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Tea Party, Republicans, and the BULLYING epidemic

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  • Democrat
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    Re: Tea Party, Republicans, and the BULLYING epidemic

    There is an article on the front page of today’s San Francisco Chronicle (November 6, 2013) written by Kristen V. Brown, a S.F. Chronicle staff writer: “Far beyond school playground, bullying common in workplace.”

    The sidebar quotes the definition of a bully according to the National Institutes of Health as aggressive behavior to another person in a “physical, verbal or relational manner,” then goes on to explain: …that includes everything from teasing, name calling and rumor spreading to forcing someone to do something against his will, encouraging others to gang up on a person, or threatening physical harm.

    The question that immediately presented itself was: “What’s the difference between that definition and the behavior we see from the political right?”

    I couldn’t think of one.

    The Tea Partiers and their Republican supporters starting with John Boehner and Mitch McConnell and continuing all the way down through their ranks, are nothing more than the national manifestation of the same bullying problem that is apparently rampant in our schools, and if we’re to believe this article, rampant also in the adult world of the workplace.

    One begins to wonder which came first… Is the bullying epidemic the cause of the national manifestation? Or is the national manifestation the cause of the bullying epidemic?

    According to NIH, the best advice on how to deal with a grown-up bully is to

    - Name the problem,
    - Speak up
    - Get others on your side

    What would happen if the Democrats connected what the right is doing on a national scale to the adult version of the destructive behavior we call “bullying” in our schools? Would that resonate with the public?

    In my book it’d be worth a try.

    David Florian
    Ashland, OR
  • Liberal Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    David --

    Thanks for covering a topic that is sensitive to many people. As one who experienced bullying not only to me but to others during my working career (I'm now retired), I can relate to many of the examples of bullying in the article. It is very difficult to confront bullying, especially if it is done by someone in a superior position to you. I certainly didn't handle the bullying situations as well as I could have, and the episodes often festered with me for a long time afterwards. I felt animosity towards the individuals concerned, and that is not healthy in the workplace.

    Now I can sit back and look at the bullying types like Chris Christie, Ted Cruz and others and wonder why oh why do people feel compelled to follow them. You might be interested in reading Professor Bob Altemeyer's book online,The Authoritarians. Altemeyer distinguishes between the true authoritarians or bullies (he calls them Social Dominators) and the authoritarian followers. There are many, many more authoritarian followers that are perhaps genetically inclined to follow the bully despite the fact that they have little or nothing in common with the bully.

    I could go on more on the topic, but many of my posts are too long for most members on this website. Browse his book at the link if you are interested.

    Thanks again for sharing.
  • Democrat
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    Bullying is sure getting the media up these days especially the latest within the NFL. Bullying is another example of lack of respect for each other and a poor characterization of someone having severe social inadequacy. Maybe if more of these bullies had youthful activities in the ROTC, Boy Scouts, Church Youth Groups, and/or Peace Corp they may be better citizens today. There is lack of participation in these groups because they are "not cool". Today these kids would rather play violent video games and their parents push them into club sports. The sports is not always for the kid, but is a release for the parent that they only wished they had accomplished. So, the kids get guns, a next step, either from the streets or from the parent. Only death and terror result from this mixture. Our politics is full of disrespect while politicians yell, "You're a liar" and screech profanity while in our holy grail of America's political forums. Bullying is only the beginning of social disrespect, but gravitate to murder when the bully cannot control the level of anger.

    Yes, it's all about raising our children. Just ask teachers and they will give you numerous parent stories of why a school bully is out of control. What I see in the Tea Party is similar to bully tactics, but only because they want what they desire and most of America is ignoring them as being foolish. They lash out with profanity, cussing, threats and gnashing of teeth because they know no other way to behave. That's poor social behavior. Some of them needs to be turned over my knee and given good thrashing in the wood shed.
  • Strongly Liberal
    Seattle, WA
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    This a very relevant and important issue, because bullying, threatening, intimidating, manipulative behavior is caused by an attitude and mentality that is very similar to the gang attitude and mentality.

    From the schoolyard bullies to the neighborhood gangs to the gangs in the state legislatures and federal government, their leadership demonstrates a lust for power and control, believing they are "right" (and even "righteous"). They prey on the vulnerable and weak. They instill fear, appeal to the prejudices of their followers, and instill in them a group superiority complex while claiming everyone else is inferior, naive, and foolish. It's a dog-eat-dog world and it's every man for himself, after all.

    To me there is no question that the bullying epidemic was the cause of the national manifestation, because the epidemic infects everyone who has allowed their ego to indulge itself at the expense of others. The infection pushes the conscience aside and enables the ego to justify treating other badly because they "deserve" it. It creates Sociopaths -- and America is badly infested with them.