On Bullies

11060907_1160238667323230_5232473826953891616_nOur constitution affords us certain inalienable rights. It’s ironic to think that during this election cycle, one of the Presidential candidates actually is an alien.

I’ve come to expect certain qualities in the people who have been deemed by their parties, to be suitable  potential leaders for this country. Being an Independent, I choose to cast my vote based on issues and how the candidates will carry forward policies and programs which will benefit our country. I expect well thought out solutions and rational plans to achieve them. What I don’t expect is the ridiculousness we are being forced to put up with in this election. It’s a mystery to me how this can be happening.

mv5bmtyyntexmzewof5bml5banbnxkftztcwmtg1ndkxmq-_v1_ux182_cr00182268_al_Miss Marple is one of my favorite Agatha Christie detectives. She takes what she knows about the personalities and behaviors of the people in her small village and applies this knowledge and experience to situations in which she finds herself enmeshed outside of Mary Meade. That’s how she delves into every mystery; seeing the connections –  those analogous situations. It’s a great technique. I’ve used it many times, myself.

I spent more than thirty years with teenagers, both in the classroom and as a school administrator. I watched them, listened to them and observed their conversations and their behaviors – both good and bad. I always contended that a school was a safe place in which to make mistakes. I understood that when a youngster made a mistake, it was an opportunity to help them understand why and then help them to figure out how not to make the same mistake again.

Appropriate and fair consequences always played a part in the process. I considered my school a sanctuary; a safe place for young people to make mistakes and learn about values, about character, about ethics. I taught English and theatre and the subtext of my lessons was always how to be good human beings. As an assistant principal and then principal, maintaining school safety and creating a positive, nurturing environment were a large part of my job description.

Whenever a student would be sent to my office for the first time, usually defensive, frustrated and angry, I would begin our conversation with, “We’ll discuss the situation in a minute but, first I have a test for you. It’s not difficult. Should you fail the test, you’ll get a second chance. You can come back after school and spend some quality time with me and we’ll study together for your make-up test.” (At this point, the student would have cease ranting and I would have his/her attention.)

“Now, here’s the test. Just remember, if you get the answer wrong, I’ll see you after school and we’ll make sure you get 100 the next time.”

Obviously, not wanting to spend any more time with the principal than necessary, the student would lean forward in anticipation of the question:

“In this school

A) the kids are in charge? or

B) the adults are in charge?

Now, if you get the answer wrong, don’t worry, you’ll get a second chance after school tonight.”

I assure you, no student ever failed that test. The thought of having to spend more “quality time” with their assistant principal after school hours provided enough motivation to pass the test with flying colors.

But, I knew another factor was always in play. You see, children want to know that the adults are in charge. They really don’t want the responsibilities of being in charge nor are they ready for them. Deep inside, they understand this. They know if they’ve been sent to the principal’s office, it’s because they’ve made a poor choice. They want to be assured they’re in a safe place where people will help them through the difficult times and provide guidance for them to make the right choices.

In retrospect, I realize I’ve learned much more from my students than I ever taught them. And I learned my lessons well. One of those lessons was on the nature of bullies. Within the microcosm of a school, bullies come in all shapes and sizes. But in every situation, entitlement forms the basis for their self-absorbed behaviors. The minority of youngsters who felt the rules and subsequent consequences should not apply to them, entered high school with this attitude solidly in place. And in my dealings with their parents, I came to understand where the roots of this entitlement began. I found, however, when concerned parents worked with me, we were able to turn bad situations into positive learning opportunities.

Over the last few months, I’ve watch Donald Trump making racists statements; calling women “fat pigs” and deeming them  not to be “Presidential looking”. I’ve seen him ridiculing the handicapped, chastising a beauty queen and casting aspersions on a judge and on a gold-star mother.  I recognize this behavior all too well from scenarios in my own past and can make the appropriate analogies.

Lunch time in the cafeteria is always replete with these scenes begging to be turned into valuable life lessons:

The mean girls/boys table where the “self-designated in-crowd” dressed in their designer-labeled clothes spend much of lunch time gleefully targeting anyone not as thin, acceptably attractive, cool and fashionable as they.

The entitled-jocks’ table made up of popular athletes  and their wannabe entourage flaunting their macho superiority by loudly commenting on  the freshmen girls and making sexist comments as they walked through the lunch line about “loving fresh meat”.

