Most Important Qualification for President: Empathy – Obama Has It, Romney Doesn’t

In her speech at the Democraic Convention, First Lady Michelle Obama pointed up the stark difference
between her husband and his challenger quite well with the following statement:

"Barack knows the American Dream because he's lived it,
and he wants everyone in this country to have that same opportunity, no matter
who we are, or where we're from, or what we look like, or who we love."

Ultimately, the main difference between Obama and Romney is
that President Obama lived the dream that most of us imagine and aspire to, while Romney has
lived a different dream, and can't seem to relate to what anyone else has gone through. r

That's not to discount Romney's version of the American
dream. There is nothing wrong with being born rich and privileged.  But that rich person has to understand that a decision to run for public office is a decision to become a
servant of the people. That equires you to make a concerted effort to learn and understand how the rest of us live. 

I'm not saying Romney's an ogre who hates people. I'm saying that he simply show no sign that he understands how the other 99% of us lives. That doesn't make him a bad person, it just disqualifies him from the presidency. Or should.

Barack Obama doesn't have that problem. He was born to a single mother and watched his family and friends work hard just to make ends meet. The life of a young Barack Obama is the life of the average American. He understands the plight of people who struggle with day-to-day life, just trying to make ends meet and to get to he next rung of the ladder. When I hear Ann Romney wax nostalgc for her and Willard's hardscrabble life of eating tuna, it smacks of desperation. It's alright to be lucky, and not have to struggle; that's why George Romney worked his way up; so that his kids could be whatever they wanted. But Willard thinks the only way to convince people that he understands their plight is to try to convince them he's one of them. He tries too hard to act like a "regular guy" and he comes off as stiff and not genuine. 

Here's the deal, Willard; just as I don't have to have cancer to empathize with people who have it, you don't have to be working class to understand what the working class deals with on a daily basis. You can be rich and still understand what it's like to be a 99% American. But you actually have to spend time with us great unwashed, and learn what matters to us. 

Look; the purpose of government is to provide the services we need to make life just a little bit better. I know, right wingers will attack me for being in favor of the "nanny state," but I don't care. The purpose of government is to build the roads and schools and facilities that we all need and use daily, to keep us as safe as is practical, and to provide us with a safety net when things get difficult, which happens once in a while. As outlined by the Constitution,  government exists to provide for the "general welfare" of the entire country. Now, if a president is going to execute the laws and make policy decisions designed to improve the "general welfare" of the nation, shouldn't he at least understand what that entails?

That's where Willard Romney falls short. He demonstrates no understanding or caring or compassion for what the average American goes through on a daily basis. And it's not because he's rich. The Kennedy family is rich, but those Kennedys who have chosen a political career path have gone out of their way to find out what matters to us, and to understand what they can do for us. Romney apparently decided to become a politician one day, and simply expects us to vote for him because he looks good and he's made a lot of money in business. His entire "plan" seems to consist of reducing his own taxes. 

This is a major difference between the two candidates, and shouldn't be taken lightly at all. How can we expect the President of the United States to do what is necessary to keep the country moving, when he keeps himself isolated from the mainstream, and has no idea what it needs. 

The last president we had who was like that? George W. Bush. And we all saw how that turned out. 

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