I’ve been invited to comment and am hesitant because I try to ignore the digging into candidates early lives as evidence of current temperament and clues about leadership style. But I have heard a little about this incident and will try to offer some constructive commentary.
From what I can gather there were several incidents involving a young Mitt Romney, the now-Republican nominee for president, and some pranks that could be interpreted as “insensitive” if not “cruel” to young homosexual males in his class at prep school.
I believe the story goes that Mitt was traveling by car from Massachusetts to Canada and tied a classmate to the roof of the car for the entire 12 hour drive. Presumably it has now leaked out that the reason the boy was tied to the roof of the car wasn’t just because he was a democrat. But because he was gay too.
I find this sort of teen boy prankster mentality offensive and embarrassing but probably not indicative of some deep seated character flaw that Romney possesses. For example, there are other stories—I believe—about Romney routinely traveling with his pet dog attached to the roof of the car. It had nothing to do with the dog’s sexual orientation. Romney simply felt he would sully the interior of the car. I suspect Romney felt the same way about the gay democratic boy.
So, what we see upon closer examination is that Romney wasn’t guilty so much of homophobia but rather a foolish teen prank that was perhaps a harbinger of Mitt’s well documented metrosexual and neatnik inclinations.
Besides, common sense suggests that there really could not have been an anti-gay motive behind young Mitt’s antics. First off the name of the prep school was Cranbrook. That’s a pretty gay name for a high school, if you ask me. And it was an all boy prep school. So clearly, any boy who attended Cranbrook was already either himself homosexual or at least completely comfortable being suspected of being a homosexual. It just doesn’t add up.
Was Mitt an anti-gay bully? Are you kidding? Have you seen this guy? Was he a meticulous metrosexual prankster who feared gay democratic germs being left in his car while he drove to Canada? Probably—and nothing more. And by the way, what was he driving to Canada for anyway? That causes a whole set of other much more serious concerns about Mitt’s fitness for our highest office.