“You’re all worthless and weak! Now drop and give me twenty!” Doug Neidermeyer Animal House
Neidermeyer, Marmalard and Omega Bullies
I can’t stand bullies. I did’t like them when I was a kid and I don’t like them now. When I first heard about and read about Mitt Romney leading a mob chasing down, pinning and forcibly cutting the hair of a gay student at his exclusive prep school I was disgusted but not surprised. (See http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/05/former-romney-classmate-describes-bullying-supreme-a-pack-of-dogs-who-targeted-differentboy/ )
You may want to know why I am not surprised. I just see this action as part of a pattern. During his career as a venture capitalist at Bain Capital he specialized in buying up, parting out and for the most part destroying companies while shipping the jobs overseas. He can boast that he helped some companies but for the most part his actions as a businessman only benefited him and his stockholders. He preyed on the weak as a businessman and was quite successful in doing so. Mitt was a Bully again during this year’s Republican Presidential primary campaign. He carpet bombed his opponents, notably Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum with a nasty, negative ad campaign that even left many conservative Republicans crying foul. I wasn’t a big fan of either Newt or Rick but Mitt’s destruction of them was the work of a bully who obviously relished his work. I lost whatever respect I had for Mitt during those primaries.
Mitt Romney reminds me of Greg Marmalard and Doug Neidermeyer, the leaders of the elite “Omega” Fraternity in the movie Animal House. They were rich, sanctimonious and polished bullies that attempt to bully and brutalize the socially unacceptable students over at Delta House. Mitt has serial bully who loves to destroy those he believes might become a threat even if they are weak and underfunded. However he seems to be afraid of the bullies of the Religious Right, but since he needs their support he is willing to let them dictate his decisions. This happened most recently when he appointed an openly gay man as his foreign policy spokesman and then tossed him under the bus after being excoriated by Bryan Fisher of the American Family Association. Fisher then mocked Mitt for buckling to him, a self described “Yokel.”
Bullies are not tough guys, they prey on the weak or those they perceive to be weak while inside they are spineless and soulless. Maybe that’s why he is on three sides of every issue and was described as an “Etch-a-Sketch” by one of his senior campaign aides during the primaries.
Mitt sort of apologized in a non-apologetic way today saying “I participated in a lot of hijinks and pranks during high school and some might have gone too far and for that, I apologize.” That was a crock. He claimed not to remember the incident and I almost want to believe him, simply because I see the bullying trait as part of who he is, he probably doesn’t remember because the incidents all kind of run together.
However, if one is basically a peaceful person that does not habitually engage in physical or emotional abuse of those that you deem less than yourself you tend to remember violent acts in your life. It doesn’t matter if you participated in something that you later regretted and didn’t repeat because you knew that you were guilty of something that was wrong, immoral and against your moral code or if you were the victim of someone else. Violent and traumatic acts burn themselves into our memories.
When I was a kid I was not very big and was pretty much always the new kid in town. As a result there were some places where I got picked on or bullied. I was an easy target for some. I remember every fight that I got into, where I got hit and the emotions that I felt when bullied, the fear of wondering if someone else was going to bully me. In every case I fought back against bullies or groups. My first fight was when I went to the aid of a neighbor kid that was being beaten up by the block bully, a kid that was older and bigger than the kids on my street. I got the worst of it and the fight was broken up by adults. My new school jacket was ripped and I had a black eye and was grounded by my parents for getting into a fight. However the bully didn’t bother my neighbor or me again. I could give details of the others but it would pretty much be the same story, except I was the kid getting bullied and decided to defend myself. There was one event in 4th grade when I transferred mid year to a school in a different state and two in Junior High School. Those in Junior High were against kids that were much taller and bigger than me, one who had bullied me for all three years before I knocked him down hard with an uppercut to the jaw.
Those incidents are burned into my memory. If Mitt was not a serial bully who whether it was the rich kid that picked on those he deemed unworthy of being in his privileged prep school, those that he destroyed as a venture capitalist or his political opponents I think that he would remember details. But then maybe he does remember and like so many other things in his campaign he is simply trying to lie his way out of it, giving as ambiguous apology as he can without admitting any real guilt. Romney denies knowing that his victim in prep school was gay, but others say that he knew.
One thing that I learned in all four incidents was that bullies like to pick on those smaller or different than them. Those that the perceive as weak and those that they think they can dominate. They seldom feel guilty for their acts or have any empathy for their victims.
Mitt is now supported by various leaders of the “Christian right.” These men and a few women are mostly minsters or heads of para-church and allied organizations. All are associated closely with Evangelical Christian groups conservative Catholic ministries not directly connected with the Church. They include on the evangelical side Bryan Fisher, Peter LaBarbera, Tony Perkins and Gary Bauer, Franklin Graham, Bill Donohue and Randall Terry. These guys don’t seem to mind bullying those that they see as different (Moslems), inferior (Women) or believe that God particularly hates (Gays). Of course it’s okay because they believe that the Bible or Church Tradition gives them that right. Of course they almost always ignore the parts of the Bible and Church Tradition that don’t agree with their position.
I find that bullies are bullies and always will be bullies. They prey on those different than them, they prey on those smaller and weaker than them and they will use whatever rational they need to use to justify behavior that is unjustifiable.
Why is an incident that happened nearly 50 years ago important and relevant in the election of a President? Because it demonstrates a lack of character and willingness to victimize the weak. It is important because it shows that his business practices and his treatment of his fellow Republican primary contenders. It important because he seems to think it is not important and even chuckled as he apologized. It shows that appears that to believe that different rules apply to him.
Mitt Romney seems to be an unrepentant and unabashed bully. He is a real life Greg Marmalard or Doug Neidermeyer.
The Omega’s will rule, unless the Delta’s fight back. If we don’t we’ll all be on our knees saying “Thank you sir may I have another.”