Mitt Romney as The Feckless Male

So one thing fascinating about being a professor is that you notice over a span of years the changes in student behavior and trends. While I’m of the mind that human behavior doesn’t change all that much across the ages, now and then you notice the recent quirks and spikes. What I’ve noticed in the last five years or so is an offshoot of the Boy Crisis: The Rise of the Feckless Male. Often it’s upper-middle-class males in their twenties who seem rather weak and spongy, as if they’ve never had to work a miserable job, whose seem to put an inordinate amount of decision-making effort into their ipod playlists and moony efforts to land an attractive female (or male) companion—kind of an emo thing, I suppose: Music + Girls/Boys = Happiness. And I’ll hardly argue with that, and remember back to my own undergraduate days when these things seemed of paramount importance. But what’s changed seems to be a kind of whiny weakness, a sense of entitlement that surfaces in what seems a lack of gumption. Which brings me to Mitt Romney . . . .
. . . who will become the next Republican presidential candidate, most likely, and therefore have a good shot at becoming President, in our wacky electoral landscape. And although he is certainly of a much different generation than the college males born around 1990ish—as most students are right now—he also fits the bill as a Feckless Male, though in a different way. The latest idiocy spewed by Rush Limbaugh is a good example of how Romney fails to show much gumption: He won’t even criticize Rush for calling Sandra Fluke a “slut,” and his pervy suggestion that women who want their birth control paid for by health insurance should make sex videos (which is just too weird for most media to address, I’ve noticed). That’s how Romney is a Feckless Male. He’ll talk tough about (someone else going to war and dying) attacking Iran, but won’t even condemn Rush Limbaugh, a fat gasbag, for fear of losing some votes. Here’s a piece that includes Romney’s actual response, or weaseling:
Romney is the kind of guy Charles Murray writes about in Coming Apart: The rich fool who has so little interaction with the common man that he can’t relate. Remember Romney’s quote about hunting “varmints, if you will”? Tim Egan in the NY Times does a great riff on that, here:

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