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November 4, 2012


On her facebook page my niece asked for help in deciding who she would vote for in the upcoming Presidential race.

It took me a few days to compose a response because I wanted to make sure that what I said to her was fact. Today, Sunday November 4th, she posted that response on her facebook page.

This is that post...

Email from my Uncle Steve by Karen Krotz Rittenhouse on Sunday, November 4, 2012 at 12:23p

Last month, I had posted a question to my friends asking who they were voting for and why. My Uncle Steve didn't want to just write a short answer without explanation so after researching all the facts, he wrote me this email to explain his side. Thank you Uncle Steve for your thorough email and for your research. My love to you and Peter

Hi There Karen,

Last week you posted a request for advice on you facebook page. When I first read it I was a little overwhelmed because the more I thought about it the more I realized I couldn't give you advice on such a complex subject in just a few simple sentences. So over the next few days I did some research to make sure that what I tell you is as accurate as I can make it because this is such an important election I don't want to tell you anything that I hadn't investigated and researched myself.

It took me awhile to figure out how I was going to put such an overwhelming amount of information into a coherent form. Below is what I came up with. There's nothing I tell you that isn't backed up with facts from multiple sources and my own observations. I didn't make anything up and nothing is taken from extremist, off-the-wall sources - it's all out there for anyone and everyone to see for themselves. I just put it all together.

At first I was going to do a summary of both candidates but quickly realized that would be even longer than what I decided on. I figured that if I give you the most important reasons why you shouldn't vote for one candidate over the other then it should be pretty self-evident who I'm suggesting you do vote for. So, here goes....

Reasons Why NOT to Vote For Romney/Ryan:

Because they both...

-- will work to rewrite regulations allowing even greater outsourcing of American jobs overseas and will work to gut any existing regulations already on the books that are aimed at reducing or preventing this kind of immoral outsourcing - all for nothing more than a few quick bucks for themselves. And Romney and his company (Bane Capital) was and still is right there in the front of buying struggling companies, firing all the employees, shipping their jobs to countries like China and India and then dismantling those companies to sell the pieces (i.e., properties, buildings, equipment, furniture, etc.).

-- will work to deregulate even further the entire financial industry allowing them greater and greater freedom to risk even more of the country’s wealth while pocketing obscene amounts of profit for themselves. This is exactly what Bush did throughout his presidency resulting in the almost total collapse of our economy and facilitating the extreme downward cycle of most of the rest of the world which profited only the wealthiest and exposed the extreme hypocrisy of the so-called “trickle-down” theories

-- lied about almost everything they claimed in the debates and then kept repeating those lies on the road even after all of the reputable, non-partisan fact checkers called them on those very lies publicly

-- will work to redefine the definition of rape to make it easier for anyone accused of or caught raping women (and in some cases, men) to avoid arrest and much more difficult to follow through with prosecutions just so a few powerful men and a lot of sexual perverts won’t be held accountable for taking advantage of younger “friends”, co-workers or subordinates. That redefinition of rape would also apply to the common, disturbed street rapist as well

-- would work to overturn the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” misguided policy that would, in turn, once again force gay military personnel back into hiding and lying about who they are. And, in a worst case scenario, cause the wholesale discharges of all those active service members who came out since DADT was repealed. This isn’t something I’m just putting in here because I’m gay, it’s something Paul Ryan has promised to do over and over agaIn during his speeches on the road.

-- would work for a federal constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages across the board - even in the states that have already approved them. This would make it impossible for me personally to provide for my long-time partner should anything happen to me since, without legal marriage, my SS would not pass to him the same way it does now for straight married couples. That’s not even counting the more than 1,100 other benefits afforded to straight married couples that we are not and would not be eligible for without being legally and equally married ourselves. Right now I’m on SS and can’t work because of my arthritis and Peter can only work part time because of his Asperger’s and another medical condition so we are each totally financially interdependent on the other. Which is why we decided to get legally married while we’re in NYC over Christmas thanks to an incredible Christmas gift my brother and his wife are giving us. Because of several recent State Supreme Court’s and Federal Appellate Court’s rulings that found that law unconstitutional we fully anticipate that the DOMA (Defense Of Marriage Act) will be repealed (especially if Obama is reelected) and thereby make Peter eligible for my SS should I die before him

-- have and will continue fighting to block any kind of legislation aimed at preventing bullying - specifically, bullying of not just gay children but also of young and older adults who are gay or even just perceived to be gay. Romney and Ryan support anti-bullying laws but only if they don't include protections for the LGBT community. This kind of violence and intimidation will, without a doubt, cause another flood of suicides by children across the country. To complicate this, over the last few years more and more rightwing religious leaders have been openly suggesting that the death (i.e. “murder”) of gays is justifiable according to their scriptures and as a result, the violence and murder rate within the LGBT community has skyrocketed as much as 4 times what it used to be as little as 5-10 years ago before the rightwing religions (including Mormons and Catholics) ratcheted up their rhetoric about the "evils" of homosexuals

-- have publicly vowed to end ALL federal funding for Planned Parenthood even though this organization has provided vital, life-saving help in the form of medical exams, procedures and psychological support consultations that have nothing to do with abortions. These programs and services have helped millions of women get through some of the most terrifying, life changing and life threatening times of their lives

-- politicized and/or ridiculed any attempts at regulations aimed at cleaning up our severely damaged environment just so “dirty” companies and industries can keep making billions of dollars in profits without spending anything on cleaning up their outputs

-- will work to savagely cut both Medicare and Medicade which is the foundation of health care for the elderly, the working poor and everyone with preexisting conditions. What they want to replace it with is a voucher program whereby the government will issue vouchers so these same people can supposedly go out and buy their own private insurance that will be priced at anything the insurance companies want it to be without regard for a person’s ability to pay. Those who can’t makeup the difference between the value of the government issued vouchers and the prices the insurance companies charge will simply be out of luck. This will cause more and more people to seek medical care at hospital emergency rooms across the country and will, without a doubt cost the country far more than the health care plan that is in the process of being instituted right now. In the meantime the giant insurance companies will get richer and more powerful than they have ever been before. This isn’t a scare tactic, it’s what Romney and Ryan have already said over and over again that they will do if elected.

I hope this helps you in your decision making. BTW - I'm sure you already know this but just in case, Ohio is probably THE most important of all the swing states because historically no republican has ever won the Presidency if they didn't first win Ohio and right now it's a statistical dead heat between the two candidates.

If you end up agreeing with me then feel free to pass on all or any portion of this to your friends and co-workers.