(I’ve dealt with many other scenarios that are analogous to the current situation in our country during this election year.  But I think you get my point.)

High school is a scary place at times. It can have so many tiers of hell for too many kids. But if the adults are in charge and have an understanding of how to handle “mob mentality” and “peer pressure”,  they can create a safe and nurturing environment where all students are able to discern right from wrong; good-hearted humor from malicious barbs; kindness from callousness.

Yet, when I think back on all of the situations that confronted me as an educator, it isn’t the faces of bullies that imprinted into my memory bank. They were truly not the essential toxic element within each problem. The toxic core was in the mob mentality or clique mentality seen on the faces of the students surrounding those bullies – the entourage; the kids who appear on the scene to enable and egg on the bullies Those jeering faces, waiting for the alpha male/female to finish off the prey and  gloat together with them over the spoils. I hear their  nervous cheers, signifying an underlying relief that they were not the victims – at least not on that day.

And those are the same faces I see encircling the donald – basking in his unrelenting, harsh sunlight. His entourage stand there waiting like vultures to catch the bloody orts tossed to them after the kill. And therein lies the real nature of cruelty. And yes, it is truly deplorable.

It should seem evident (even to his entourage) it’s unfair the donald has not paid stepford-wives-1975-katharine-ross-bryan-forbeshis share of federal taxes. The rest of us willingly carry that burden. It is detestable that he unabashedly benefitted from the real estate crash that devastated the lower and middle-class Americans who lost their homes and the  equity in their homes which constituted their life savings. It is despicable that he takes money meant for charity contributions to use for his personal expenses. It is abhorrent that women are publicly demeaned because they are not the Stepford wives he espouses as acceptable women. It is unacceptable that he believes a competent woman and a competent black man not to be Presidential-looking.

The donald is entitled. This land is his land because he is white and he is rich and he is a businessman who knows exactly how to make a quick buck and take advantage of the disadvantaged. He is defining what it is  to be “presidential”  for  the jeering faces circling him and his prey? And they never seem to make the rational connection – THEY ARE THE DISADVANTAGED and will eventually become his prey if he gets into office. They don’t seem to realize what is at stake. Their ignorance is appalling and does not make for anyone’s bliss.

Americans are searching for an adult to take charge, to ensure a place of safety for the children of this country.

Miss Marple would be able to figure it all out. She would ask the right questions:
What reasonable person could ever think this man is suitable to lead anyone?

Why are the people he obviously detests so openly cheering him on? Do they not know it is him and men like him who have caused the circumstances creating this “winter of their discontent”?

Where were they educated? Why didn’t the adults in charge do right by them and teach them about empathy and kindness and just plain common sense?

How did the donald get out of school without being taught the basic rudiments of human decency?

And finally she would take them aside and ask them to make a choice:

In this country

A) the adults are in charge

B) the children are in charge

She would know how to make sense of all this and explain to us why anyone would want to be around this misogynist – this insulting, degrading, dangerous, smug, pompous, disgusting, xenophobic buffoon.trump-cartoon-10-jpeShe would give an acceptable explanation of why the enablers refuse to see the terrible history that is repeating itself and in this refusal they perpetuate many grave mistakes which should have been put to rest long ago.

America is still evolving from a land run by a privileged, white male aristocracy –  Those Good Ole Days. Donald’s motto, “Make America great again” looks longingly back to that time.

The fact is, women and minorities have had to do battle for rights given freely to the entitled white landed-aristocracy. We are still fighting for these rights and are still dependent upon the more enlightened white men, whether we want to admit it or not. Those men have the ability, the power, the money, the influence to help in this continuing battle for equality.

If the donald wins this election, there will be no doubt about the clear message being sent to us by them: “We were horrified a black man was elected to lead our country and we are now petrified by the thought of a woman being elected to the highest position of power in our country. How dare they? Obviously, they just don’t know their  place. We prefer a narcissistic, ignorant churlish child. We prefer him because he is a rich, old white man. He’s one of us. He’s entitled.”

This can’t be what all the sacrifices made in the name of Democracy and Freedom has led us to. Surely people can’t have given their lives so this buffoon can take office and make fools of us all? Surely there are enough enlightened men who’ll join with the multitudes of  women and minorities who know we can’t let this happen? Or maybe we’ll just have to do it ourselves?

