I don’t think Mitt Romney is a bad person; I think he’s out of touch. I don’t mean out of touch in the $10,000 bet way. I mean in the he doesn’t know how things work way.
I think it’s fantastic that he’s inspiring people to donate to Red Cross. I think it’s out of touch with how disaster response/sheltering refugees works to think it’s feasible and an efficient use of resources to collect goods in one part of the country to ship to the disaster site in another part of the country. It’s a waste of Red Cross’s resources to do this shipping, and the sorting, cleaning, etc. all the items ahve to go through. If you thought it was a pain to check your kids’ candy after Halloween, imagine trying to sort through truck loads of donations, to check them, evaluate them, and determine where they need to go. And then to call the people in New Jersey, “hi, don’t buy peanut butter or socks. We have some in Ohio.”
“But we need it now. We don’t want to wait for the truck to come in.”
And Romney, though not president now, is in a leadership position and is encouraging the people of America to give, not what they have and what the Red Cross needs, but what they have left over. Rather than spending $5,000 at Wal-Mart, he should have just written out a check. That might sound cruel, but the Red Cross is in a better position to determine what it needs than individuals scattered throughout their country who want to clean out their pantries.
And of course, the same person that is encouraging America to create a logistical problem for the Red Cross is the one who wants to slash FEMA’s budget or make disaster relief the purview of the private sector.
Sorry Romney. When it comes to the Red Cross, your heart is in the right place, but we need someone with their head there too.