My wife’s high school has a weekly in-school session for students and teachers about the harm that bullying causes people. In other schools, students do class projects and presentations about the subject. At my college we have mandatory training (through the state university system) on this topic. I know students who take up collections to be able to publicize the psychological and physical harms caused by hazing, which is just another form of bullying.
All of this is very nice but leaves one burning question in my mind: How come the biggest bully of them all is riding the crest of waves of the current crop of Republican presidential candidates?
Donald Trump trashed Rosie O’Donnell several weeks ago. He did the same thing to Megyn Kelly, apparently because he didn’t like the questions she asked during the first debate. Most recently, he made derogatory comments about Carly Fiorina –not because of her proposed policies, but about her looks. He has also made stupid and inappropriate remarks about Jeb Bush, Rand Paul, and others. And, of course, we all remember his vapid comments about Mexican immigrants. You can’t blame Trump. He is a bully, an idiot, and an egomaniac. He can’t help himself. As they say, “a leopard can’t change his spots.”
I do, however, blame the thousands of men and women who ignore all of his misogynistic and ill-advised remarks and continue to worship his celebrity status. I was listening to National Public Radio this morning and a woman, who attended a Trump event last nigh in New Hampshire, gushed about how Trump cares about America and her people. Ma’am, the only thing Trump cares about is Trump. His presidential aspirations are strictly tied to his ego. As long as misguided people are unable/unwilling to see right through his “schtick,” or are downright gleeful about the anti-woman, anti-immigrant, anti-Obama rhetoric, Donald Trump is going to do well in the early polls.
I do have confidence in the American people. I think, in the end, the majority will see through his P.T. Barnum/David Hannum-inspired attitude that “a sucker is born every minute.” In the meantime, we shouldn’t let people like him get away with divisive and hurtful comments.