|That ought to work.|
He is not.
This ought to serve as a warning to us all. “Bullying” as a concept is being misappropriated. It is being used to bully.
This is possible because the concept of “bullying” starts out be ing pretty vague. This makes it terribly useful to those who would use it to push others around. It can be redefined more or less at will to target anyone you want to kick around. It’s even better in this regard than “sexual harassment.”
On what basis is Trump a bully? I would think being the aggressor was a sine qua non. Otherwise, it can be the one who stands up for himself or others when attacked by a bully, who is charged with bullying.
Yet this, worryingly, seems to be missing from many definitions.
Merriam-Webster: “a blustering browbeating person; especially: one habitually cruel to others who are weaker”
|Trump as he is shown on Pixabay.|
Oxford: “A person who uses strength or power to harm or intimidate those who are weaker.”
By this definition, Roosevelt or Churchill were bullies. After all, they were demonstrably stronger in the end than Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. And they were certainly mean to them. Police are by this definition also bullies when they arrest a suspect; the state is bullying when they bring a criminal to trial. Anyone who wins a fight is, ipso facto, the bully.
Moreover, we have commonly seen the premise that there are systemic “imbalances of power” misused to discriminate already. If anyone who fights someone who is weaker is a bully, then, given the “fact” of male or privilege, any time there is a conflict between black and white, or male and female, the man or the white can be charged with “bullying,” regardless of the actual circumstances.
Not great; especially when such a definition gets put into law. The concept of a disparity in power being definitive is then an open invitation to use the law against groups already suffering discrimination. That is just the way it seems to be being used already: descriptions of bullying commonly refer to race, sexual orientation, and disability, as if this were part of the definition. Hitler would have happily pointed out that Jews had, on average, greater wealth and social power than Aryan Germans. Stalin would have said the same of the kulaks, or the Young Turks of the Armenians.
So much for equal protection under the law.
|Picture of Churchill the bully favoured by Nazi propaganda.|
Proposed legislation and other initiatives in Canada to prevent “bullying” in schools always presupposes that only students can bully, never teachers or the school administration. This is absurd even on the basis of a supposed power differential: so kids are always more powerful than adults?
No; what will actually happen is that the charge of “bullying” will always be used by those in power against those lacking power. It will, in other words, always be used to bully, never to prevent bullying.
Some definitions suggest that bullying has to do with violence. That fits the materialist preoccupations of the age. But it surely does not, as the charge is commonly used. Trump, unlike the police or Roosevelt, is clearly not violent.
So it has to do then with his insulting language? Indeed, Singal specifically calls Trump a bully for “constantly launching attacks— many of them rather offensive— against both his political rivals and members of the media he believes have treated him unfairly.” Insults? Attacks? You mean like calling someone a “sociopath,” accusing them, despite being married to an immigrant, of “dog whistle xenophobia,” accusing them without evidence of abusing their wife, calling them a “ham-faced, race-baiting, woman-hating monster,” accusing them without evidence of “violent misogyny,” again without evidence of “gaslighting the entire world,” referring to their wife as a “kidnap victim” in their marriage, referring to her as a “piece of ass,” a “fibreglass mannequin” whose “body is available to inspect at the click of a button,” saying they have a “thug’s understanding” of consent, and want to “violently screw the world”? Glad we have that cleared up.
Yet Trump is not guilty of anything like this, unlike his detractors. Not only do they obviously go much further than he ever has, in calling people ugly or “low energy” or “fat” or “little.” (Ouch?) He also seems scrupulous in only doing so if he has himself been attacked. No sucker punches, no drive-bys. Only the honour of a duelist. He was notably nice to Ted Cruz, for example, until Cruz began to attack him. And even after people have been nasty, Trump seems to be magnanimous once they stop: notice his recent overtures to Mitt Romney, or Paul Ryan. Note the appointment of Ben Carson as HUD Secretary.
By contrast, cowardly leftist commentators like the present poison penners cannot plausibly claim that Trump has attacked them first.
So why is Trump the bully, and Laurie Penny is not?
Singal, in turn, gives his own “expert” advice to the other Republican candidates: “if I were advising the Republican Party I’d say to the other candidates, ‘You guys, together, should be shooting Trump down,’”
That is, they should gang up on him.
So how is it that Trump is a bully, but ganging up is not bullying? “Bullying Canada” lists, as one of the “four most common forms of bullying,” “keeping certain people out of a group.” This goes rather further than that.
It could hardly be clearer that the charge of “bullying” can be used, and is currently being used, to suppress dissent and keep the peasants down.
The key to Trump’s popularity is in fact that he has had the guts to resist being bullied. Two words: “political correctness.” The Republican rank and file grew fed up with candidates who insisted on remaining polite and being steamrolled by the biased media and the forces of political correctness who would shout them down. Political correctness has been and remains an endemic form of bullying that has infested our culture: speech codes, “hate speech” tribunals, “microaggressions,” sexual harassment kangaroo courts, the open browbeating and scapegoating of whites, males, heterosexuals, Christians, and the “cisgendered”: real instances of bullying, in the proper sense, both endemic and severe in its consequences. They are unprovoked, they are persistent, and their intent is to intimidate and control.
Trump had the stomach, the self-confidence, and the financial means to stand up and say “Hell no.”
That made him a champion for all the bullied masses.
The bullies, of course, are having none of this.