According to Mitt Romney’s prep-school classmates, 18-year-old Romney gathered friends to pin down and forcibly cut the hair of a supposedly gay student. Some say this incident is of little importance today. After all, Romney was merely a child.
Other politicians engaged in immoral or illegal acts when they were young and foolish as well. Sadly, this argument sounds like “boys will be boys,” the belief that boys are capable of very little, so we should expect very little from them. With this sentiment, I whole-heartedly disagree.
Firstly, 18-year-old boys are not “boys” at all – they are men whom our country has deemed old enough to vote, go to war, etc. In other words, they are old enough to know better. I teach high school seniors, and I can guarantee that despite their occasional lapses in judgment, they do know right from wrong and what it means to bully and abuse.
Furthermore, although what other candidates have done, such as smoking and drinking, is not model behavior, they do not compare to tormenting another human being. What Romney did is of importance because it shows what he believes about those who are different from him. His actions as a younger man demonstrate his true character, who he is when the spotlight is not on him.
Lastly, the abuse that Romney inflicted upon someone he viewed as LGBT speaks volumes for the equality he will, or will not, guarantee for all Americans. We all deserve better.