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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Might Makes Right: The Bully and the Bully Pulpit

Much has made of Romney's alleged bullying when he was in high school.  He has apologized.  If it had been me, I wouldn't have been able to keep a straight face while apologizing.  It's hard to take it seriously given that the time elapsed since the event is measured in significant fractions of a century.

Really?  That's the best they can do?  Find (or possibly make up) an incident half a century ago in order to identify character flaws?  As a teenager?  Surely there's something more recent (other than the dog thing) for which one can criticize Romney?

I was a fairly small kid and subjected to plenty of bullying.  As a result, I'm rather an expert at being on the receiving end and from that I have a lot of experience observing bullies.

Unless one is a masochist (which I am definitely not), being on the receiving end is universally bad.  But in observing it, I noticed that the lead bullies were actually exhibiting leadership skills and getting practice wielding power.  In their limited sphere of the moment where their "might makes right", if due to teenage hormonal overload or significant brain dysfunction or both they decided it was right to do the bullying, then that's simply the way of the world and hardly the most egregious infraction against morality.

Sure, if half a century later the person was still an arrogant bully, then we'd know it was brain dysfunction and we'd want to keep him away from the Bully Pulpit.  If not, then the negative aspects of the bullying are long gone, and the leadership and wielding power experience remain.  As a result, I find the story a positive for Romney, not a negative.  I'm apparently the only one.

Being president of the United States isn't all fun and games.  Occasionally, the president needs to be ruthless and perhaps even cruel.  With Romney, I'm actually sort of relieved that maybe, just maybe, he might be able to reach deep inside and be able to be sufficiently ruthless for certain situations that will almost certainly present themselves during his term.  That capability might well have faded with his teenage years, but maybe there's still some remnant.

Obama's kowtowed and bowed and groveled at the feet of every ruthless leader in the world.  Not a good idea in my opinion.  Maybe Romney can do better.

1 comment:

Norma said...

Obama's entire life is fiction; maybe we can find a pretend friend he beat up on.