you just now. I think that means you have a good chance to stop it.

    • @Cafeeine – There are lots of Susans in the world, so I have no reason to believe this is the same one who commented above. My blog doesn’t require original names to comment.
      @Susan – I totally understand. We all want the negativity to stop. I’m working on my post election, “How do we work together” post. I think you’ll like it. (And if I’m wrong, you’re always welcome to comment and call me out. Love my first amendment rights – and yours.)
      @Dan – don’t fuel the fire. Seriously, can’t we just play nice in the sandbox and at least try to use our manners.

      • Dan Brayall

        It wasn’t my intention to fuel the fire. Just to point something out, that the person saying they were tired of mudslinging and negativety was doing both. Wasn’t it Ghandi who said, “Be the change you want to see in the world” Why should we critisize others for the things we are guilty of ourselves. The best way to change the tone of dialogue is to monitor your own, right?
        I don’t feel it’s bad manners to point that out.

      • @Dan – I stand corrected. Despite big wins, I’m still a little on edge. Not sure it has quite sunken in yet. My apologies.

      • Susan Mays

        cafeeine, I am sure it was me who posted in September, but I can’t find what it is I posted so I can even defend what I said. Could you please repeat it hear for me to read so that I can see where my hypocritical self if lurking in the shadows coming down on all of you?

  181. Many Susans? Sure. Many ‘Susan Mays’? Probably. A different ‘Susan Mays’ that shares a similar opinion than the other one and shows up on the same old thread just after that spammer likely revived it in the old Susan Mays’ inbox as it did in mine?

    A coincidence is possible, but absent a clarification from Susan herself*, I think my scenario is a lot more plausible. Not that it matters, beyond my personal curiosity.

    * a clarification which she absolutely ISN’T required to give, as this is tangential to her original comment.

    • No need Susan, you can do a ‘find in page’ search for your full name to find your earlier words if you want to. I can accept that one doesn’t remember every place they visit online and your apology above absolves you of any charges of hypocrisy. My last comment was more a testament to me being a know-it-all than me trying to further pin ulterior motives on your comment, apologies if it seemed different.
      There is no point to drag this on, have a good night.

      • Susan Mays

        Then I will forgo the effort of doing so, but promise to be more careful in the future as there is nothing I hate more than a hypocrite. So you are free to point it out any time I slip and let it happen.
        Thank you, and good night to you as well. And I hope the next four years are successful.

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