Thank-you President Trump

I recently read a piece on Facebook that helped my understanding of myself. It was written by Nate White, originally published on Quora, and was an answer to the question, “Why do some British people not like Donald Trump?” If you haven’t read it, a quick internet search will put it on your screen. It is short and quite funny.

As I read through the piece, there was a picture of President Trump embedded in it, and I found myself scrolling my screen so I could read to the bottom of the text that preceded the picture, and then quickly scrolling past the picture so I wouldn’t have to look at it. It is that bad for me. Pictures of this man honestly turn my stomach.

A half dozen paragraphs in, I came across this sentence, “And worse, he is that most unforgivable of all things to the British: a bully.” When that sentence smacked me between the eyes, I finally understood what it is that has always made President Trump repulsive to me. Nat White nailed it… a bully.

In my junior high and high school days, I was bullied. There were two guys that shouldered the lion’s share of the burden, but there were several others that chipped in when bullying opportunities presented themselves. From the time I arrived at school until I made it home, I did not feel safe. In those days, bullying was in the form of punches and humiliation. It hurt, and it also established dominance. I was pleased to confirm that dominance over me if it would postpone the abuse. I fought back seldom, and shouldered daily humiliation because I felt it was my lot in life.

But one skill I picked up as a result of all this was the ability to spot a bully, Once spotted, I tried to stay out of the way, because bullies always got the best of me. Always.

As the years have gone by for me, I’ve spent some time and effort attempting to decipher this behavior. What is underneath the makeup of a person that they get pleasure from a weaker person’s pain? I had no knowledge of sociopaths in those days. And I have to admit that as the years went by, I encountered that behavior over and over again, and most of the time I was unprepared and shocked when I realized how I’d once again been fooled into trusting someone that took pleasure in the pain my misplaced trust cost me.

With President Trump, I saw the unmistakable signs early in my acquaintance with his persona. The braggadocio, lack of grace and style, and the need to be surrounded by people that publicly adored him, all rubbed me the wrong way. But until recently, I didn’t realize that his mannerisms reminded me of the bullies that took such pleasure in my discomfort all those years ago. Just a look at a picture of him brings back long buried feelings.

Lots of folks wish they were younger, but I wouldn’t want to go back. Sometimes I wonder how I ever made it through those terrible years. I guess when you are in the middle of it all, you develop techniques to avoid the danger, and a good day would be when someone other than me was bullied. For me, forgetting about those times is easier when I don’t have to look at the faces of bullies, so I tend to avoid it. It saves on stomach aches.

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