October 23, 2010
Bully for YouBy Peter J. Hughes
Describing our federal government as out of control seems off the mark -- missing the bull's eye, if you will. Perhaps the bully's eye is what I really mean.
There are many kinds of bullies. The schoolyard bully image is well-known; so is the mugger knocking over an old lady for her purse. Some bully images are easier to spot. They outrageously violate the privacy, person, and belongings of others. There is the childish bully on one extreme and the murderous dictator on the other. In between, there are other levels of bullies.
There is the female emotional bully who berates, belittles, and punishes anyone who argues against her position, be it her husband or another guest on a television talk show.
There is the sports bully who taunts an opposing player or even storms into the stands, ironically so, to attack another bully who belittles with words from the safety of a crowd.
There is the political bully who demeans those who elected him.
You know them. You've met them. Sometimes it takes a while to recognize them.
First they tell you what to think. Since thoughts generate feelings, they tell you what to feel. If you "feel" or "think" in opposition, you are corrected to "feel" or "think" differently. They really don't care whether you "straighten out" or not. They don't care what you think. They care only if you oppose them.
If you conclude that the President of the United States is unfit, you are told to rethink and threatened with nasty names. Don't oppose him. If you ask a critical question of a politician, you are described as impolite. Don't oppose her. If you object to someone breaking a law, an epithet is thrown in your face. Don't oppose.
If a religious leader insults your religion and you are upset, you are told you are insensitive. When that religious leader speaks and acts in an insensitive way, you are told that he isn't insensitive...just different. Do not oppose the bullies.
Why are we putting up with all of it?
Lawyers make absurd claims, in and out of court, on behalf of a client. We are taught that slanderous remarks by a lawyer are "part of our judicial process." Don't oppose.
Political advertisements spread obvious lies and mischaracterizations about another politician's positions. e are taught that political lies are "normal" attributes of our election process. Don't oppose them.
Many newspaper editorials and columns teach us that we are wrong, have the wrong beliefs, the wrong attitude, the wrong impression. We're stupid. We're told that we have not really lived; we are not mature thinkers, that we are kind of silly in our outlooks. In effect, we are demeaned, hopefully, into silence. Be quiet. Don't oppose.
We have a group named "The Race" that promotes one race to the exclusion of other races. Why aren't they insensitive? We are taught they are oppressed. We're never told who is oppressing them. It is OK for them to be racially oriented. But we cannot be oriented toward our own race. Don't oppose.
A religion kills people for opposing it, even with cartoons or words. We are taught to be sensitive to the faith-based murders. And not oppose them.
Bullies don't respect opposition. They fear it. Go back to the schoolyard bully. What are his characteristics, and how does he behave? Characteristically, he looks down on those he perceives as not as strong (read: politically), and when confronted, he retreats. He won't maintain his behavior in the presence of the "stronger" or "more powerful."
For two years we've had politicians refuse to attend open meetings with their constituents. Was it because the constituents were suddenly perceived as "stronger"?
Political leaders tell us they didn't have to read and absorb legislation that they have passed. That is absurd. Did they believe we were "weaker"? That we were powerless to insist on rational behavior? That we had to "think" differently about the legislative procedures?
We've been told to wait for implementation of legislation to understand the impacts of implementing it. That is utter nonsense. Yet they speak that way. "Do not oppose us," they really say.
Much of what bullies do is utter nonsense.
We've had a president bow to, and actually hug, international bullies who are constantly insulting American citizens. Did he believe we were "powerless" to stop him or even berate him for such absurd behavior? Did he do it because he was safe? Did he do it because we were weaker, because there was no playground adult monitor to stop and punish him?
During this election period, we have groups dressed in identical tee shirts and holding identical signs, yet denying that they were organized to demonstrate. Don't believe what our own "lying eyes" can perceive. Don't oppose.
We've had political leaders claim that assaults (spitting, slurs) were inflicted upon them without a shred of proof. We are told to back up, back away, do not be strong. Don't oppose.
We are told that if we assemble and protest, there will be danger. There will be riots. People will be hurt because of our behavior. Because of what we think, others will be hurt...or die. Don't oppose.
Bullies demand that you must not oppose them.
Americans are beginning to surround school bullies and stare them down. It has taken decades of abuse and excuses to reach this point. Two generations have been berated constantly about how they were "bad" or "uninformed" or "insensitive"...or many much worse descriptions.
When this government pushed so far as to utterly destroy the American playground, ordinary citizens hesitantly began pushing back against the irrational, bullying abuse. Now, they are surrounding the bullies and gently (by votes) but firmly backing them out of the playground. Opposition to bullies is unlikely to end for a while. The executive branch, the legislative branch, the judiciary, the old media, the broadcasters, the race, religious, and international bullies...all have to be confronted.
The playground has to be repaired, some of it rebuilt. It may take decades. While that is happening, the bullies have to be confronted constantly. Traditional media used to be our lookouts for danger -- no longer. New lookouts will have to be placed around the playground to alert Americans to oppose any intrusion of falsehood and cruelty back into the national playground. Once each fight or election is completed, then new American lookouts can return to their duties, watching for the bullies' eyes.
Bullies are always out there, circling.