Two stories dominating the news this week have been setting a major tone for the upcoming presidential election. First, Barack Obama became the first sitting president ever to acknowledge that gays and lesbians should be allowed to marry each other. This was closely followed by the revelation that in his high school days, Mitt Romney was a gay-bashing bully in high school. Just when I think I couldn’t be any prouder of this fine young man (I get to call him that, since he is the first President in history to be younger than me) he goes and does something like this. Kudos to the greatest President the United States has ever known.
Mutt Romney, on the other hand, decided he didn’t like the way one student, presumed to be gay, was wearing his hair back in his high school days before the earth cooled. So he and a bunch of his “good ol’ boy” friends chased him, tackled him, and held him down while Romney took a scissors to his hair. Okay, I’d be willing to write this off as a case of “boys will be boys” except that when confronted with this episode from his past, Romney just laughed it off.
So what’s my problem? Before I explain what’s so wrong about this, I need to make a confession.
I was a bullied child in school, but there were also times when I was the bully. That’s right, I was a bully sometimes, usually trying to earn the acceptance of the other bullies. Two people from my childhood come to mind: my friend Stephen Basile, who I now believe was developmentally delayed and who fell completely out of reality into a fantasy world because of years of abuse, not only from his peers (including me once or twice) but the parents who treated him like garbage. The other was Mark Willis, a friend of mine who, in my senior year of high school, came out to me. Out of fear of my own gayness, I proceeded to spread his secret all over the school. That’s right, I outed him. There were probably others. I am not proud of this; quite the contrary, it’s probably my greatest shame.
I’m not laughing about it. To this day, these episodes of cruelty and malice eat at my conscience. Anyone who can look back at something like that and laugh is obviously devoid of conscience, unfit to be called a human being, let alone President of the United States.
OBAMA 2012 – FOUR MORE YEARS!Share