The news media is now reporting on Mitt Romney’s high school days. The lead is about a 1965 incident where Romney allegedly led a pack of Cranbrook School students who tackled a new, long-haired student and forcibly cut his hair.
Romney says he doesn’t recall the incident, but has apologized nevertheless. We should all follow his lead, because it is the rare person who can make it through the social thresher that is high school without being a self-centered, insensitive jerk who occasionally treats parents, teachers, and fellow classmates like dirt. If every American who was involved in a regrettable, mean-spirited incident in high school were disqualified from seeking political office, there would be no captain for the American ship of state.
I recognize that in some respects, as Wordsworth observed, “the Child is father of the Man.” I nevertheless think it is ludicrous to view a 47-year-old incident as some kind of window into Romney’s soul, just as it is silly to focus on President Obama’s admitted consumption of dog meat as a youngster. During this presidential campaign, can we please talk about Romney’s actions since he reached adulthood, and President Obama’s actual performance in office, rather than their youthful activities many decades ago?