We all remember bullies who used their size and bad mouth to dominate other kids. If you weren’t the bully, you had two choices: befriend him and hope he didn’t turn on you, or stay away from him and hope he didn’t decide to pick on you.
If you were in the bully’s inner circle, you emulated his talk and behavior and hoped you stayed in his favor by being like him. But at the same time there was always the fear that the bully might turn on you and make you the subject of his aggression.
You saw him turn on others close to him when they disagreed with him or made him look bad. His unpredictability and quick temper made him dangerous to be around.
Bullies grow up. Some change their behavior, some don’t. Older bullies usually get into trouble either with the law, their careers or their family because of their quick mean tempers and mistreatment of others. Bullies act out of raw emotion and fear; not from reason or rationale. They make enemies.
Donald Trump is a guy who never outgrew being a bully. Evidently his stint in military school, where parents send their problem kids for hopeful reform, only sharpened his aggression.
Not only does he use his size, foul mouth and behavior to bully others, but he uses his money to clobber them too. A bully without money is just a thug. A bully with money is somebody to watch out for because his money affords him power and buys silence when needed.
“The Donald” gained celebrity status with his TV shows, as the nation tuned in to watch him ruthlessly fire people who didn’t cut it. He became the symbol of toughness in many eyes.
If all of the “Trumpisms” about race, Muslims, women, the handicapped, captured veterans, Mexicans and the like came from Joe Blow a non-celebrity, that person would be laughed off stage and not taken seriously.
But since they come from Trump the celebrity, he gets a “bully-free card” and has attracted enough followers to become the Republican nominee for president after bullying all of his opponents out of the race.
However, America will never elect a bully as president because sane adults know that this type of bombastic rhetoric and erratic behavior makes him ill-equipped to navigate the complex world we live in.
“Trust me folks” politics falls way short of what is required of our next commander-in-chief. When somebody says “trust me”, we streetwise New Yorkers know we have to watch out.
Tyler Cassell is a resident of Flushing.