Monday, June 04, 2012

Romney, a modern-day Omega Theta Pi frat brother

I think it's pretty clear by now that Mitt Romney would've been a textbook-perfect brother of the Omega Theta Pi fraternity. What fraternity is that, you ask? In the movie Animal House, it's the frat house populated with well-to-do, pompous, vacuous a-holes, represented most famously by Neidermeyer. Recall Douglas Neidermeyer was your stereotypical ROTC/Patton-wannabe, a bit too gung-ho, a bit too straight-laced, a bit too into enforcing what he deemed normal. All in all, your classic jerk and bully.

Compare this profile to what we've come to learn about Romney, in particular the recent revelation about his bullying of a gay classmate. During high school, several friends held down the victim as Romney proceeded to use scissors to cut clumps of hair from the presumed gay boy's head.

Romney's defense? "I participated in a lot of hijinks and pranks during high school," he said while chuckling. The described act of bullying is disturbing enough, but to hear 40+ years later Romney attempt to excuse it away as "hijinks" while laughing no less is even more inexcusable and disgusting. As long as he's not the victim, then it's no big deal. As long as it wasn't one of his sons that were held down and had hair removed with scissors, then it's OK, no big deal. And it's as if for him to show empathy or compassion is to show weakness, and he just can't have that happen. What would the Republican base think?

How this incident, along with the Seamus incident, do not qualify as occurrences that demand at least some serious consideration when it comes to judging Romney as a person and as a candidate is something I don't understand. If you had a long-time friend and learned that he had committed such a heinous act many years ago, are you telling me it wouldn't impact how you looked at him, how you viewed him as a person going forward? I have to think it would. It's just ugly and in my experience this kind of telling behavior does not completely vanish with maturity. Someone capable of doing such a thing then most likely retains some of those unfeeling, hateful qualities today.

Is this a major campaign item? No. But it should be something voters contemplate when deciding what personality traits and characteristics are important in the POTUS.

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