Excuse me, I didn't go to Cranbrook. That's the all-boys' high school of the silver-spoon crowd that Mitt Romney palled around with. Yup, while Obama, at the age of seven, was palling around with the likes of Saul Alinsky and Bill Ayers, Romney was hanging out at Cranbrook, in Michigan. His daddy was a self-made millionaire. Obama's was a man whom he barely got to know, and his mom was a Kansas girl.
And I went to Henry Snyder High School in Jersey City. We had no silver-spoon kids in our school. But one hot summer day I'm standing in front of my house on Bergen Avenue. In 1958 I was 17. Nobody I knew had air conditioning at home, so it was nice to catch a breeze outside instead of staying in the sweltering house. And along comes Bill, an ordinary guy I know from school.
Bill stops for a desultory chat. We wander from one topic to another, until finally Bill tells me about his involvement with the Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps. He told me how he and his comrades would go to New York, go on boats to learn naval stuff, and generally hang out on the water. Not my thing, but what the hell?
Then the conversation took an unforeseen turn. Bill told me how he and some other Corps members were in New York when they encountered a man who was, shall we say, giving them the eye, presumably because he was smitten by their astonishingly good looks. Clearly a queer, and these guys would have nothing to do with queers. And so they dragged him into an alley and beat the living tar out of him. Nothing too bad. Just a teenage prank Things that tough, macho boys do.
Being rather naive, unsophisticated in such things, I heard all of this with some lack of enthusiasm, and let the conversation take its course. In October, 1957, the Soviets had announced they had put a satellite into orbit circling the Earth. It was called Sputnik, meaning satellite, and it created a bit of a stir. But Bill assured me that such a feat on the part of the Soviets was impossible. They didn't have the technology to accomplish such a thing. It was all done on a film lot, like in Hollywood, where a picture can be made to tell a thousand lies. But again I digress.
Let's get back to our buddy Mitt, the silver-spoon kid. If recent news stories are true, he too had his issues with people who were different from him. He too took a rather extreme way of dealing with those issues. This article from The New York Times gives you the gist of it: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/11/us/politics/years-later-a-prep-school-bullying-case-snares-romney.html?_r=1&hp
So about ten days or so ago, the Romneys appeared on a morning show. Ann Romney laughed and exclaimed how wild and crazy Mitt is. You just have to get to know him. Mitt chuckled. It took Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC to point out that by that point the Romney campaign was aware that the Washington Post was doing some investigative reporting, looking into Gov. Romney's time at Cranbrook, where he apparently was a wild and crazy kid. And that explains why they were laying the groundwork for showing that he was nothing but a great big silly teddy bear who would pull pranks, but never really hurt anyone.
Now I too, have a confession to make. I too had a wild and crazy youth. I recall vividly that on one or two occasions I refused to stand up in a subway train when an older person wanted to sit. And yes, a few times I talked back to my parents. To this day, I look back and regret those misdeeds. I really was a delinquent. But young Mitt has me beat by far in the juvenile delinquent sweepstakes.
But I did learn something as I grew up. I learned that time after time, whenever you hear some guy whining about gays, homosexuality, the horror and evil of it all...you can usually lay odds that that's one guy who has issues about his own sexual identity. Homoerotic inclinations? Ask Ted Haggard, ask Larry Craig, ask any of those people who so loudly denounce gays. Why are you guys so uptight about gayocity? Why, huh? Tell me why?