Have you ever seen a bully get their comeuppance? I have, even before recent events. It is not as satisfying as one might think.
First published in December 2019.
I was in high school before the time of gun scares. Instead, there were the occasional knock-down drag-out fights in the hallways, between boys and girls alike. One day I witnessed one of the bullies being jumped by two other would-be alphas. He had his jacket pulled over his head and couldn’t defend himself while they beat him down. It all happened so fast, it was all anyone could do to just watch. The two attackers ran out the side door before the teacher had gotten through the crowd to break it up.
I never knew what happened after, or why the fight took place. The bully mentioned he knew who his attackers were, but not before letting out a roar of primal rage, his face beaten, bloody and crazed. Had he taken a swing at the teacher, people may not have been surprised.
I remember having no sense of schadenfreude that day. If anything, there was a sense of dread over what he might do next, who he would be taking his rage out on.
The pleasure derived by someone from another person’s misfortune.
// Source: Oxford Dictionary
So. Let’s talk about Trump since the impeachment has gained momentum.
Is it really any coincidence that his administration decided to cut food stamps for the poor at the same time word got out that he was humiliated by the world leaders most thought to be America’s allies? Even Boris Johnson, who has somehow risen to power looking like a Trump cosplayer?
I wouldn’t have thought so at first, but the last two years have made me think differently. Especially when I consider departing Kentucky Governor, Republican and Trump favorite Matt Bevin.
Bevin took his defeat in stride by pardoning a multitude of violent criminals. This included a murderer whose brother contributed to Bevin’s failed reelection campaign.
This is why I am not afraid of Kim Jong Un because he is getting away with calling Trump a “dotard.” I am afraid of what Trump will do in reaction to being called that.
In this way, Trump has become America’s abusive partner, leaving us to whatever his anger-fueled whims can dish out at a moment’s notice.
We act as if Trump has heralded a new age of bullying. That’s true to an extant, but if we are honest, we would admit these same bullies have been among us forever. It is not too far-fetched to believe that they have been in government far before Trump made it fashionable. Bill Hicks once called Americans “the bullies of the world.” Relate this quote to the average American, and see them prove it by way of their overreaction.
I have seen the reactions of bullies who get told they are being bullies. They are sleeping, lazy giants who get enraged when made to confront with their own behavior and actions. It never turns out well for anyone, especially those who are rightfully calling said behavior and actions out.
Throughout his scandal-ridden presidency, Trump remains simultaneously unrepentant, furious and somehow energized amidst the allegations against him, especially since it seems whatever the charges, the Republican-controlled senate will vindicate him. Worse, this energy has carried over to his base these past three years.
Think of the Connecticut politician who days before Trump’s inauguration groped a female staffer declaring, “I love this new world.” Or the Florida man who in 2018 cited Trump’s own behavior as a way to defend his own actions on an airline flight.
Of course, there is more. Far too many to list at this point.
These are not new bullies, suddenly turning heel as if it was pro-wrestling. These are thugs who answer the call to arms when they have the opportunity, the advantage, and the numbers. The Trump presidency has them teeming with all of the above.
Trump has been accumulating his army of bullies for a while. With the recent spectacle in Kentucky, even more numbers have been added. Who knows how many more politicians (especially any outgoing politicians) will be inspired to similarly boost their ranks during the upcoming election year.
Because if anything aggravates liberal snowflake, it is murderers and rapists being released for no reason other than spite, am I right?
Activists on the left have long brought up the idea of people needing to organize and rally to enact real change. Who would have thought the racist, radical right would turn that idea against us?
Come Wednesday, the impeachment vote will go down. Anyone who is a pro-Trump bully is probably excited at the idea of an upcoming fight. Especially if it is a rigged fight with Mitch McConnel and a GOP majority Senate with eyes on the prize of four more years.
Everyone else who has ever been intimidated, harassed and left exhausted in the wake of bullies will partially be terrified. Even if Trump is removed from office.
Even if you remove the man, the mob will remain. The bully pulpit will just be filled again.
For the last three years, too many of us have been reliving our high school years, walking around as if we are back in our school hallways, waiting for some bully to take a swipe at us. Maybe we never truly left.🔷
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