The most vicious bully of all is the militaristic capitalist system itself, which requires bullying by people in power, regardless of their individual personalities. Most people would not see Barack Obama as someone with a particularly bullying personality, yet his role as president of the United States required him to promise "so long as I'm commander in chief, we will sustain the strongest military the world has ever known.” As president, he attacked Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, and Pakistan, often sending in US Navy SEALs and the US Army Delta Force. During his last year in office, he dropped 26,171 bombs. He deported over 2.5 million people, more than all other presidents combined. Yet Donald Trump embodies most people's image of a bully. With his insults, put-downs, and even violent threats, he looks like an oversized, overaged schoolyard bully.
Why was Trump so popular during the election, at least in some circles? Although they are brutal and cruel, bullies are often admired. Like a schoolyard bully, Trump, both as a politician and long before he entered politics, called anyone who challenged him a loser. With that vocabulary, he perpetuates the idea that victims are weak and lazy and don't have the gumption to prevail. They deserve their fate and must submit to the triumphant. As a landlord, Trump brutally intimidated his tenants—cutting heat and hot water, refusing to maintain and repair his sometimes rat-infested buildings—in the hope of driving them out of rent-controlled apartments that he planned to convert into condominiums. When Trump hosted his reality show, “The Apprentice,” people cheered when he announced, "You're fired!”
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