Loving the bully

May 12, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Posted in politics, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Mitt Romney’s high school days, so so long ago are getting a lot of scrutiny the last couple of days.  This writer of this NYT opinion piece makes it pretty clear that Romney’s response to criticism should be carefully considered by the voting public, and asks a lot of tough questions.

Reading through a few of the top rated comments attached to the column, this one by scottnesich caught my eye:

Step back and think about this man, Romney, and his conscious plan, repeated over and over at many once thriving companies to: Buy the company, run up debt, destroy the company, breaking contracts and faith with long time workers. Busting their union. Stomping on the dignity, the self-respect and the modest comfort and security of so many families. Just to get as rich as possible.

I’ve seen these Romney types at my high school reunions. We all have. Smug. Arrogant. Removed completely from the reality of working hard, paying bills, worrying about jobs, bills, kids, and the future. And in some of them you can see the smirk, the gleam in the eyes, the slick talk. The Bully. 

The kid who leads a pack of his peers to forcibly hold another person down and violate their space and their body isn’t someone who just “changes for the better” in adulthood. This malicious streak simply finds a new outlet. Teenagers who humiliate and degrade others lack the compassion and the essential decency required in a civilized society. In adulthood they will often find their way into jobs that require seeing other people as just “digits”, which are there, as “an advantage” or as “an obstacle” to maximizing monetary gain.

This is Mitt Romney. His story is all of one piece. 1965. 1989. 2000. 2012. It doesn’t matter. The story is the same: “Just let me do what I want regardless of the consequences for others.”

I wouldn’t vote for this type of person. Would you?

Maybe I would.

[Well, in this case I was not going to vote for Romney regardless of anything he did in high school.  I have voted in every Presidential election beginning in 1980, for the Democratic candidate each time.  If this one goes the way I expect, I will be four for nine.]

I take a more optimistic view [however naive or unfounded] of human nature than this commenter, and believe some people do change.  And those who are bullies in one way or another, after they reach full adulthood can turn into reasonable people with a healthy amount of compassion and ability to interact productively.

I’ve noticed some examples of this, getting reacquainted with people from the past [one of the opportunities presented by still living in the town where you grew up].

It’s always a good idea to pay close attention, listen carefully and think about whether responses are appropriate.  It’s also nice to give the benefit of the doubt and allow people the chance to change and mature.  Whether or not Romney has actually done so is a question for the voters to contemplate.

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