GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney has been forced to back up comments he made regarding 47 percent of the population who will vote for President Obama no matter what. During a private fundraiser, secretly video-taped of course,
Romney describes the 47 percent as people who believe they are victims and that the government has a responsibility to care for them. Furthermore, Romney mentions later in that same fundraiser that more people would vote for him if his parents were of Mexican descent.
This string of comments struck a controversial chord with some voters who feel the comments were degrading and made the 47 percent seem like lazy, dependent people. Not to mention the number of Latinos Romney offended with his off kiltered remarks on how to guarantee him the win, if only he was Latino.
Part of the reason these comments have received so much negativity is how they were delivered; behind closed doors. Now the mask comes off and we see what Romney really thinks of almost half of American voters.
Are Romney’s comments really all that surprising though? He is a politician after all. His comments are just a few of a long list of closed door political statements made by many, many political candidates in history, including President Barack Obama himself.
In 2008, while speaking to donors in San Francisco, Obama mentioned that it wasn’t surprising that small town people “cling to guns and religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them.” The media exploded with coverage and the controversy still lingers in some minds today.
Is it really all that surprising that a politician let his mouth run away with him when he thought no one was listening? That’s how the game is played in Washington. In order to get votes, politicians succumb to the beliefs and opinions of the audience. Of course they are going to watch what they say in front of 3 million television viewers. Those speeches are carefully formulated hours before to coax the opinion of the audience. In front of a small group of close friends however, things change. Guards are let down, costumes taken off and the man behind the curtain stays behind the curtain; until someone leaks a secret video tape.
There are two sides to every fence and it is society’s job to pay attention to both sides, especially in politics. Instead of being shocked at the contradictory and hypocritical actions of one politician, what all politicians say must be taken with a grain of salt. Not everything they promise will come to pass and, truth be told, the truth is not always told. That is the unfortunate truth of politics.