I was flipping through channels in my hotel room today when I came across Mitt Romney answering questions, town hall style, on C-SPAN. I like Romney; I think he did a decent job governing here in MA, even if he did a horrible job picking a Lt. Governor, Kerry Healey, who was clearly chosen to get votes from women and ran a terrible campaign, both votes wise and morally, in her run for governor against Deval Patrick.
The questions he answered today were all pretty standard, and normally would not be worth mentioning, but one stuck out in my mind. When asked about violence in the media, he basically said all media should be wholesome family entertainment with no violence, sex, etc… and sort of indirectly blamed those things for the Virginia Tech shootings, Columbine, and other seemingly random acts of violence in recent memory.
This worried me, because I knew that he was basing his views not on the numerous studies on whether violence in media can lead to violence in people — which it doesn't, except in the very short-term — but rather on his highly religious moral compass. Now don't get me wrong. I don't feel that religion is wrong or bad, and I think that people who don't want to vote for him simply because he is Mormon are bigots and stupid, but it still worries me.
History has a tendency to repeat itself, and attitudes like that make me think about book burnings in the Middle Ages, when media was deemed "dangerous" as well. Hell, some of the rest of the world STILL does things like that, and there but for the grace of God, go we. I know free speech is really free speech with responsibility, and probably nothing will come of this in terms of legislation banning video games or anything of that nature, but it does leave me with the nagging feeling that he is a bit behind the times in that respect.
Then again, nobody's perfect.