WHAT BULLIES FEAR THE MOST
When I was in first grade, a boy named David Lewis bullied me every day — on the school bus, in class, on the playing field. I started pretending I was sick so I wouldn’t have to go to school. My parents figured out what was going on and one afternoon, when I was busy faking a stomach ache, my father came into my room to talk to me.
“You know what bullies are the most afraid of?” he asked. “Being ignored. They can’t stand it. That’s how you deal with a bully. Let me show you. Try to get my attention.”
I started talking to him about nothing in particular, since this was clearly a demonstration, and he studiously ignored me. He looked around the room, he looked out of the window. He acted as if I didn’t exist. It was extremely uncomfortable, and I understood how it might just work with David Lewis. The next day, when I got on the school bus, I ignored the bully who had been tormenting me and it worked. He huffed his way back to his seat, left me alone, and I felt victorious and much wiser.
I know it can’t happen in this election year, but what if there was a collective agreement to ignore Donald Trump? What if, at the Democratic Convention, no one had uttered his name? Just like Michelle Obama didn’t in her exquisitely crafted speech. She alluded to him, we all knew who she was referring to, but she didn’t say his name. It was a very powerful rebuke of him. If the whole convention had gone like that, it’s my firm belief that the candidate (who will now remain nameless) would have become apoplectic. The entire world would then have seen the full extent of his narcissism. It’s worth just pondering the “what if” of this, since nothing else seems to be working. Large numbers of people are still planning to vote for him, no matter how mean he is, no matter who he bullies. Although I do have to believe that even his supporters have their limits — I hope I’m right.
The candidate who shall not be named just made cruel and bullying remarks about a grieving mother, Ghazala Kahn, whose son, a Muslim/American, died fighting for America. He was 27 and he died a hero. She stood silently beside her husband at the convention, fighting back tears, keeping her grief in check. And it is this that the candidate chooses to mock? If there were any Muslim/Americans supporting him, I think they just defected.
Here is what I wonder. What exactly is the campaign strategy? Alienate as many groups as you can and then see which ones will still show up to vote for him in November? It’s like a science experiment. I just wish the rest of us could conduct our own science experiment and ignore him.