Throughout the many years which we attend school and listen to our parents we always hear the common sayings when it comes to how to treat your peers: “follow the golden rule”, and “treat others the way you want to be treated”. Well sayings like these worked in kindergarten, but as we get older and develop new ideas and perceptions, especially during our teen years, it is inevitable that we are not going separate ourselves from those who do not think like us. But sometimes this separation is not enough for people, and some feel the need to express their opinions to people who do not believe what they do. Recently Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee running against Obama, had a scandal with a bullying incident which happened way back when he was in high school.
Mitt Romney went to a very prestigious prep school near Detroit called Cranbrook during his high school career. Romney did very well in school but as most of do, no matter how wrong we all believe it is, teased a student about his hair and decided to pull a prank on him. The student who accused Romney of this is John Lauber described the attack as if it were a scene pulled out of The Lord of Flies, when simply Romney cut a snippet of the boy’s hair which was hanging over his eyes. Through the complex and twisted world of media, the idea was firstly twisted as if to say that because of this one act, the act of an 18 year old Mitt Romney, should convince us to vote otherwise in the upcoming election. How can the action of an eighteen year old high school student affect how we perceive the man which we see today? Are we to believe that over all of the years that he has lived since then, he has not learned from his mistakes. Are we to believe that politicians do not make mistakes; that politicians are supposed to live above the standards we uphold for ourselves? It does not seem fair to me that because of this one incident which happened in the 1960’s, people can rapidly feel dis-heartened by what he/she did. Everyone who has gone through high school, or life for that matter, are always making mistakes and learning from them and developing. Mitt Romney states,” Back in high school, you know, I did some dumb things, and…I participated in a lot of high jinks and pranks during high school, and some might have gone too far, and for that I apologize.” Mitt Romney is a person too even though he is a politician. Like all of us he made mistakes in high school and has learned from them.
Secondly around the time this news was released, Obama announced his support for Gay Marriage in America. Allegedly, the student which Romney “bullied” was gay. Romney in an interview claims that they did not talk about sexual orientation and that it was not a deliberate act against gay peoples. Many believe that in light of Obamas new announcement, the story was brought out to bring hatred toward the Romney campaign. Even though Romney has stated that he did not know nor even care for that matter the sexual interests of the individual, the story still brings fourth Romney into a negative light which is meant to show the exaggeration of his views. I simply believe that the incident which happened nearly five decades ago, was a learning experience and should not reflect the Romney of today. If we have learned anything from our time in government, it is that the media and people manipulate stories to their advantage and personal gain, and we as learned men and women must decipher for ourselves what is false and what is fiction. Truly an incident which happened fifty years ago, in high school, has no reflection on a man of today! We all make mistakes, we are all human!; even politicians!
Although we have studied a variety of topics, only one has truly stuck with me and has brought me to question the politics of our time. Before enrolling into this class I believed I knew how the government worked, and everything that there was to know about government; especially Congress. From the elementary classes which briefly touched on the matter I knew the superficial basics of what congress is and how it works. Then, coming into this year when we first stepped into the new unit about congress it was like someone slapped me in the head and took all my lunch money; it seemed that the whole foundation of politics which I had gained was thrown right out the window. Reading the paper which Woodrow Wilson and other articles helping to explain this new modern concept of congress helped my knowledge of the system very much muddled brain to lay a new foundation and develop a starting point for my newly developed view of Congress and how our government actually works today.
Though I was quite confused of how Congress truly worked in the midst of my congressional exploration, I soon became enthralled with the idea of how our system actual works and functions and wanted to know more. While Woodrow Wilson laid down a strong foundation for my new thoughts upon the new Congress I was still slightly confused on the matter of what a committee was at its core value. A congressional committee is a sub- organization of Congress which handles individual matters rather than that of the whole congress. Secondly I was somewhat confused on how these committees worked, and why the way they worked was so controversial. Congressional committees in essence look after ongoing government operations, and offers their view and how they should approach the situation to the main body; Congress. The controversy behind the Congressional committees is similar to that of the classic high school rebel, who is “gonna do he wants, when he wants!” Congressional Committees work harder and provide more input into their own committee rather than focusing on ideas which would benefit the country. Rather than providing input to the congress as whole and actually discussing ideas with the rest of the members of congress, they merely talk about the issues which they believe are important to their committees. Woodrow Wilson stated it beautiful saying, “… it is not far from the truth to say that Congress in session is Congress on public exhibition, whilst Congress in its committee rooms is Congress at work.” Congress at its core is merely a façade of our amusement. The real work happens behind closed doors, in the committee offices.
But this is merely a small matter in the world of controversy. The big story here is that of “bill with holding.” On the way to the White House bills pass through dozens of peoples’ hands, and some of these hands are those of Committees. Bills are assigned to a specific committee for the distinct purposes. In most cases the bill has a role which the committee plays a role in. The problem comes to when the bill actual reaches the committee heads. When a bill reaches the committee, the committees will consider the impact of the bill and weigh cost and benefits. If the bill is approved then they will move it on, but the reality is that a majority of the bills never make it out of committees. It is said that the bills, “died in committee.” I believe that this is a huge injustice which simply slides under the radar. The purpose of our form of government is a government for the people, therefore every bill should have the chance to make it at least to the floor of congress in order for proper evaluation of all peers can take place. If we lose these simple principles where have the values of our times gone? Where have our values of Democracy gone?