Skip to main content

Dear Mitt Romney,

As Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, draws near, I have done my level best to say "I'm sorry" to those I've wronged – to mend those rifts I've helped to create.

Doing so hasn't been easy. Actually, it's been tortuous.

Which is why lately I've been thinking a lot about contrition, about remorse, about the internal strength it takes to apologize. And I've been thinking about how difficult a task asking for forgiveness actually is, about how much is required for someone to engage in the process.

It demands emotional sensitivity, a sublimation of the ego, psychic courage and generosity (when an apology is sincere).

And the more I've thought about the concept of apologizing, the more I've thought about how only true leaders – leaders who have our best interests at heart, at least some of the time – are capable of both taking credit for real accomplishments and apologizing for missteps.

Only a worthy leader, a leader who is concerned about the needs of others, can step back from his or her position of power and say, "I'm sorry."

President Barack Obama has done this, time and again.

He's apologized for personal missteps on countless occasions. He even did so in his first days in office when he made a careless joke at Nancy Reagan's expense and then called her to sincerely apologize.

That impressed me.

And Obama's apologized for the misdeeds of our nation and his missteps as leader of that nation. Not all of them, to be sure. But he has expressed remorse to many parties, both domestic and international, which have been wronged by our policies. He's apologized to Afghans for the Koran burning which took place on a U.S. base. He apologized to Poland for an unintentional verbal offense.

He even, in a handwritten note, apologized to a couple for choosing a rally location where they were meant to be be married.

The list goes on, of course.

Which led me to think about you, Mitt, about how you seem to have a penchant both for making offensive statements and not apologizing for them. To confirm my impression, I went to Google and searched for "Romney apologizes." Do you know what the first three hits are?

And I thought, "I expect you to apologize, Mitt Romney."

I thought, "If you want me to entrust this nation to your leadership, I expect you to be strong enough to be able to publicly express remorse when you slip up, as we all do."

But – and correct me if I'm wrong – you do not. You do not seem to be a man equipped to both recognize and care about the suffering of others. You do not seem to be a man equipped to sublimate your ego. You do not seem to have the psychic courage necessary to express remorse.

Which is just one more reason why, as I think about atonement this Yom Kippur, I feel you're not the man I want leading our nation.

And I don't apologize for saying so.

Author's Note:

This was coincidentally posted right after Mets102's "I Apologize." The titles aren't meant to play off one another, though it is quite comical.

Have an easy fast, those who will be fasting.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site