Mitt and Ann Romney watch the opening ceremony of the Olympics on Friday. (Getty Images )
Something this election year really disturbs me. It's not the super PAC spending or that Mitt Romney hasn't released 10 years' worth of tax returns. (What are we supposed to find out? That he's rich?)
It's that a guy's American success story is now being used against him.
Any other time, a guy like Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, would be admired as a great example to follow.
After receiving a juris doctorate and a master’s of business administration, he became a financial success by building an investment company from the ground up. He then went on to manage the Olympics and serve in office, where he turned a $3 billion deficit into a $700 million surplus without raising taxes. Even though they look like a Banana Republic ad, Romney's family is picture-perfect with a wife of 43 years, five sons and 18 grandkids.
Call me crazy, but isn't that the American dream?
So then why is he being labeled "out of touch"? I didn't know personal and professional success is out of touch with America today.
Has it really gotten to a point where being rich is a bad thing? We're supposed to feel guilty if all that hard work pays off?
In its latest effort to distract Americans from the bad economy and high unemployment, the Obama campaign is attacking Romney as a "corporate raider" and "outsourcer in chief," in addition to claiming he's a "vampire capitalist" who hates dogs and women. Yet investigative efforts to verify these claims, from factcheck.org to The Washington Post, have concluded that these allegations are false.
When I see everything Romney's accomplished, I'm not raging with envy and trying to think up ways we can take him down. I think, "Wow, how can I be the next Mitt Romney?"
Or even the next Barack Obama. I hate to break it to the left, but Obama's in the 1 percent too. And I respect his accomplishments as much as I do Romney's.
It was the American system that gave them the opportunity to be where they are today—the very same system that the president of the United States claims isn't "fair."
Looks like it's been plenty fair to them. Both Harvard grads studied hard, and both worked their butts off to become the financial successes they are today. And both have great families.
But somehow there's supposed to be a difference between their successes. The only difference I see is that one's an unapologetic free market capitalist and proud of it, while the other seems to feel guilty about it and reluctantly acknowledges how great the system is that put him in the White House.
Well it's not stopping me. I'm going to study and work hard to get where they are. I want to raise a big family too. And yes, I even want to run for office some day and give back to the same country that provided me the opportunity to become a success.
And you can bet I won't be making my kids feel guilty about their success or discrediting it by pointing out how they didn't get there on their own because my support made it happen.
JOHN GIOKARIS IS THE POLITICAL DIRECTOR OF THE CHICAGO YOUNG REPUBLICANS. @johngiokaris