how could I be so blind, mis-sighted, not to see there’s something wounded deep.

Posted: May 15, 2012 in Humanity is a virus
Mitt Romney is an amoral monster, and here’s why.

driftglass sometimes talks ruefully about Charlie Pierce walking the driftglass beat, covering the posts DG has covered in his blog; now I guess I kind of know how it feels, because while I was mulling the idea of this post, Tom Junod over at Salon just goes ahead and whacks that motherfucker nicely out here.  Oh well.

I will guess it comes as no surprise that I have never been part of the Kewl Kidz Klique.  Always been a bit outside the norm, a bit Out Of Round.  And middle/ high school especially, a difficult time for anybody.

Yep.  you can see where this is going.  I was bullied.  A little;  never had my hair violently cut off.

But bullying is, like most violent aggression, a tough thing to work through.  Especially for adolescents; a kid can try to work around the bullies in lots of different ways, some of which are also mistakes, and that’s where I went.  At least I tried.

You see, there was a kid in one of my classes who was even lower on the hierarchy than I was.   And in between classes one day, he was on the receiving end of some mild bullying from some people that were more or less friends of mine….

fuck, you see where this is going, don’t you?  I fucking decided that somehow I could improve my social standing by crapping on someone else.

The whole episode was ghastly and resulted in a mild fight; as the two of use were being cleaned up and waiting to talk to the Vice Principal, we talked it over, and I made the amends I could.  It’s kind of funny; while the whole episode is still distressingly clear in my mind, I can’t even remember whether it was reported to my parents.

It was a reprehensible failure on so many levels, and since then, I have been trying to live down that episode; trying and not always succeeding.  I may never be able to forget it; every time I read or hear about a bullying episode, I remember what it felt like to be bullied, and more horrifying, I remember what it feels like to be the bully. Ah, fuck me, but these days I remember that so much more vividly than I remember the episodes where I was  bullied.

So here’s the reason this whole thing brings Mitt Romney into stark, repellent relief:

His Laubner episode was way more violent; it didn’t just veer into assault, it jumped full speed into assault with a deadly weapon.  Mitt Romeny was the leader of a mob that did this; the recollections of others indicates it wasn’t a single aberrant episode, but part of what seems was a pattern of psychopathic behavior.  AND ROMNEY CLAIMS TO NOT REMEMBER IT.

I see three alternatives here:

  1. He actually doesn’t remember it.  It was nothing that mattered, it was to someone who didn’t matter, and it was so typical that it didn’t rise to the level to make an impact on the young Mitt.
  2. He’s lying.  He knows it was something that was beyond the pale, and doesn’t quite understand why, so he issues the standard nonpology: ‘I am sorry if people don’t get the joke’. He’ll say anything to be President.
  3. He remembers it and doesn’t give a shit, because the victim was gay.

All of those alternatives are appalling.  They are all different facets of an inhuman monster.

And they all remind me of how much work I have to do to stay ahead of the same attitude.  Oh, fuck; the work is never done.  Never.

I am not sure I can say that I never reprised my role as a bully.   It left me with scars, and I can only hope that the scars of my victim have healed better.

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Comments
  1. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© says:

    We will always have our inner skwerls to wrestle with, zrm.
    ~

  2. herr doktor bimler says:

    How did it get there?

  3. That’s true thndr.

    Here’s my inner squirrel:

    The wrestling isn’t going well.

  4. mikey says:

    We all carry ’em. Sounds like I’m a good bit guiltier than you when it comes to hurting people for fun and profit, but we all have done it, and we all have to come up with a way to integrate it. I still justify too much, and it sounds like you need to forgive yourself and file it, but the key is that we recognize the essential evil, the weakness that makes us try to feel strong at somebody else’s expense.

    But here’s the thing, the last paragraph you didn’t write. The difference between Mitt Romney and most of the rest of us dirtbags. WE GET IT. We understand that doing these things was not just wrong, but showed us what’s inside us, and made us aware that we had to TRY not to let it out. We understood how bad it felt for our victims, and that the key reason we kept not finding ourselves empowered is precisely THEIR suffering – it was ours, connected in an ancient, foul, tribal dance of organized immiseration.

    They keep having this argument about whether we can discern anything important about Willard’s character in these events from the distant past. I think you nailed it – the claims of inability to remember, the lack of any sense of responsibility or accountability or just plain guilt. I’ve known a number of people who lacked basic human empathy, who could not feel or even relate to the suffering of others – most are dead, one is serving multiple life terms at Pelican Bay. And here’s one that wants to the President.

