ROLAND S. MARTIN: Teachers, Cops Are Also Americans, Mitt

By Roland S. Martin

When Mitt Romney sits across from the Fraternal Order of Police to seek their presidential endorsement, I can’t wait to hear his reaction to these men and women carrying guns and tasers when they ask him to explain why he doesn’t think the nation needs more of them on the streets.

Mr. Rich Guy sounded like a completely out of touch guy when, in an effort to slam President Barack Obama’s news conference on the economy, said: “He wants another stimulus, he wants to hire more government workers. He says we need more firemen, more policemen, and more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did. It’s time for us to cut back on government and help the American people.”

Last I checked, teachers, firefighters and police officers are Americans.

In fact, if you have ever had your home broken into, I’m sure the last thing you want the 9-1-1 operator to tell you is they will have to schedule a cop to drop by as if he’s an air conditioner repairman.

When your house is going up in flames, I doubt there would be many chuckles if the 9-1-1 operator says, “Mitt Romney says you should be happy to have a smaller government, so we won’t be able to send someone to put out the fire until Monday morning. Good luck.”

This is the kind of ignorance that gets passed off to us as smart, political thinking.

Trust me, I get the whole argument of downsizing government. But people like Mitt Romney act as if the essential services that make our neighborhoods, towns, cities and states run isn’t done by government employees.

Need that trash picked up? Yeah, it smells a bit funky, but suck it up; Mitt says we can get by on fewer garbage collectors.

Tired of that pothole? Don’t complain.

Just drive around it, since we don’t have the manpower to get them fixed in a timely manner.
It’s real easy to take shots at government, but when it comes to determining what is essential to our daily lives, then we must have a different conversation.

When you’re a rich guy like Romney, public school teachers mean nothing to you, since you can afford to send your kids to private schools, hire tutors and enjoy those small classrooms. But if you’re like most of “the American people,” you can’t stand overcrowded classrooms and few resources.

But Romney doesn’t care. Instead of separating the battle of union contract battles with cities with the actual people, he chose to make a ridiculous comment and dismiss the millions of hard-working Americans out there.

That’s even more laughable, considering Republicans call themselves the law-and-order party, and are quick to tout their police endorsements. How many times have we seen Romney’s party pals call New York firefighters heroes after 9/11? So, Mitt, should we not bother to expand the ranks of the men and women who keep us safe?

Mitt doesn’t have to worry about the campaign of President Obama or the Democratic Party running ads showing him to be an out-of-touch rich guy who doesn’t care about blue-collar workers. We just have to wait for him to open his mouth. And we won’t have to wait long.

Roland S. Martin is an award-winning CNN analyst and author of the book “The First: President Barack Obama’s Road to the White House as Originally Reported by Roland S. Martin.” Please visit his website at To find out more about Roland S. Martin and read his past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at