Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Ann Romney Is No Eleanor Roosevelt

By now we have all heard A LOT of discussion about what Hillary Rosen said about Ann Romney's qualifications to give advice on the issues that face working women in America. While Rosen could have phrased her critique better, she was absolutely on point. A better, more politically conscious headline from Rosen might have said something like this:

Ann Romney Is No Eleanor Roosevelt

While Ann Romney deserves the utmost respect for having stayed at home and reared her children, there have actually been women of Ann Romney's class and station who not only could speak to the conditions and concerns of the impoverished in America, but who made it their business to set into action reforms that would better the lives of the poor and the disadvantaged. These were the social pioneers of the late 19th and early 20th Century who brought into being the field of social work, who pressed the government into action over housing, sanitation, equality in access to education, and other social causes that stood to advance all of humanity. One such woman did occupy the White House and that was none other than Eleanor Roosevelt. Unlike Ann Romney, Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, before she became first lady or entered public life, risked life and limb and took the subway every day from her upper-class home into the slums of New York City in order to educate and immerse herself into the daily lives of the people she sought to help. She stood as their advocate and put her body against the wheel of time and justice to see that the people received their just due. Did Ann Romney ever go to India to witness the immense poverty and suffering of that country first hand? No. But Eleanor Roosevelt did. She also single-handedly oversaw the creation of the singular document that has ensured the human rights and the proper valuation of human life around the globe--the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights that serves to this day to guide the world as how each and every member of humanity is supposed to be treated in any given place on the planet. We have a lot to be thankful to Eleanor Roosevelt for. What, praytell, has Ann Romney done on behalf of humanity and the greater cause of justice?


Anonymous said...

Couldn't this same thing be written about First Lady Obama? While she did spend four years working for a non-profit she hardly spent her life "immersing herself in the daily lives of those she sought to help." I do agree that Mrs Roosevelt's actions were noble, although we might differ on the level of her heroism, to use her in an attack on Mrs. Romney's character is a stretch.

Brandon said...

Mrs. Obama is from the Southside of Chicago, same as I am. She knows what poverty looks like.