Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Bully for you, Mittens

I guess the news cycle has washed away all traces of the Mitt Romney Is A Bully story that commandeered headlines for about 10 minutes in May. Many people argued that Romney being a bully in high school isn't that big a deal because he should be judged on what he does now.
I disagree. (And not because there isn't anything to judge him on now, because there is. Lots.)

When I was in sixth grade, I was bullied repeatedly to the point that I started skipping school for weeks at a time. Because I was bullied, I bullied others I perceived to be weaker than me when I got the chance to, because that's how I thought things went and how I thought I had to survive. (That's how it works; it's a cycle. You might notice this now in how Romney treats the middle and lower classes in regards to tax and healthcare.) This reaction-bullying resulted in the worst thing I think I have ever said to another human being.

His name was Chris and he was having a more difficult time adjusting to middle school than I was. I'd heard from someone that he wanted to commit suicide. So after school one day when we were the only two students left at the bike rack, I said: "Hey, is it true you wanted to kill yourself?"
He said "yeah". Defensively. Like, you wanna-make-something-of-it.
So I said: "What are you waiting for?"
And he snorted in a "yeah, good one" manner and rode off.
He disappeared before the year was out.

I have regretted this for years and never told anyone this story. Ever.
But I remember it. I carry it with me and I would apologize to Chris if I even knew how to find him, if he was even still alive.

In 1965, Mitt Romney bullied a classmate who had the audacity to style his hair. His "long" hair that draped over one eye. In 1965. Okay, the Beatles happened already, Mitt. Even at Cranbook. But that didn't stop him from corralling his gang of Crabbes and Goyles to physically restrain John Laubner and cut his hair off.

Are there worse things? Yes. Like telling a student to go kill himself, maybe. But I was 11. Mitt was 18. I was a disturbed child and Mitt was a grown man ready to take up his place in the 1%. And while I remember my horrible act, Mitt apparently does not. Oh, his classmates remember it, feel bad about it, and even made an attempt to atone for it before Laubner died. But Mitt, in a startlingly heroic move worthy of any American President, does more than just deny it ever happened, he rubbishes the entire issue by saying he doesn't remember it.

For some reason, electing a President has become a popularity contest instead of the job interview it actually is. Voters, if you elect this bullying dickwad asshole President of the United States of America, you have just made the villain of every John Hughes film ever Prom King. And that is not how we want to be known in the global community. It really isn't.

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