Every few weeks there’s a new story spread across the media landscape about a prank or something similar that Mitt Romney did when he was younger. The liberal media obsesses over it for a day or two then forgets about it, while the right-wing media outlets blow it off as a “youthful indiscretion” and largely ignores it.
There is, of course, the now infamous pet dog riding on the roof of the car during a family vacation. As sickening is that is to virtually anyone who’s ever had a pet dog, or even anyone who has ever pet a dog, it was hardly a youthful mistake. He now claims to regret the decision, but still finds the story amusing.
After that, we learned about an incident when Romney was in prep school and bullied a gay student for having long hair. Romney, leading a group of friends, held him down and cut off his hair. The friends he brought with him all remember this and are horrified by their participation, but Romney says he didn’t know the student was gay and can’t remember this ever happening. I’m not sure if this counts as an actual apology, but here’s what he had to say, “As to pranks that were played back then, I don’t remember them all, but again, high school days, if I did stupid things, why I’m afraid I got to say sorry for it.”
As if those two events don’t speak loudly enough to his character, we then learned that during his brief stint at Stanford University, Romney used to play dress-up in a Michigan State Trooper’s uniform that he was able to get his hands on because his dad happened to be Governor of Michigan at the time. He didn’t just try it on to see how it looked, though. He pulled people over and pretended to arrest them. Impersonating an officer is illegal in both California and Michigan where he reportedly did this, but he never got busted for it.
The general consensus among the media as well as the Romney and Obama campaigns is that this isn’t that big of a deal. These “youthful indiscretions” are normal and everyone makes some poor decisions and does some stupid things when they’re younger. I, however, disagree. These are not the types of mistakes that a “normal” kid makes throughout high school and college. These are the actions of someone who is hungry for power over people. This doesn’t just speak about the child that Mitt Romney was, it speaks to the man that he eventually became. It’s the “youthful indiscretions” of a power hungry individual. As an adult, he first achieved this through financial means by essentially conquering businesses and amassing a fortune. He then moved on to the political realm, acquired a Governorship notch in his belt, and has since spent five straight years striving to be President. These stories of Mitt Romney’s youth matter because they speak strongly of his character. I, for one, don’t want an unrepentant bully as our President.