Bad News – Bullying Is Working

Source: Politico

New Orleans   No matter what any of us would want to believe or have taught our children about bullying, we’re going to have to think again or say it louder for those who aren’t getting the message. We’ve always said it was just a mask for cowardice and insecurity, and a slap back or a shout out would send a bully cowering. Maybe that’s still right, but we need to work harder to teach that lesson outside of the schoolyard, because President-elect Trump seems to be proving over and over again that being a bully still scares people, including mighty corporations, trade associations, and a lot of other big dogs as well.

Big automakers are at least pretending to lay back and re-position some of their plans for fear of a Twitter barrage. Certainly, they are claiming, “Hey, we were going to do this anyway,” and absolutely Trump is claiming credit for more than he’s doing, but there seems to be no way to deny that they are looking for cover from the chief Twitter-finger.

They aren’t the only ones. Reportedly H&R Block’s ads this tax season are in reaction to Trump having taken them on during the campaign by claiming he was going to make the tax code so simple he’d put them out of business. Boeing, Vanity Fair, Lockheed Martin have all been under a tweet-attack, and other brands are worried about what might come their way.

Hey, maybe they deserved it, we might say, but how does that explain the chicken clucking from the health care industry even as 30 million Americans are on the verge of losing health care coverage with the coming assault on the Affordable Care Act. Where are the industry voices from hospitals, doctors, and even big pharma that would loud and strong during the passage of the act?

Robert Pear of the New York Times quotes California-based, but nationally operating, Kaiser, a leader for Obamacare:

Kaiser Permanente, the managed care company that serves more than 10 million people, declined to comment specifically on Republican plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Instead, it offered a statement of general principles saying that people should have access to health care and that “we must continue to accommodate those who have pre-existing conditions.”

More tellingly, Pear writes:

Some companies, anxious about changes in health policy, said they were afraid to speak out because they feared that Mr. Trump would attack them on Twitter, as he has badgered Boeing, Ford, General Motors, Lockheed Martin and Toyota.

See what I mean, bullying is working. Rather than seeing the healthcare industry stand up for their patients, most of them are trying to roll under the radar hoping to save themselves and somehow make it through the killing field that may disgorge millions without protection. Even the bully can’t seem to control what he has set in motion. He’s now tweeting that a replacement for Obamacare needs to be ready when it is repealed, while most Republicans in Congress are saying, “What, what did you tweet? I can’t hear you?” and propelling people into a disaster.

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Trump is a Twitter Troll

screen-shot-2016-10-01-at-10-07-44-amNew Orleans   I’ll admit it. No matter what I had thought was possible with Donald Trump, when my companera told me he had been tweeting before dawn about a sex tape of some kind, I was incredulous. I answered her skeptically, saying I hadn’t seen anything on the web editions of the papers I had checked before leaving the office. Was she sure? She confidently told me it was all over the news. I ended up changing the subject by saying this had to be a first ever and only time that a presidential candidate was tweeting during a campaign about a sex tape for some unknown minor celebrity.

But, I had tricked myself into believing that there was a limit somewhere to Trump’s outrageousness. I had believed deep down that there has a bottom of the well somewhere in the Trump tower which would trigger some level of self-control somehow. But, I was wrong.

Sure enough, Trump was tweeting before dawn. Oh, brothers and sisters, understand it wasn’t just one slip of the thumb, but a series of tweets. All of them ranting about this former beauty queen from the Miss Universe pageant he owned named Alicia Machado, who he and Hillary Clinton made famous in the recent debate. He seems to have had a problem with her weight gain or something while she was the queen at some point ten or fifteen years ago, and he definitely has not gotten over it. Somehow she reminds him of Rosy O’Donnell or some other fixation he has that I’m frankly unable – and unwilling – to try and explain.

Hillary got his goat by mentioning Machado and his fat-shaming, misogyny during the debate, and Trump took the bait, hook, line and sinker, and seems not to have spit it out yet from the evidence of his tweets. The incident may have hardened the position of independent women voters against him to 80% and pushed another more than 30% away from him after the debate. No matter to the Donald. Now he’s running for the most famous Twitter troll on the internet, not president I guess. He wants us to look at a sex tape, which already sounds disgusting. How do we explain that to youngsters living through their first presidential campaign? He also invented a new issue to rival the birther-lies, saying that Clinton must have pulled straws for Machado to become a US-citizen so she could be used to gig Trump.

I thought everyone had learned that Twitter was a dying tool and a dangerous one in the hands of many. Marc Andreessen who is a big-time Silicon Valley tech-investor and super Twitter man with more than 100,000 tweets to his name, usually averaging 100 a day, put himself on a Twitter moratorium recently and pushed pause. He’s quoted as saying that doing so was like “taking a 50 pound weight” off of his chest. He says going tweet-less has made him feel “free as a bird.”

Before this campaign gets any more X-rated, maybe Trump’s handlers need to take away his Twitter account and tie his thumbs behind his back until there’s sunlight at the least. You know, for his own good, and that of the whole country.

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