President Obama and former Gov. Mitt Romney need the poor and middle class vote to win the presidential election in November. They are doing their best to identify with the 99 percent of Americans who are not wealthy.
At an April 18 rally in Elyria, Ohio, Obama said, “I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth.”
Not to be outdone, the governor cited his family’s poor background in a speech on April 24 in Manchester, N.H.
He pointed out that his dad, George Romney, never graduated college. His father apprenticed as a lath and plaster carpenter and sold paint from the trunk of his car.
To identify with plant workers and all of those in blue-collar jobs, the president wore a hard hat and open collar at an appearance at POET Biorefining in Macon, Mo., in 2010.
Likewise, Romney shed his suit and tie for blue jeans and an open-collar shirt when he spoke at a Pascagoula, Miss., shipyard March 8.
Yet, Obama is very wealthy and Romney is very, very wealthy. Forbes Magazine estimates the wealth of Obama to be $6 million and Romney’s worth to be $230 million. Both men are American success stories.
Neither candidate has to worry about money to pay the power bill or how to pay the rent this month.
Yes, they try to identify with people like you and me, but they are not one of us. They both live in another world far removed from our world.
If they really wanted to identify with us, they could sweat it out at a plant or shipyard for a while, drive a compact car and fill up their own gas tank.
It is too risky for them to become one of us. These men are too valuable to our government to take such a gamble and become like us.
Neither man would treat the trappings of wealth and power like trash and throw it all away to really become one of us.
But, there was one who did: Jesus. He left the splendor of heaven and became one of us.
“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9)
Jesus became one of us! He entered into our world. He knew what it was to be homeless and hungry.
“He made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:7-8)
Jesus had been through it all and risked everything and died a horrible death on the cross.
He has earned our vote, admiration and worship.
Jesus treated the trappings of divine wealth and power like trash to become one of us and make us into his treasured possession and a people belonging to God to live with him forever.
THE REV. DAN WHITE IS THE PASTOR OF NORTH COLUMBIA CHURCH IN APPLING.