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116 thoughts on “On Bullies

  1. As soon as I saw the title of your post, I felt sure Donald Trump would be making a star appearance in it somewhere. Just as you say, he’s an entitled, bigoted buffoon with not a shred of decency. I’m terrified at the prospect of his getting into office. He’s clearly psychologically unfit for it. The world will become a much more dangerous place if he wins.

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    1. Oh, Bun, What the hell is going on in this country? I’ve certainly dealt with lots of stupidity in my 67 years, but this is just insanity! I swore I would never bring my views on politics into social media, but this goes way beyond politics. And I actually know a few women who are considering voting for him. WTF!

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  2. So very accurate, Clare, and such good analogies….where, oh, where is Miss Marple? We need her (or someone like you!) out there leading us forward…but this post does do some of that by naming the bully. I know you don’t usually do politics, but this one was really appropriate. ❤ Jo

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  3. So annoyed with wordpress…they ate my first attempt at a reply. Such a great post, Clare…so here is attempt two. I really do understand those high school analogy…loved the test! And I absolutely agree that kids do want an adult in charge…which of course Trump is not. Where oh where is Miss Marple. We need her…and you. Thanks for taking a stand in this insanity. ❤ Jo

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  4. Actually, this is my third try….Wordpress is failing me! Well done, Clare. You are so right teens really do want to feel that safety net of an adult being in charge…even when they protest they don’t. Equally true is that Trump does not act like one, but does act as a bully, and a bully always needs to be called out and stood up to by an adult. So, I’m glad you stood up to him and his followers, Miss Marple would be proud of her protege. This is the most insane election, scary, and profoundly discouraging. Thank you my wise friend…Jo

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    1. We’re pretty much all flabbergasted. That is, those of us who actually can think on our own in a rational manner. This element of bigotry that the buffoon has stirred up was always under the surface. We’ve always had our secret neo-nazi groups, the haters. People who are truly anti- establishment and anti-intellectual. People who resent the South losing the Civil War and who cling to their pro-slavery, white supremacy beliefs. The bottom-feeders. But this is way beyond what any of us imagined. I’m getting similar reactions from other bloggers from other countries. I have no answer for any of them right now.

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      1. There’s a book that might give you some insight as to how it’s come to this. It’s ‘Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right’ by Jane Mayer. Frightening read.

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      2. Thanks, Peggy. I will put that on my reading list. We here in the US realize now what the effect of having our economy dominated by the richest 1% has brought us to. The middle class that is so important in this type of democracy is disappearing and it would appear all common sense is disappearing with it. I read an interesting article yesterday about the nature of those who would back someone like the buffoon. They are described as people who desire an authoritarian government where the thinking is literally done for them. If this doesn’t bring about the beginnings of a Revolution here in the states, I don’t know what will.

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      3. I believe it to be so, Clare, that what those (and everyone else) on the unthinking Right which you refer to, are increasingly getting is what Sheldon Wolin called an Inverted Totalitarianism, which is a form of Corporatocracy quietly being advocated by both candidates and which came ushered in, in its most pernicious forms, by Reaganomics and Thatcherism. Of course, only one of those two candidates is a sociopathic/psychopathic bullying demagogue, and one who really shames America, I’m afraid to say. Please forgive the intrusion here Peggy!

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporatocracy
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheldon_Wolin

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      4. Hariod! I’m so happy to see your comment this morning. You and I are in agreement once again. You see, I’ve been contending for the longest time that the US is a Corporatocracy.
        We are also in total agreement on how this came about. Our present problem revolves around how we should handle this and, short of a full scale Revolution, I’m not so sure it can be corrected. We certainly appear to be headed, at the very least, toward a Civil War if we don’t come to grips with the racist element that has been prevalent since we arrived on the shores of Jamestown. The powers-that-be put the Indians” in their place” and then proceeded to drag Africans from their homes and put them in their place too. And women have always been reminded about our proper place in this society.
        I recognize that there is a strong element among us who would be very content with an autocratic system and that explains the mind set behind the buffoon’s followers. I, myself, much prefer a Democracy with the return of a strong middle class and their American Dream. It seemed to work well for us once . (Ah, the return of the good old days!)
        But, at this time in my life, I’m not delusional and realize we may have gone too far astray to return to any semblance of “normalcy”.
        Never having been a fan of Reagan, I didn’t ascribe to the ludicrousness of his “Trickle Down Theory”. But I didn’t fully realize , at that time, the debilitating ramifications Corporate America would cause to bring about here in the US today. I now admit to gross shortsightedness. At that time I really believed Reagan and his ideas would eventually go away with the next election. Little did I know that he actually had mentally “left the building” long before he left office. And now here we are faced with the prospect of someone else who has not only “left the building” mentally but morally as well. He certainly presents the picture of a psychopathic demagogue and we now find ourselves in the middle of The American Nightmare. I’ve decided I’m not going quietly into that dark night.
        I intend to go to the Wolin link now. Thanks, my friend, and I wish you a very peaceful week. Clare