    Oh. Hell. NO!

  5. thanks for that comment mikey.

  6. Big Bad Bald Bastard says:

    We’ve all had our missteps, old chum.

    I never had a tolerance for bullies… when I was in kindergarten or first grade, I went after a next door neighbor who was hounding the effeminate boy who lived across the street. He had to have had three or four years on me. I ended up with a sprained ankle for my efforts.

    Why would I not support equality for gay people, rather than the douchebags who would literally go after a little kid than to cut the shit?

  7. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© says:

    Sqwirralzilla will puke on all bullies and dissolve them.
    ~

  8. I fucking decided that somehow I could improve my social standing by crapping on someone else.

    I think I was just mean and uncomprehending: I took it for granted that I was low in status and there was a person who was lower and it was new to have some power. If I meet him again I think he should punch me.

  9. Pinko Punko says:

    I was lucky enough to escape the worst stuff, and somehow the worst stuff in the schools I went to wasn’t the worst stuff you read about. That stuff was private school stuff, or what I witnessed as the worst- summer camp. Summer camp was fucking roulette. Once I saw how it worked it was like just pray that the dynamics don’t roll over on you and then you are the one that gets picked. Somehow I was always simultaneously on the edges of the bottom of the totem pole and the top, but never anonymous middle. On the radar of everyone, that is how it felt. Definitely felt for the kids that just seemed to be chosen for “attention”- so terrible, but also on the edge of the attention of the shitbags. Even though my smart mouth should have gotten my ass kicked a lot more, somehow I think it was what saved me. Somehow I wasn’t worth it. I think the bullies I knew weren’t the real deal. Thank God.

  10. Brando says:

    I was lucky that I was big as a kid and avoided physical bullying. But I took my share of shit and dished out a fair amount.

    My best friend from junior high and I still talk about this one girl who was relentlessly teased in sixth grade. She was your classic target — awkward, mousy, completely unable to stand up for herself. She got her period in class and you can imagine the shitstorm that followed. I didn’t tease but I didn’t do anything to stop it, which is almost as bad.

    When the movie Flatliners came out, there was a scene that was so close to that incident that it freaked my ass out. I talked to my buddy about it and he had the same reaction.

    Romney remembers, I’m sure of it. I remember NOT doing something like it was yesterday. No one forgets cutting a kid’s hair like that. I imagine he regrets it on some level (actual guilt or because of the fallout), but he’s too much of political Terminator to acknowledge it. The dumb thing is, all he would probably have to do is come out and say that he did things he regretted as a kid and he’s learned from his mistakes.

  11. Jennifer says:

    Hmmmm, 4 years of off and on hell caused by a girl who decided she did not like the fact that I had better grades or had the benefit of more opportunities in life… I wasn’t the only one though, but seemed to get it more often than not. Her usual tactic was just to get everyone to stop talking to you… could be a day, could be a week. There was always massive relief when she switched to someone else, and I think the thing that sickens me the most to this day is that I actually would then join in in her reindeer games of ignoring someone else, just so you wouldn’t be the target again… but of course, that was just a dream.

    It was usually just mental torment, but I she’d occasionally lash out in other ways. I ended up with a broken arm… just an accident the teacher said. That teacher was always taking her side. I could never figure it out. It was fucked up parochial school to start with… they had a habit of blaming the victim. “If this is happening to you, you must have asked for it! You must be doing SOMETHING! God wouldn’t punish you like this if you had behaved!” or “Quit making waves! This is just a rite of passage! Suck it up!”

    No, this one teacher never took my side, no matter how obvious. Of course, I later found out that this teacher, the “cool” one, the one whom every kid wanted to like them, turned out to pick special girls who would be there for more than just erasing the blackboard, or putting up bulletin board displays. And the girl who tormented so many, was one of his pets. I can look back and feel sorry for her, to know that I probably had the better end of the deal, but I also look back and remember how those 4 years robbed me of the ability to trust for a long time.

    OK! On to happier topics!

  12. Brando says:

    Does this blog have happier topics?

  13. I was gonna say, Bradno….

  14. Jennifer says:

    Does this blog have happier topics?

    Good point.

Go ahead, tell me how I fucked up this time.

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