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. 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
Romney acknowledges that what she’s saying may sound a bit funny. After the nut quote she admits her statement is “an interesting thing.” Interesting why? Because though it would be reasonable to assume that a family that has earned tens of millions of dollars is first and foremost concerned with earning tens of millions of dollars it would be wrong. The Romney’s, like many wealthy families, find meaning in life in the same places as those lower down on the economic ladder. Faith, family, and friendship are the sources of their most significant prosperity. Lovingly embracing those who have suffered as she has suffered means infinitely more than her Cadillac. Or her other Cadillac. Those materials things aren’t even on the same scale.
Romney is pointing to a truth we try to emphasize here at Values & Capitalism. Whether it’s creating the proper climate for business development or figuring how to best help the poor, it’s not about the money. Money is just one of many metrics of the primary concerns of justice, happiness (properly understood), and capacity to contribute to the common good.
I have participated in criticizing Mitt Romney for some of his statements about wealth and poverty. For me, his words have raised legitimate concerns about his ability to lead effectively. But Think Progress and others are promulgating a lie in order to score cheap points against a political enemy and his wife. Apparently, this is where their values lie. If only they knew that marginal political victories, like stock portfolios and beach homes and cars, are temporal. If only they knew what Ann Romney knows.