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  5. You were also right that teens want adults in charge, and on the dynamics around bullies. I find it all so scary, repellent, and sad. I used to avoid political stuff in the public area but I’m afraid we have to stand up to this bully or find the vote going like the Brexit one in the completely unexpected wrong direction.

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    1. And I loved reading all of them. As I said, when I pushed publish the first time I got a message about not being able to post and to come back later. But when I checked later, an unedited version had been posted. So I had to undo and start again. I wonder if other people were having similar problems at that time?

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      1. I have been having lots of issues with comments and likes – but never with posts. That must have been annoying! Maybe I will find out about others as I sent my issue to the WordPress help people. Probably for anyone other than you I would have given up. Seeing all three of my replies finally published was weird! But more ammo to tell them, since they replied this morning! I’ll add what happened to you.

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  6. A mantra for me has always been “the deepest ring of hell is reserved for good people who when faced with great evil do nothing” and I keep thinking of those who waited till too late to stand up to Hitler. So I keep hammering it.

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    1. I just don’t think we have any choice. I would much rather be writing about music or adventures or letting Roxie write a post, but there are only 5 more weeks! It just seems so ominous right now and the only thing I have use are words and experience based on common sense. From what I can tell from the comments of people from outside the US, they are really worried, too. Hopefully, they understand that there are people trying to do something to right this wrong.

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      1. Again, a sad, frustrated me, too! Every other candidate who has made even one of the kind of errors he has made lost or never made it to be the candidate. But somehow, he keeps going like some clown who can’t be defeated in a horror movie. So, I do. Yet, doing it feels mean and angry, and takes real energy. Just want it over, but have to try to stop him. Though it feels like the Republicans I do know are sticking because of the Supreme

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      2. Jo, I know what you mean. I don’t want this to be taking up my time. I prefer writing poems and stories to the angry essays I seem to be spewing. The Republicans appear to me as hand puppets put in place by the rich CEO’s ; the 1%.
        I think they’ll do whatever they’re told to do. No independent thinkers in that party. Clare

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  7. I totally agree with your assessment on the donald.
    Both sides of this election are terrifying to me, the Dem and Rep.
    So, I will not be voting for either one of them. BUT, I will be voting!
    America used to be looked up to in the world, now sadly, we are a laughingstock.
    Thank you for calling him out.

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    1. Lucy, Anyone not a millionaire in this country should be worried. I feel that Hillary has always stood up for children and their families and truly feel she has been portrayed in a very different light than who she really is and what she stands for. But then, the media has always been controlled by the rich old white men who are horrified at the thought of any woman having power. But I think that is the only way this country will ever evolve. The more competent women we can put into office to offset some of the incompetent politicians who have held office for way too long, the better for us in the long run. She doesn’t frighten me at all.I admire a woman who can hold her own in the viper’s nest that is American politics today. If you get a chance, watch the Frontline special that was done last week. It really does show where they both are coming from. It might alleviate some of your fears about her. Love, Ethel

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      1. People forget because it is never reported. Until she announced her intention to run for President, Hillary was seen by the American public as one of the most highly regarded politicians—male or female. Goes to show you how effective a smear campaign, from any source, can be.

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      2. Peggy, Kate Crimean’s and Joan Eddy’s comment speak to this. I gave my take on how this could happen in my comment response. We are at a point in this country where the news has almost no basis in fact and all basis in entertainment. The news has evolved and should now be called “As Far From Reality TV As It Can Get Hour”. The saddest thing is that many people still believe everything that issues forth from their boob tube. I once had a man ask me the following question, “If you don’t watch Fox News, then how are you going to know who to vote for?” I kid you not!

