The Forgetful and The Regretful

This Washington Post article about Mitt Romney’s high school pranks, etc is all the internet rage. I read the whole thing. I wanted to stop after the first page when it became less about how he was a bully and more about how he was in every organization and not that Mormon. Okay, sure.

The specific incident described reminded me of a story of someone I know who was held down by her classmates, had her shirt lifted up and laughed at because she hadn’t grown boobs yet. Why are people so awful? The article disturbed me but not just because of the “prank” itself (side note: Mitt could stand to look up the definition of prank and the definition of harassment and compare) but because it says throughout the article that Romney doesn’t remember the incident. I know it’s easier to remember something if you were the victim but who doesn’t remember the horrible things they have done in their past? Is there no guilt to remind you? Or was malicious behavior so regular that all those hilarious times blend together?

I remember just as clearly the times when I was intentionally embarrassed or left out as the times when I was the mean person perpetrating the nastiness. I remember because I still feel bad about the things I did, from teasing a girl for developing early; to following the queen bee’s lead and booting a close friend from the group because she was “annoying;” to refusing to befriend the other new girl in 8th grade when she asked because I knew she wouldn’t be cool enough. I was not nice, I admit it, I regret it.

The lack of recollection probably is just politician speak. Still, even if I was inclined to support Mitt Romney, I don’t like the idea of someone who can’t even recall (see: admit) participating in an incident that haunted the victim his entire life, representing the United States and me.

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