One can draw a straight line from the young man who pinned down a terrified teenager and walked a blind man into a closed door, to the adult who put the family dog in a kennel and strapped it to the roof of the car, to the businessman who laid off hundreds of people, cancelled their health benefits, and paid himself millions while their company went bankrupt. And the line continues: the governor who slashed education and raised fees on the middle class, and the possible president who would use his power to cut taxes on his fellow millionaires while pushing for the gradual demise of traditional Medicare.
I recently wrote about my personal experience with bullying as a schoolboy. Little did I know that later that very same day, news would break regarding Mitt Romney being a bully and general all-around dick during his own schoolboy days. Understandably, I have some very mixed feelings about this. There’s no conceivable way I’d vote for Romney (well, OK; perhaps if someone held a gun to my head), so I can’t imagine my argument will carry much weight. Nonetheless, I think it’s important to maintain something resembling perspective here.
It’s sad and reprehensible that Romney was a bully. His dissembling and prevaricating about it is even worse. That said, should we really be holding someone responsible for something that occurred in 1965? Mitt Romney isn’t the person he was 57 years ago. What should be of greater concern, and certainly is to me, is that Romney’s a bully today. One need only look at his career at Bain Capital, his cluelessness regarding the plight of everyday Americans, and his calculated and implacable opposition to anything resembling gay rights to understand this.
I won’t even get into Romney’s support for gay rights while campaigning for, and during his tenure as, Governor of Massachusetts. My Etch-a-Sketch skills are a bit rusty….
I’ll just say my piece and then be done with it: Should we be judging candidates by the stupid, mean, and reprehensible things they did in high school? If that’s the standard, I’d submit that most of us would be in trouble.
Then again, we’re not running for President, are we?