Monday, September 24, 2012

Who are the 47%?

47%, this number has been floating around for the past few weeks since the controversial footage of Mitt Romney at a fundraiser surfaced.  The social media explosion surrounding this number has been extensive, my facebook and twitter pages have been filled with responses ranging from eloquent thought out reactions and articles from reputable sources to Mitt Romney memes.  Simultaneously, the video is getting national media attention beyond the social media sphere.

The point, as far as I can understand it, of Romney’s speech was that his campaign is focused on the independent voters still trying to make up their minds.  However, the focus on “the 47%” who are dependent on the government, don't pay income tax and believe they are entitled to services overpowers this message. 

As a voter and working American his characterization of “the 47%” bothers me.  Currently I am a full time student who works two jobs.  When I graduate from Maxwell in June I will have a pile of student loans and I will not have made enough this year to pay the federal income tax, but this does not mean that I automatically side with Obama, nor does it mean that I am dependent on government programs.  The characterization of “the 47%” as victims also struck me, despite my inability to pay income tax I do not consider myself a victim, rather a rational individual who has made choices that I believe will pay off in the long run while costing me right now.  He makes assumptions in his video, and in my opinion unfairly characterizes “the 47%” without looking at the different groups of individuals who make up this large category.  Maxwell Professor Len Burman published an interesting article that speaks to this point called "In Mitt's World My Limo Driver is Not Trying Hard Enough"

My questions for all of you: What message do you think Romney was trying to get across?  How did you react to the video?  What reactions did you observe on social media?

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