Everything is supposed to change on the day you graduate from high school, but some basic things never do. Social dynamics and cliques and insecurity and confusion and authority figures and power struggles continue. There are still nerds, geeks, and weak and strong… and there are still bullies.
And whether you’re 16 or 60, standing up to bullies ain’t exactly easy.
As Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson reminds us: “the only effective way to deal with bullies is to confront them.”
In a July 2012 column, The Right-Wing Bully Machine, Robinson warns that “not all overheated political rhetoric is alike. Delusional right-wing crazy talk… is a special kind of poison that cannot be safely ignored.”
“Let me be clear,” he writes: “I’m saying that the extreme language we hear from the far right is qualitatively different from the extreme language we hear from the far left — and far more damaging to the ties that bind us as a nation. Tut-tutting that both sides should tone it down is meaningless. For all intents and purposes, one side is the problem.”
“It would be satisfying to withhold the attention they seek, but this is not an option. The only effective way to deal with bullies is to confront them.”