Now that Trump has gone, the abusers don’t want peace and compromise. They just know they can’t hurt anyone on the level they did before.


First published in January 2021.


Shortly before Biden’s victory was declared, a former Facebook friend of mine posted on their page:

“Looks like Biden will be our president. Hopefully conservatives (elected officials and supporters) show a better dignity in defeat than what has happened the past four years.”

Just another example of Trump’s base passing off smugness in victory for grace, their bitterness for acceptance. A stem of poison oak offered as an olive branch. The perfect bully tactic.

Of course, we all know how well the facade held up in the weeks to come, with that same friend supporting the Capitol Hill rioters and comparing it favorably in regards to the Black Lives Matter protests. Coincidentally or not, said former friend also took down that post as more information came out, including reports of incendiary devices, defecation and death in the Capitol.

Facebook

Among the lessons of the last four years, there has not been enough said about Trump’s beacon of light cast on the shadow of big business as he tried to fill Washington with his own brand of swamp without draining the swamp already there. Amid the mess of that, Trump – seemingly without coincidence – has also cast a light on bullies and the power they hold over the population in everyday life.

I still remember the late comic Patrice O’Neal, in one of his most listened-to Opie and Anthony interviews, lamenting the crackdown on bullies in his girlfriend’s daughter’s school. “No more bullying... ’cause bullying is gone now, but is it right?” It was surprising that anyone could be pro-bullying, but that was one of O’Neal’s best documented traits. For all his setbacks, his behavior served enough of a purpose for him to worry what would happen if he wasn’t allowed to push people’s buttons the way he did. And he’s not a lone wolf in that respect either.

I have looked back on the bosses and coworkers and people in my various social circles who had nothing worthwhile to say if they weren’t talking down to me. Even at my father’s workplace where I just swept floors and painted during college breaks, I noticed hostility and toxicity among the elite office spaces where I would eat lunch with him.

I can’t be the only one who witnessed all that’s happened in our country and has looked back on their life to see how other people benefited and got status and power not because of good traits but because of their ability to demean and belittle others.

Here’s a quote posted by a Trump supporting friend shortly after Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis:

“If you find yourself rooting for someone’s death, anyone’s death, it’s time to pause and take stock of how your own soul has rotted.”

There is nothing more relieving to a battered soul than when an abusive person has something happen to them that halts the abuse. It doesn’t have to be a tragedy, but quite often that’s what it takes, especially if the abusive person has any power over you at all. Often, karma is the only resource we have. Abusive people are not Nelson from The Simpsons (who has a ton more grace and humanity anyway). Real abusive people are crafty. They are slick and comfortable in the surroundings they manipulate. They target people who just want to get on with their lives who are more helpless than not.

And they move from the schoolyard to the workplace with the greatest of ease.

That’s how we got the last four years.

You would think anyone who’s worked five minutes in an office with an incompetent boss and their cadre of mewling sycophants would think it’s crazy to run a government like an office. But many liked it that way and still would. In workplaces, they are almost always abusive people in the environment, cobbled with people who benefit from said abuse whether or not they actively take part in the behavior.

And there are always people even higher in power who, if they don’t partake in the abuse, benefit from what they help to foster.

And it proliferates and continues. Today’s work forces are smaller and more close knit. Not because of any workplace effectiveness, but because it stifles dissent. Workers don’t report abusive people because, a) the people being reported will know who did it, and b) those reporting anything will be dealt with using the most extreme gaslighting behavior.

No wonder Trump had so many positions he never filled. He was loud when it suited his purpose, but there were many things he wanted hushed. No wonder the information coming out of the White House has proliferated a thousandfold since he lost the election.

Since 2016, most of us have been working overtime in anxiety each and every single weekend. All the while the boss’ favorites are standing proud, tall, and ready, benefiting from a system they only have to watch and let happen.

Are we supposed to feel bad when the bad boss finally calls in sick? Or gets fired?

That’s not what most of America probably felt a taste of for the first time in ages. During Trump’s COVID stay. The day Biden was announced the winner. That feeling that the world’s worst boss is all done, can barely keep themself alive.

If anyone’s soul is rotting from that pleasure, it’s probably because it has been beaten to near-death already during Trump’s tenure.

And then January 6 happened.

Because abusers always come back to abuse. Because that’s all bullies know how to do.

They can post Eagle-with-Jesus pictures on the eve of Joe Biden’s inauguration. They can cry over the supposed wave of socialism and godlessness coming. However, the fact of the matter is that the bullies came together because that’s what thugs do. When they are told they cannot hurt people anymore, they gang together to say, Oh yeah?

Facebook
A photo from my former Facebook friend, pre-inauguration.

And why wouldn’t they?

Noam Chomsky has often stated that America uses force and violence as their go-to diplomacy tactic because force and violence has a well-documented history of working.

And you can apply it anywhere on a smaller scale to keep everyone else in line. Abuse and hurting others work globally, nationally and locally.

The collaboration of abusers I have witnessed in workplaces over the years I can see in our overseas antics post-9/11. I can see it in the attempted coup. From the military men who stormed the capitol to the complicit law makers who egged them on.

They engaged in thuggery because it has worked so well up until now. It only backfired because to allow anything worse to happen would have exposed what is so obvious to the point that no one could even pretend to hide it.

So politicians are pushing back. Corporations are pushing back. Shamed lawmakers are offering their infected olive branch. Twitter and Facebook are pushing back after years of profiting from so much online brutality.

For a long time, I have seen people on Twitter gather and exchange information, and mockery with impunity. Even banned profiles are still used to communicate and help people find their new sock puppet accounts. People even today are still using @realDonaldTrump to let their chosen one know they are still out there.


A Twitter user stil tags Donald Trump in admiration on January 23.

And it is important to remember that they haven’t gone anywhere.

Twitter and Facebook appear to be cleaning up, and the boring farce they called Parler is gone, but the abusers are still there. They are making TikTok a haven for pro-Trump memes. Most are still on the social media they disavow. And they are all waiting for the next low-hanging fake #gamergate scandal to latch onto.

A recent TikTok user who followed me recently.

Americans who survived our workplace from hell better ready and stay vigilant and pressure our lawmakers to stay equally vigilant. Things are much quieter now, but not because the abusers want peace and compromise. They are quiet because now there is no way they can hurt anyone on the level they were able to just a short while ago.  




Chad Parenteau, Writer.


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[This piece was first published in PMP Magazine on 24 January 2021. | The author writes in a personal capacity.]

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(Cover: Flickr/White House 45. / Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.]