Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mitt Romney's Pattern of Cruelty

For years we've said that Mitt Romney's decision to transport his family dog strapped to the roof of his car - at least once for 12-hours, while the dog was ill - is indicative of a possible character flaw that should be investigated. During the campaign, Romney has said things that perpetuated our concerns. "I'm not concerned about the very poor," the multimillionaire said on CNN. "We have a safety net there." 

Now the Washington Post has uncovered news that Romney was an anti-gay bully in high school. He didn't just participate in name-calling, either. He led a group in a physical attack on another student who was thought to be homosexual.

Matthew Friedemann, now a dentist, lived in the same dorm as Romney. According to Friedemann, another student, John Lauber, caught Romney's attention. Lauber was a "soft-spoken new student" who was "perpetually teased for his noncomformity and presumed homosexuality." 

Romney didn't like the way Lauber wore his hair, which was bleached-blonde and draped over one eye. After a few days of complaining about Lauber's appearance, Friedemann said, he saw Romney leading a group a students, shouting about their plan to cut Lauber's hair.

Friedemann followed Romney's mob to a nearby room where they tackled Lauber and pinned him to the ground. As Lauber screamed for help, his eyes filling with tears, Romney repeatedly clipped his hair with a pair of scissors, the Washington Post reports.

When asked about the report yesterday, Ed Gillespie, Romney's senior campaign adviser, said Romney "doesn't remember that at all."

Five other students remember it, though. Each witness was interviewed individually. Each, the Washington Post says, remembered it "similarly." Four spoke on the record. 

Thomas Buford, a retired prosecutor who participated with Romney in the attack that day said, "to this day it troubles me." Lauber, the victim, was "terrified," Buford said. Buford subsequently apologized to Lauber.

"It was a hack job," said Phillip Maxwell, a lawyer and friend of Romney's who saw what happened that day. "It was vicious."

David Seed, a retired principal who witnessed the incident, ran into Lauber years later at the Chicago O'Hare International Airport. Seeing an opportunity to get something off his chest, Seed brought up the incident and apologized to Lauber that he "didn't do more to help in the situation." Lauber told Seed "it was horrible," explaining how frightened he was during the incident. "It's something I have thought about a lot since then," Lauber said.

A dentist, a lawyer, a prosecutor, and a principal all remember the incident clearly. The only person who doesn't remember it is the GOP nominee for president of the United States.

Lauber died in 2004, but he is remembered by those who cared about him. Just like Seamus.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for persisting, for voicing what everyone felt, and ultimately inspiring others to find their voices with stories of unthinkable deeds.

Anonymous said...

I'm not surprised that Willard doesn't remember bulling that other boy. A privileged sociopath like him wouldn't consider the bulling worthy remembering.

Everyone that is different or weaker is "beneath" him and is only good for scorn and contempt.