Healthy, Wealthy and Out of Touch: A Letter to Ann Romney

by: Mar Curran

Dear Mrs. Romney,

Recently, you have been quoted out of context as saying you don’t consider yourself wealthy. Naturally, media pundits and liberals across America were aghast. I myself wondered why you would say such a thing when your husband has already made it very clear he is a bit foolish when commenting on his own extravagant wealth. Why add fuel to the fire of out-of-context quotes that keep getting GOP candidates into trouble?

Reading your full quote paints a different picture.

“Those that are suffering from M.S. or cancer or any disease I feel like I want to throw my arms open and say, welcome to my family and welcome to the place where I’ve been and, so, you know, we can be poor in spirit and I don’t look — I don’t even consider myself wealthy, which is an interesting thing. It can be here today and gone tomorrow, and how I measure riches is by the friends I have and the loved ones I have and the people I care about in my life and that is where my values are and those are my riches so for me having done through a difficult period in my life both with M.S. and with breast cancer it has done something to my heart and it’s softened my heart and made me realize there are many people suffering in this country and they are suffering from things that aren’t financial — and some people are suffering from things that are financial, as well — but those that are suffering, for me, I just have a larger capacity for love, and for understanding.”

Classic Christian “poor in spirit” message! You love the ill, Mrs. Romney! You want to give them a hug! What a great message.

Ann, if I may call you Ann, your real message, of health and love and family being more important than material things, is great. Heartwarming like a freshly baked American pie. There are just a few problems with it.

It’s easy for you, the wife of the GOP’s equivalent of Mr. Rogers’ rich brother who hates women and gays, to say material things like money don’t matter. To families who can’t afford to pay their mortgage to cover their child’s chemo treatment, they matter. When you can’t provide a home for your three kids and ailing parents because you’ve been unemployed for two years, they matter. When you have to struggle day to day to feed yourself and your loved ones while worrying about where you will be sleeping, they matter. When you’ve been homeless for a year because you left your abusive partner and shelters are full, they matter.

You acknowledge that people are suffering from financial woes in this country, but your capacity for love is “greater” for health problems. As someone with health problems himself — which have left me with some huge debts that are minute compared to those of other people in my family, let alone people with health far worse than ours — I can tell you those are intertwined.

I value my loving relationships more than anything. I also may not be able to buy a home for my children or cosign their college loans for them, because I will be paying off medical debt. Do you think it will help my relationships with my kids if their dad has to tell them his health care coverage from his early 20s was lacking so he has to work 6 days a week and miss Little League games to pay it off? How do you think my partner will feel if I have serious medical complications for the rest of my life because I can’t afford financially to take care of them now?

Ann, I would love to be in a world where all I have to worry about is loving my chosen family and bio siblings and cats. And not have to live on a cult farm to do so (I just watched Martha Marcy May Marlene last night, sorry). If this is really a value of yours, too, I hope you will keep that in consideration when your husband speaks about economics, job creation, tax cuts, health care — actually, anything to do with public policy. Because some of us would like the luxury of not worrying about our health, too.


Mar Curran

Mar Curran is a trans/queer rights activist and community organizer; he is on the boards of Video Action league, Advocate Loyola, the Queer intercollegiate Alliance, and works with GetEQUAL. As a spoken word artist, he has read at each All The Writers I Know event. He studies Communications and Women’s Studies at Loyola University Chicago. Curran likes beer and cats.

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