Who among us does not remember the old childhood taunt, “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” ? Many generations have passed since any of us has had to conjure up that retort to childhood bullying, but truth be known it was more a personal defense against low self-esteem than a shield from the bullies harsh and hurtful words. It was a form of self-therapy, a mantra to avoid the destructive effect of shame, guilt or inadequacy on the id.
If you were short or fat, had a big nose or pimples, walked with a limp or preferred chess over baseball, these were all personal traits that could not be remedied, nor needed to be, and we all had to live with them. It was imperative to a happy existence that we not suffer from that which we had no control over, the circumstances into which we were born. To criticize another, to make these characteristics the subject of ridicule, reflects negatively solely on the bully not his chosen victim.
That the elected leader of our nation, the man who occupies the office of the Presidency, should conduct himself as an unabashedly shameless bully, reflects badly on those of us who put him there and continue to keep him there. It’s not OK to say we knew him to be that way before we elected him. It speaks badly about the process of electing our leaders that we tolerate such baseless tactics as public humiliation, name-calling and outright falsehoods in the name of winning. Something has to change and it has to start with us. We cannot reward this behavior. We should never tolerate it.
Equally bad is to allow it to continue.
The latest Trump book paints a detailed picture of Trump as dangerously uniformed, and highlights his ineptitude, paranoia and volatile, abusive personality, no surprise to anyone other than Fox News viewers. Here are some of the quotes highlighted in the book that reflect on his ignorance and abuse.
Reflecting his motivation, “We should make them pay for our soldiers. We should make money off of everything.”
To his staff, “You’re a bunch of dopes and babies.”
To his military leaders. “You don’t know how to win anymore.”And “ I wouldn’t go to war with you people.”
Revealing his ethics, “It’s just so unfair that American companies aren’t allowed to pay bribes to get business overseas.”
In reference to the Constitution, “It’s like a different language, right?”
On visiting Pearl Harbor, “What’s this all about? What’s this a tour of?”
To Kirstjen Nielson , “You’re just not tough enough… She’s so short.”
To Jeff Sessions, “It’s your fucking fault…. You’re weak. This is all your fault.”
Regarding denied security clearances, “They want the clearance. They’re embarrassed. Why can’t they have it?”
Bemoaning his difficulties in managing, “This is my Justice Department. They are supposed to be my people.”
A small moment of truth slips by, “I’m a total act and I don’t understand why people don’t get it.”
Words like these are hurtful because they undermine the public trust in our leaders and their decisions. This is Trump behind the scenes, but the public Trump is even more abusive, ignorant and unethical. A long history of critical tweets and public utterances follows Trump down the path to the 2020 election. We should not overlook his complaints about the FBI, the CIA and every other National Intelligence Agency, his fabrications regarding his opponents, from the GOP primary forward to this day. Even Ted Cruz whose wife suffered the indignities of a Trump attack and whose father he accused of conspiring to Kill JFK, has rolled over and cow-towed to Trump’s abuse in the name of his Faustian deal to keep his job and influence. Only the late John McCain had the wisdom to stand up to Trump, going so far as to ban him from his funeral, laying the example of continued honor at the feet of the GOP who have failed to follow in his footsteps.
And so these educated officials and seasoned military leaders continue to tolerate the abuse and the chaos created by the man lacking the moral and intellectual credentials to preside over them. Not only does Trump have difficulty reading and pronouncing words, but he confuses multisyllabic words of similar sounds to impart incorrect meaning to his moronic utterances, all highlighted by the fact that he cannot spell and doesn’t use his spell checker. He’s not just ignorant but also lazy. No wonder the leaders of foreign allies laugh at him behind his back.
Easy for them. Not so easy for me.