Bullies and bullying are a universal evil. If bullying ended at the schoolyard gate, that would be bad enough but, as we all know, bullying doesn’t stop there. The whole schoolyard follows us through life — with bullies getting to be bullies forever like Hook-ified versions of Peter Pan. Donald Trump is the worst kind of schoolyard bully. He’s the kind who never gets his well manicured, teeny-tiny hands dirty. He gets other people to get THEIR hands dirty on Donald’s behalf. That’s why, even though they despised Trump as he tore through their primary in 2016, the Republicans, deep down, not only admired Trump, they aspired to be him. Not just a bully, an uber-bully. And, let’s not forget, when the Republicans made Trump their nominee in 2016, they did it KNOWING that Trump was owned outright by ANOTHER mega-bully, Vladimir Putin. Current GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy said so out loud a month before the nominating convention to a roomful of the Republican leadership.
Let’s stay in that room a few moments longer. A person the whole room TRUSTS has just entered and announced that he suspects their presidential nominee is OWNED by the head of state of a hostile foreign government. That really happened. Yet no one IN that room seemed surprised — or overly bothered by its sheer illegality. Or — worse yet — by the implications of nominating a person to the presidency who could be EVEN REMOTELY compromised by, of all countries, RUSSIA! Let’s assume (for argument’s sake) that everyone in the room understood just HOW illegal this would be. We’re talking treason. Stone cold treason. And yet, STILL, no one in the room objected to the direction they were all heading: toward nominating a foreign intelligence asset to be president. What could possibly cause people to go there? This isn’t just some cold political calculation, this is crawling into bed and snuggling up with a country we’ve been at war with (one way or another) for 100 years — ever since the Communists took control and turned Old Russia into the Soviet Union.
People who like authoritarians also like bullies. They have no use for democracy because democracy is entirely unpredictable while authoritarianism isn’t. They prefer leadership that tells rather than asks its constituency what’s going to happen. They prefer it that politicians pick their electorate rather than the other — proper — way around. Conservatism, by its nature, fosters bullying. Most of us exist in a world that, while aspiring to equality and equity and all those good things, fails considerably. We maintain those aspirations however; we demand them now. We won’t rest until the playing field is certifiably level. Conservatism on the other hand relies on the playing field remaining exactly as it is. THAT is what conservatism wants to conserve — the status quo — and the status quo favors white people over everyone else.
Bullies then are the status quo’s “enforcers”. While the rest of us recoil whenever we hear bullying, bullies hear a clarion call to bully more. If people are complaining about being bullied, that can only mean a bully is succeeding somewhere at his objective. By the same token, you really can’t bully people into progress. It’s too vague a target. Its goal is too antithetical to bullying; if you had to bully to get there, you can’t get there!
It’s like “cheating to win”. If you cheat to win, then by the rules, you did not “win”. How can one “win” without following the rules? This is an argument America needs to have with itself if it wants to remain a democratic republic. Either the rule of law is or it isn’t. We’ve experimented with following it half-way and we very nearly went under. We’re still in treacherous waters. Cheating cannot be just another “campaign tactic” that campaigns run when their ideas aren’t selling. The moment anyone steps outside the rules in order to win, both they and their “win” (if they succeeded in cheating) must be voided. The cheater’s win is wiped off the books, the cheater gets prosecuted and everyone who helped the cheater cheat gets punished as well and — like the cheater — banned from ever participating in an American election ever again (except as a voter so long as they’re not actively doing time).
But, our news media — always happy to oblige bullshit and give it maximum credence — insists that cheating to win IS just “another way to ‘win’ election” in America.
This simply cannot be. It’s a lie no country can live and survive — like saying “All men are created equal” out of one side of your mouth while bidding on slaves out the other side. Holding two contrary thoughts in your head is one thing. Having a country that tries to live them is, we keep learning, a recipe for disaster. It leads to Civil War. It leads to a country that STILL nurtures white supremacy even as it demonstrates the remarkable advantages and benefits of e pluribus unum. America’s exceptionalism — and it really does exist — is its diversity. Nowhere before among humans had a country formed (countries being relatively novel things) that, rather than being made up of one extensive national tribe was made up of ALL the various national tribes, all trying to make a go of it TOGETHER, not in their home countries but there — IN AMERICA. E pluribus unum — out of many, ONE.
In order to succeed as part of the many, one must be open-minded to who the “many” are and what each group’s particular habits are. This is not an exact science. There is no “book” on how to do it, we ARE the book. We’re writing it in real time. Because that’s how reality works.
Bullies don’t care for reality. Outside the schoolyard, justice lurks. The really talented bullies bring the schoolyard with them wherever they go. By sucking others into their schoolyard, they expand their schoolyard and thus their environment for bullying. To his credit, Trump has a remarkable ability to expand his schoolyard. Also to his credit, being a lesser bully, he recognizes that Vlad Putin is a class of bully he will never be. Ah, but a bully like Trump can dream, can’t he?
Trump didn’t just admire every dictator on the planet, he wanted to be them. As we’re now learning, toward the end of his presidency, Trump really and truly wanted to declare martial law. He wanted to use the military (which, oh, the irony, the Republicans have now turned on) to prevent the peaceful transfer of power. The ultimate act of bullying in a democratic society — the complete denial of the society’s right to govern itself. THEY will govern. They and their pals.
Bullies are especially good at screaming about being bullied when justice finally gets ahold of them.
This is something the bullied need to learn about bullies. They rely on our fairness. They count on our sympathy. Their goal is to NEVER take responsibility for what they’ve done — another kind of bullying. In the same way, rapists behave like rapists in everything they do. Inside their heads, they feel entitled to be anywhere they want — including inside your most personal space. Rapists are just bullies with their dicks in their hands. If they had any capacity to empathize, they would not be bullies to begin with. We cannot appeal to their humanity as they have none. What we can “appeal to” however is their wallet. Heartless and soulless as every racist is, their wallet pumps with vital “life blood” — money. Threaten even the hardiest racist’s wallet and he, too, will melt into a puddle of pure white Jello.
At that meeting a month before the GOP nominated Trump in 2016, then Speaker Of The House Paul Ryan corralled the room quickly. Whatever unease some might have felt at the prospect of a hostile foreign government having a viable hold on a future POTUS, they agreed with Ryan’s admonition for them all to keep this secret — that none of them questioned — a secret among them. “That’s how we know we’re family,” said SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE Paul Ryan.
Know what kind of “families” talk like that? Know what those families are “famous for”? Hint-hint: it starts with the letter “B”.