We’ve been told for years that there is a “bullying epidemic” in our schools. We are meant to believe that the problem is worse now than it was decades ago, which is supposed to justify the exorbitant measures taken to combat it. Many states have even passed anti-bullying laws, only to discover that the laws not only fail to fix the problem but probably make it worse. We have sent armies of psychologists into the schools, with the hope that medicalizing the problem might do the trick if legislating it didn’t work. And if all else fails, we have recourse to anti-bullying PSAs, anti-bullying seminars, anti-bullying websites, anti-bullying posters, and anti-bullying bumper stickers. But there is little evidence that any of these measures have made a significant impact.
Perhaps it ss time for us to face a few facts. The first is this: bullying is an inevitable result of the human condition. There is no real reason to think that this ugly aspect of our nature has manifested itself more in recent years than in any other period of human history. Yet it does seem to be the case that bullying is sending kids spiraling into depression, sometimes suicidal depression, at a much higher rate today than in the past. What does this tell us? Not that bullying is worse now, or more common, but that our children are less equipped to cope with it. And why is that? Well, there are probably several reasons, but one of them is certainly the fact that we are conditioning our kids to be victims.
We have built of this mythology of “the bigger person,” and told our children that the “bigger person” is the one who walks away from bullies, disengages, tells an adult. The “bigger person” is somehow the submissive one who slinks away and runs for cover. We tell our children that remaining silent in the face of a bully is “strong” and “courageous.” But somehow the strong, courageous, bigger child, who spends his childhood avoiding confrontation and retreating in the face of aggressors, never actually feels very strong, courageous, or big. He feels, rather, like a punchline. Because that is what we have told him to be.
If you are honest with yourself, and you think back to the times in your life when you didn’t respond to bullying, or stick up for yourself in the face of mockery, it wasn’t because you were “big” or “strong.” Precisely the opposite. It’s because you were scared. We recommend cowardice to our children and tell them it’s courage, only because to do otherwise would be to admit that we ourselves have been cowards. All of those moments of great resilience and will power, when we heroically backed away from a fight or a confrontation, were, we’d have to confess, nothing more than a garden variety case of wimping out.
I’d be willing to believe that, say, an MMA fighter who remains confidently silent in the face of some scrawny punk’s drunken taunting at a bar is truly being a bigger person. He could tear the other guy to shreds. He isn’t afraid. But he chooses the high road because the scrawny punk isn’t worth his time. Being the bigger person, taking the high road — these are things we do from a position of strength. If we do them because we’re scared, or intimidated, or just praying for the confrontation to be over, we are not on the high road. We are almost literally crawling away on our knees, hoping not to be noticed. Many children spend their formative years in this position. We congratulate them for their maturity while their self-image collapses
The best you can do is argue that this is the prudent and safe course, but it certainly is by no means courageous, strong, or somehow “higher.” And I’m not even convinced that it’s prudent or safe most of the time. Bullies bully because of the high they get from domination and power. If you make yourself a reliable source of that high, they’ll keep coming back for another fix. Suddenly the “high road” takes on a new connotation.
Now, there is a problem with teaching our kids to stand up for themselves and give back what is dished to them. The problem is that every school in America has adopted the profoundly insane position that “it doesn’t matter who started it,” everyone involved in a fight or argument will get in trouble. What sort of system is that? Of course it matters who started it. If Jimmy is defending himself from Bobby, or responding to harassment from Bobby, how is it just or reasonable to punish both Jimmy and Bobby as if they are equally to blame? I understand it can be hard to adjudicate these things in a school setting, but that doesn’t give us an excuse to adopt a blanket policy of punishing children for refusing to bow in submission to bullies. Maybe this is why we are dealing with a so-called bullying epidemic: because we have given bullies free rein and taught our children to wilt in their presence like fragile tulips.
So, does the government bully us? They make us give them our “lunch money” and we do it because they are stronger than we are. But, for the most part, we VOTE for that.
However, the way we’ve seen liberals behave in the courts and legislature is actual bullying. In many courts, along with ideologically misguided prosecutors, we’ve seen the power of the federal court used, against our will, as a bully against their (liberals) political enemies, or the friends of the political enemies when the REAL enemy is stronger than they are.
We’ve seen bullying in the House of Representatives when the bullies have a majority. They’ve used that majority to trample the rule of law, legal precedent, the Constitution and due process to attack their political enemies. We, the People had the Senate stand up for US… but a bully majority there would have had a much different result.
Hitler was a bully, though weaker than those he bullied. However, he had the advantage of knowing those he bullied, though stronger, would bow to his pressure. He was allowed to become a much stronger bully than he should have, and gigantic disaster ensued. OUR bullies are no less inherently weak; they are strong by virtue of the same characteristics; those they bully don’t wish to push back. But history tells us pushing back will, eventually, be forced upon them.
Either vote Democrats out of office, or prepare to push back.
the “bullying epidemic” is not confined to students but also teachers, school staff and administration. in ohio, a teacher broke up a fight, contract not renewed. the bullier was the captain of the hs football team. daddy was a prominent businessman man and influenced the school board to fire the teacher. aks captain of the football team charged with involuntary manslaughter second year in college. the armies of psychologists are useless in bullying situations. even when presented with the facts, parents and communities fail to grasp the problem. Hitler’s SS were the enforcers of the Nazi regime. when looking at the naressistic behavior of the house speaker and members of the house, similar to a bunch of middle school children running around a big playground during recess.