Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Alise Hamilton's Voice

Dear Mitt –

My grandfather, an Onondaga Iroquois man and a registered Republican, was raised in poverty in upstate New York. He began working as a child, 10 years old, and served in the Navy during the Korean War. He is retired as disabled veteran now and receives all of his health care from his local VA hospital. His father before him served in WWII. Despite the horrendous treatment by colonists, these men, my family, served this country with pride. Shame on you Mr. Romney. Shame on you for giving them nothing but the utmost respect for their service, for their sacrifices.

I admit, I am one of the votes you need not worry about. I am female and mixed race. Liberal. Atheist! You never had my vote. But if you are, god forbid, elected, you would still be my president. For the record, my own student loans are monumental. For the record, I am the first person in my family to earn a college degree. I never took “special scholarships” because I myself was not raised on a reservation. I didn’t think it would be right. I have a combination of federal loans and private loans, which I have never once defaulted on.

In a way, I never expected you to be my president. Even if elected, I knew you would never have my best interests at heart. But my grandfather—a man who fought poverty and illiteracy. A man who started his own business, supported his family, found time for reading and music and painting (my grandfather is a truly amazing artist, Mr. Romney), a man whom I may disagree with on politics but a man who inspires me and who I love in the deepest sense of the word. He has given you his support. When—if ever—do you plan on giving that support back?

What a disgrace you are. What a sad symbol of America. What a disappointment.

Alise Hamilton

Alise Hamilton is the events and marketing coordinator for HugoBookstores, a family of four independent bookstores in Massachusetts. She is set to earn her MFA in creative writing from Lesley University in January 2013.