Trump: If you’re bullied, get over it

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Donald Trump continues his apparently relentless campaign to prove that he is the most empathy-free presidential candidate in U.S. history. During an interview with Fox news anchor Megyn Kelly, he shares his view that targets of bullying just have to get over it. As reported by the Associated Press:

Months after he savaged her on Twitter and elsewhere, Donald Trump tells Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly that people who are bullied “gotta get over it” and fight back.

. . . Trump says he’s a counterpuncher who goes after people when they go after him, only 10 times harder.

Asked if he was ever bullied, the Republican presidential candidate said no. But he said bullying doesn’t just happen to children. “People are bullied when they’re 55,” he said.

For the sake of my own sanity, I have avoided paying too much attention to Trump. However, I have been well aware of him, going back to when I lived in New York City during the “greed is good” decade of the 1980s. It was then that his now familiar displays of narcissism and arrogance became his personal behavioral brand.

Correspondingly, I have yet to see evidence of genuine empathy or kindness in the man.

In a seemingly unprecedented way for a presidential candidate, Trump is attracting the attention of psychologists who are publicly commenting on what makes him tick. In the forthcoming issue of The Atlantic, psychologist Dan P. McAdams (Northwestern U.) probes the Trump psyche and concludes:

Who, really, is Donald Trump? What’s behind the actor’s mask? I can discern little more than narcissistic motivations and a complementary personal narrative about winning at any cost. It is as if Trump has invested so much of himself in developing and refining his socially dominant role that he has nothing left over to create a meaningful story for his life, or for the nation. It is always Donald Trump playing Donald Trump, fighting to win, but never knowing why.

Okay, so the race for President is not necessarily about finding a good and kind soul. I get that. However, let’s think about the stability of someone who justifies punching back “10 times harder” when he feels wronged. Does this mean that a minor act of military aggression against the U.S. would — in his so-called judgment — justify a massive retaliatory strike? What would it take to provoke him into unleashing America’s nuclear arsenal?

We are frighteningly close to being one November election away from finding out the answers.

11 responses

  1. Trump is a cancer. I don’t see any redeeming qualities in him. His candidacy shows a total loss of credibility for the GOP. They didn’t have much left after W’s presidency. I think the soul of the party has been permanently lost.

  2. David
    In all fairness to the current mess we are in – the country is showing real creaks – let’s not forget Bill Clinton sexually engaged a 21 year old intern in the Oval Office and with the support of Hillary destroyed the life of Monica Lewinsky. Bosses all have employees fall in love with them but Bill and Hollary squandered the resources of the country and now we point fingers at Donald Trump.
    We have no documented behavior about Donald Trump sexually exploiting a 21 year old or squandering huge amounts of public resources.

  3. I read this piece and it was as if I took a cathartic breath. You so eloquently expressed how I am feeling about Trump’s campaign and how frightening it is to witness his popularity. I do understand that the country is in trouble. The economy sucks. The new jobs are not good jobs – most are low paying service jobs which one uses as a means to achieve an education or to supplement a first income. I speak as someone who is severely underemployed at 61 years old due to a corporate layoff. Never did I think I would be working at a similar job I had when in high school! Ramifications are serious and include social isolization. Most of my current friends are those I’ve met at job search group. Many, many people are in this underemployed situation so the employment statistics do not tell the entire story. Many, who have been downsized/outsourced from good jobs and they are Trump supporters – out of desperation they cling to the concept that he has some plan to bring back good jobs and strengthen the economy. My life would be much improved if Sanders was in office and this country had national health care like the rest of the civilized world. I am glad that Bernie is hanging tough against the established politicians – his message should be clear – there are many of us who want the change his campaign promotes. This is no longer the land of the free ripe with opportunity, it is the land of the rich and connected.

    • Liam’s comment is the most accurate and from the heart expression of where we are as a country I have read in a long time.
      I appreciate his exhaustion & frustration.
      While it is very interesting to focus on the dynamics of bullying as displayed by both Hillary Clinton( she is better at disguising it) and Donald Trump neither candidate will prevent what is coming for the country.
      What both candidates do have in common is they are lying to us- a new form of bullying.
      A new movie “Money Matters” explains it all.
      So does Liam.

  4. As someone who experienced bullying as a child and then again as an adult in the workplace, I can tell you that I was never able to stop the abuse with rational talk, pleading or kindness. Bullies view this as weakness and will continue the abusive behavior until they are hit so hard that they have no choice but to cease and desist. It’s the only language that they respect. Once you have their attention, you can work on relationship-building. Japan is a prime example.

  5. I’m hoping that Trump’s success is largely due to people being fed up with the Republican Party. The alternative, that people actually think it’s OK to be an ignorant, hateful, narcissistic bully, is beyond comprehension. It’s downhill if he gets elected.

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