Donald Trump, the Anti-Bully
The real dynamic that drives his appeal and confounds political 'experts'
Many in traditional Republican political and media circles are running with the “Trump-as-bully” narrative in an attempt to drive his numbers down, especially among women.
Former Florida Gov Jeb Bush tried it recently, calling Trump a “bully” who is “not quite all in command.” Before dropping out of the race that many were unaware he had ever entered, former New York Gov. George Pataki took it up a notch, calling Trump a “schoolyard bully spewing nonsense.”
Any number of political pundits have said similar things. Washington Post pro-Bush/Rubio blogger Jennifer Rubin gave advice in one post on “How to Handle a Bully like Trump.” The Huffington Post and various MSNBC hosts share her disgusted view of the real estate mogul and GOP presidential front-runner.
Of course, the “bully” hits are failing miserably. Trump continues to dominate most polls in most states other than Iowa.
As is often the case, the media and political establishment don’t understand what is happening in America. Nor do they understand what has happened to most Americans who live outside the New York-Washington or San Francisco-Los Angeles corridor.
They have the bully narrative backward. Of course Trump can be rough, imprecise, and overly defensive in his language. He takes the shot when he needn’t. (“Man, Marco Rubio drinks a lot of water.”)
But the truth is that most, if not all, of the folks supporting Trump don’t care who he offends, as long as he’s standing up for them. They feel like they’ve been bullied for years. For them, Trump is like the savior kid in the schoolyard who takes on the bully by popping him right in the eye. The kids who have been ridiculed or roughed up suddenly have a champion.
In what ways have Americans been bullied?
1.) Law-abiding citizens are harassed by government bureaucrats every minute of every day. Families who flood their backyards in winter to make hockey rinks for their kids are fined. Property owners who build tool sheds on their land are surveilled by county drones that report back to police. Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul, in his book “Government Bullies,” said it this way: “Unelected bureaucrats, armed with arbitrary rules and no need to back them up, stonewall and attack American citizens at every turn. The damage can be overwhelmingly taxing — financially, emotionally and even physically.”
2.) Americans are branded “anti-immigrant” and “xenophobic” for opposing amnesty and benefits for illegal aliens. Mass illegal migration into the U.S. has hurt working families, burdened schools, taxed our health care system, and eaten into state budgets. The open-borders bullies don’t care how difficult life is for poor or middle-income Americans. If they lose their landscaping business because the competitor down the road hires illegal workers at half the price, so be it.
3.) Americans are called “protectionists” and “anti-trade” when they question the myriad trade deals that have shipped millions of factory jobs overseas. Median income in the U.S. hasn’t risen since 1999, but the bullies believe this “free movement of goods and services” serves the ideal of global capitalism and makes businesses more efficient. When millions of Americans lost their factory jobs to fulfill this ideal, the globalist bullies showed no remorse.
4.) Many traditional Americans feel bullied by federal judges acting as super-legislators. In key rulings the judiciary has run-roughshod over time-tested values, practices and institutions that have been essential to the American way of life, our religious liberty, and our families. When the Supreme Court discovers new “rights” in the Constitution or invalidates long-standing laws in a quest to “evolve” with the times, citizens have little recourse. To impeach a judge or amend the constitution is very difficult and very rare. How did that Federal Marriage Amendment of 2006 work out?
5.) In our public schools, parents feel bullied by “edu-crats” who have radically altered the way we teach about history, literature and the world around us. School boards and administrators insist that teachers pass on a “politically correct” sensibility. Parents who disagree with this regime often feel so intimidated by the PC bullies, they just keep their mouths shut. Some feel so oppressed by the leftist climate at public schools, they leave to home-school their children.
I could go on and on. This bullying takes many forms, affects all aspects of our lives, and is carried out by many institutions. Yet one thing is clear — no Establishment figure in either party has put forward a credible program to make life better for middle America. If an Establishment candidate wins the election, middle America knows they’ll just get more of the same abusive treatment.
For years, these people have yearned for someone to lead the charge, to take on the elitist bullies. If Trump is the only one who shows real fight, then they will support him. As of now, Iowans seem to believe that Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is the best man to do battle. (That so many in GOP leadership dislike Cruz helps burnish his bona fides as populist warrior.)
If the elites were responsible, they would put the people’s best interests first and amend their bullying ways. If they don’t, the anger driving the Trump campaign will only fester, regardless of how 2016 turns out.