I don't know why anyone would want to be president. I can't think of any really really good reasons you'd want to expose your entire life to public scrutiny or why you'd want your character and integrity to be slandered.
Mitt Romney seems like a decent guy and I confess I have sympathies for him because of his religion. I expect more from him than I expect from someone like Rudy Giuliani. I expect Romney to be honest and charitable and to have strong moral fiber. I think he's probably most of those things. I don't know him, but I've come to recognize a certain amount of strength and goodness from Mormons in general. I know it's a generalization, but I have to say that the majority of Mormons I know try very hard to be good people and make honest decisions.
So, when I read a story like the one found in Time, something doesn't ring true. What I see is less a story about Mitt Romney and more an illustration that Romney is not the favored candidate by Time. For one thing, the writer of the Time clip, Ana Marie Cox, doesn't mention some of the facts of the story. The original story was pulled from a Boston Globe article, which is linked in the Time news clip. But how many readers are going to go to the source?
I want to point out the bias. I think it's pretty disgusting. Cox draws quotes from PETA and some "experts" from Massachusetts who were not even around in 1983. I beg anyone out there to accurately report on the social climate regarding animal rights and how the family pet was typically viewed and treated in the late '70s and early '80s. Family pet, or bona fide member? I don't really know, I was only five at the time. My cats were still reeling from the shock of my birth, and I was still figuring out how to hold them without accidentally choking them to death.
Identifying the Bull-shit
You've got a bold and vicious headline (designed to lure readers) that makes it sound like Romney was found torturing his dog in the backyard. What really seems to have happened, at least as I perceive it, is that a father tried to make room for his entire family plus the family dog for a long trip. It sounds to me like it was important to have the family pet along on the trip because they, you know, probably love the dog.
I'm not sure what kind of excuse Romney might have for how he transported the dog. I wonder if he would do the same kind of thing today, or if he's grown into a different person. I know that when I was younger, I saw the world differently. I know that when I'm 60, I'll be different than I am now, at 29.
PETA: The Real Experts on Animal Cruelty
I question, very much, the expertise of PETA. I think it's great that on some level they give a voice to all animals great or small. But I also know that PETA encourages shelters to euthanize their animals and they facilitate, through their programs, chaining or tethering the family pet. They don't educate as much as they shock and scare the public into…what? Action? I guess.
They don't raise money to create facilities where animals need not be euthanized (something that would be extremely useful), and, on at least one occasion, their employees were found dumping the bodies of recently euthanized animals in a super market dumpster. That doesn't sound very ethical OR very empathetic (previous post on PETA).
So, where is this ethics line drawn? It seems to be very subjective. PETA answers to PETA. Everyone else answers to PETA and the law. But when it comes right down to it, I answer to me. Mitt Romney answers to his conscience. Given my experience with my own vicious conscience, I bet he's not proud of that choice he made. I imagine he tried to make it up to the dog. I could be wrong, but I also think he wouldn't choose that mode of transportation for the dog again.
Calling the Kettle Black
Me? I'm hypersensitive about how animals are treated, and I predict that, given the social climate and trends regarding animals, soon it will be considered inhumane to treat animals like luggage when we fly. That one really gets me. That we believe it's ok for a cat or dog to ride in the luggage bin of an airplane. Think of the lack of air pressure, and the wind, and the deafening noise. Can you think of it?
Stoker and I have taken our cat on a plane with us, where she rode in a carrier under our seat. She meowed the entire time. It was stressful, but at least I was there to hear her meows and touch her a little bit. Somehow PETA workers get beyond the warmth of an animals' life and, probably, its visceral protests, to find the strength of character it takes to kill the animal. Hmmm. Good ol' PETA and their double standards.