Circa 2012, President Obama, as we all know, defeated a wealthy Republican candidate by the name of Mitt Romney. At approximately 11 p.m. eastern standard time, Obama was declared the winner in his reelection bid. On Obama’s side, emotions could be summed up this way: jubilation, relief, joy, feelings of validation and an overall appreciation for the gravity of the moment.
On Romney’s side, we can surmise that emotions could be summed up this way: shock, disbelief, disappointment, anger, betrayal and bitter. The disbelief had to be temporarily suspended with the obligatory call to the President with a cursory congratulations and concession speech. The post-election aftermath had offered Romney the opportunity to intravenously inject truth serum that led to his demise-poor strategy, poor execution, gross miscalculations, poor internal polling, bad candidate, and lack of humility. But he resisted the medication.
There are valuable lessons to be learned from a humble experience. Mother Teresa in her book, The Joy of Living, says the following quotes about humility: “To speak as little as possible about one’s self, not to want to manage other people’s affairs, to accept being slighted, forgotten and disliked. Never to stand on one’s dignity. To mind one’s own business. To pass over the mistakes of others”. Such sagacity from one of human’s finest to ever walk the earth. Unfortunately, Mitt Romney did not have Mother Teresa on his summer reading list.
What we’ve seen over the past three years is the reemergence of a man who has demonstrated the complete opposite of humility. Romney’s armchair, fictitious presidency filled with I told you sos and what I’d do differently, shows a man who’s the ultimate illustration of a sore loser, a person who can’t let go, putting self before country. He seems haunted by the shadows of denial, needled by a sense of entitlement and unconvinced of his own culpability in his embarrassing loss. This corrosive combination has been on display in a number of ways. We’ve seen the inner processes of his mind actually believing the public would scream for his return with his ill-advised overtures to run again for president in 2016. Thankfully, he decided not to run.
We’ve seen Romney with his wack-a-mole reappearances on the Sunday morning shows, Meet the Press, Face the Nation, Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, CNN and This Week with George Stephanopoulos. You can also mix in his appearances at red meat Republican gatherings, public and private functions and radio outlets across the country criticizing President Obama on domestic and foreign policy at every turn. Recently, he’s gotten a lot of public airwaves for his Powerpoint Presentation in which he outlines his view of a weak President on foreign policy. This is what his existence has devolved into? Bitterness is so unattractive, it poisons the soul, clouds our judgment and creates distance to empathy.
Mitt Romney has not stopped there. He’s brought Hillary Clinton into his web of criticism. Romney has openly questioned the sincerity of Hillary’s policy positions and actually had the audacity to say, “What does she really believe? I think people wonder, can they really trust Hillary Clinton?” Now that is the pot calling the kettle black. Romney’s presidential campaign centered on camouflage, malleable policy positions, double talk, deception and audience expediency. Romney lost because America didn’t trust him.
But as a nation we should say a prayer for Mitt Romney and hope that wisdom and reflection brings on a new path in his remaining years. That he will see the error of his ways and find the peace that still eludes him, because the latest edition of “As the Mitt turns” is as much annoying, as it is painful to watch.
Writer, trained Social Worker and Mental Health Therapist. Husband, father and anti-racist at my core.