Waking Up The Sleeping Giant: An Open Letter To Mitt Romney
Posted on November 8, 2012
I suspect you’re still smarting from your loss to President Obama, so when you’ve had a little time with your family and are feeling up to it, come back to this letter. If you’re ready now, then I’d like to share something important with you. I want you to know why I didn’t vote for you. Don’t worry, I promise I won’t be snide or disrespectful and I won’t take any cheap shots. FOX news is already doing that on your behalf and I’m not fond of the idea of sinking to their level.
My friends will be the first to tell you that this was a one-issue election for me. I’ve said so myself, but when I sat back to think about it, it was perhaps three issues.
The first question I asked myself over and over during this ordeal–and it has been an ordeal–is who is Mitt Romney? Is he someone who ran an honorable campaign and corrected factual errors when they occurred? Did he correct or remove the first ad about Obama saying “if we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose”? No, nor did you with other ads that were shown to be false. When you say in a television interview “I’m in favor of abortion being legal in the case of rape and incest and the health and life of the mother,” can we take you at your word? No. Because your campaign released a statement after that saying you misspoke and don’t support an exception to protect the health of the pregnant woman. This happened more than once.
What do these few examples tell me as a voter? They tell me you can’t keep the issues straight in your own mind and it doesn’t bother you in the least if you get something wrong. In fact, when asked about some of the factual errors released by you and your campaign, the answer was “We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers.” This now tells me you not only don’t want to correct any mistakes made along the way, but you’re going to make them on purpose in the hopes that if you say them enough, people will start to believe them because you’re not going to retract them.
These are not the actions of an honorable man. Do I need to even get into the controversy about Bain or the fact you refuse to disclose more tax records than you did? You were asking me to take a leap of faith and trust you with running our nation. That’s a pretty big deal. But you weren’t willing to offer some transparency on your end? I’m an author, Mitt. I write characters and get into their heads to understand their motivations. It doesn’t take much to realize that it appears you were hiding something you desperately didn’t want the public to find out about.
So, I ask again, who is Mitt Romney? I didn’t know then and I don’t know now.
The second issue had to do with you and your party keeping your hands off of women’s reproductive organs, no pun intended. Legitimate rape? Illegitimate rape? Forcible rape? Unforcible rape? The last people who should be making policy about a woman’s body are male politicians. I respect women. I respect a woman’s right to choose. And if I hadn’t had my third issue (which is the primary reason I didn’t vote for you), I would have joined them in voting against you and your party for this alone.
But I do have a third issue.
I may not know who you are, but I do know your outlook on women’s rights and I know your outlook on LGBT rights. Yes, I’m gay. I don’t apologize for it. I don’t feel bad about it. I don’t believe I’m going to hell for it. And while you’ve been making the community of which I’m a part of feel like outsiders and second class citizens, I and many others–some from around the world–have been trying to help counter the damage you’re doing. You see, family values are important, but they don’t exclude us. We have families. We have loved ones. Some of us have children. Some of us are starting with canines and felines before working our way up to children. We have the same needs as anybody else and we’re supposed to be allowed the opportunity to pursue the same things as everybody else.
Mitt, I did something this past February that was impossible when I started dating my partner 17 1/2 years ago; I married him. I have a husband. Do you honestly believe that I would vote for somebody willing to take this away from me and take the opportunity away from the younger generations of GLBT men and women? Do you think I would vote for someone willing to leave it up to states to decide if we should have the ‘privilege’ of visiting our spouses or would-be spouses if they’re in the hospital? Do you think so little of us when it’s obvious you don’t even know us?
So no, sir. I didn’t vote for you. You lost my vote. Or rather, you didn’t earn my vote. As the leader of this country, you must be ready to lead all of us who reside here and treat us equally. If you can’t or are unwilling to, then you don’t deserve the position or the title.
It would be something if our candidates from both parties could one day learn to run civil campaigns. It would be something if you did some reflecting on how your campaign was run and strived for something better. It would be something if you tried to get to know some of the minorities you were so quick to want to dismiss the rights of. It would be something if you were remembered as someone other than the guy who ran against Obama and lost because he couldn’t tell the truth, tried to let his party take away women’s rights, and tried to cement second class citizenship for GLBT people.
Kristoffer Gair (who formerly wrote under the pseudonym Kage Alan) is the Detroit-based author of Honor Unbound, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To My Sexual Orientation, Andy Stevenson Vs. The Lord Of The Loins, Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell, several short stories featured in anthologies (to be combined in a forthcoming book), the recently re-published novella Falling Awake, its sequel, Falling Awake II: Revenant and Falling Awake III: Requiem.
15 Responses to “Waking Up The Sleeping Giant: An Open Letter To Mitt Romney”
November 8, 2012 at 10:20 am
Good points, thoughtfully made. But you can’t teach a walrus to dance.
November 8, 2012 at 3:56 pm
We can try.
November 8, 2012 at 10:53 am
November 8, 2012 at 3:56 pm
Thank you, Jeff. I actually felt better writing it.
Rick R. Reed says:
November 8, 2012 at 12:32 pm
November 8, 2012 at 3:57 pm
Thank you, Rick. I’m not fond of writing anything like this out of emotion because I’m never quite convinced I can do it without interjecting snarkiness or sarcasm, but I wanted it out of my system.
Kiernan Kelly says:
November 8, 2012 at 5:06 pm
Beautifully said, Kris. If it wasn’t so long, I’d want to see it on a t-shirt. Then again, it would give people a reason to stare at your chest for a while. Oh, and put a dancing walrus on the back. That would be cool.
Still, in all seriousness, I agree wholeheartedly. It was actually frightening to wonder what it would’ve been like to live in this country had he won.
November 8, 2012 at 5:33 pm
The sad thing is we can’t really rest. We have to keep making momentum forward in case we aren’t so lucky again in 4 years.
November 8, 2012 at 8:03 pm
I already respected you, Kris. But now…so much more. You have heart and it shines here. My father used to say that if you disagree with someone, the best way to ‘argue’ your case is with a calm tone and rational words – yelling and cussing never got anything from anyone. You’ve succeeded in arguing your case and hopefully Mitt will read this and listen.
November 9, 2012 at 10:32 am
Thank you, Haven. Believe me when I say that I’d have preferred to be far more colorful and biting than I was. I really wanted to unleash the beast who writes my books, only while that would be amusing to myself and perhaps a few others, it would never accomplish what I needed it to. Another time, perhaps.
November 8, 2012 at 8:48 pm
You are truly a great writer! That was to the point and not a single snark! Perfect! 🙂
November 9, 2012 at 10:34 am
Pretty unusual for me, huh? lol And you’ve seen me pretty snarky.
Katherine T. says:
November 9, 2012 at 7:13 am
Kudos, Kris! Too bad he won’t even consider the valid points you’ve made. One can still hope, though.
November 9, 2012 at 10:35 am
You know what? I’d love it if people actually took the time out and wrote their own letters to a candidate and telling him/her why they didn’t earn a vote. It might start to make a difference.
Lloyd Songal says:
March 10, 2013 at 4:12 pm
I voted for Obama first and second time around and very glad and proud of him and his wife. They have done more than anyone could or would have; if only just by enumerating the inequities in our society. He can’t fix everything but at least he has gotten most of the problem area on the table. Now it will be someone else’s job to pick up the ball. We as a people just can not let them forget and must keep hammering them to address these inequities.