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    2. I don ‘t love Hillary, though I agree with Clare, she has gotten a fair shake in the press. And she has made mistakes, some bad ones. But she, at least has called them mistakes. When faced with his Trump “doubles down” never admitting them, even repeating them. To vote for anyone but Clinton, as I see it, is to help him win. So I see no choice but her.

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      1. I’m seeing her in a whole different light and actually liking what I see. I think many people are finding this to be true. Michelle Obama’s speech showed that she respected Hillary and the fact that she had dedicated her life to this country. And as I read more about her, I agree. At the base of the problem is that women are not allowed to make mistakes and if they do, then they must carry them on their backs as they walk through the desert in a loin cloth trying to make it home in time to put dinner on the table. At this point I’ve become so radicalized , I truly believe that we need as many competent women in office as possible to make the changes that are long overdue. I may write a post on this if I have the energy. (Perhaps I should let Roxie handle it for me?)

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      2. Agree again😘 though I didn’t love her email server, after the witch hunt on them when Bill was in office I get why she might have chosen to do it. And I think that like they did to President Obama, they do everything they can to de-legitamatize her.

        When she ran for Senator, she came to the huge Christmas food and toy distribution my agency, The Salvation Army, did at our convention center in Syracuse. Without press, she addressed the volunteers saying the Army was her father’s favorite charity and one she had volunteered for with him growing up. From “keywords” she used I could tell it was true. She was so genuine then and later when she packed groceries with staff and talked to the people coming for help. I wish she would show that side more, and inspire us more. And it does give me hope and a reason to support her.

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      3. I was just responding to Kate Crimmin’s comment on this very topic. If the media had been covering half the things she’s been involved in, she just may have been put up for sainthood rather then being demonized in the way she’s been.
        But who runs the media? Who owns the media? This is one place where trickle- down theory works.Those rich men in charge mandate and control what we see and by the time the “news” comes into our homes, it has been through their “sieve”.

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      4. Absolutely, Melinda. That is what we need to continue to fight for. The right to think differently, pursue the truth and respect each other’s differing ideas. Name calling, casting aspersions on good people, lying and cheating should be openly challenged. We want to be told the truth and do not want to be disrespected by lies; that’s what civility is – respect. As women, we can truly understand and empathize with those who still have to fight for the right to be respected as an equal.
        Now, there is a Catch 22 this year because unfortunately, in this election, the statistics tell us that not voting at all or casting a vote for a third party candidate is a vote for Trump. A vote cast is that critical. This election is certainly one we’ll never forget.

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  8. Clare, I enjoyed your views on this, the worst kind of bully. In fact I think this is a beautifully written post and must surely reflect the views of decent people everywhere. I’m horrified by the prospect of Trump becoming president of the USA. It will have a negative impact around the world.

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    1. Thank you, Robyn. I really don’t want to be writing about politics on social media, but it is crucial that people understand we are not taking this situation lightly. I felt the post was much too long. I like to be more concise in expressing my thoughts, but it is hard for me not to launch into a rant on this topic. I’ll try to limit the focus on this type of post in the future. But, no matter how hard I tried with this one, the words just kept spilling out on the paper. Better than tears, I guess? Clare

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      1. I understand your thoughts on this subject Clare. The outcome of the election will have global ramifications. Beyond this I can imagine deep disappointment with your fellow Americans for endorsing such a divisive and dangerous candidate. I can see you feel it reflects on everyone, those for and those against him. It’s like we are taking steps back into the dark ages. We have seen a return to extreme views in this country. Conservatism of the worse kind, bigotry and insularity born of fear and ignorance. It’s disheartening to say the least. So far these forces haven’t dominated in Australia but they spout their venom to the world and I would hate others to think that they speak for all of us.
        Now who’s ranting : )

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      2. Yes, I have heard you are having similar problems with the likes of Pauline Harris (I believe) and her racist followers. Is there a virus infecting people in the world? Something caustic,dropped from an overhead plane – a new kind of manipulative germ warfare? We are all so interconnected now and a problem in one of our countries unavoidably spills over on to others. And those of us who write, articulate what we are feeling and find that others are feeling much the same ; different players, same angst! Thanks, Robyn. I will make a point to stop by and visit with you soon. I always get a positive boost when I read your beautiful posts. Clare

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      3. Dear Clare thanks for taking the time to always reply so comprehensively. I do think those of us who are despairing the situation are comforted by talking about it. I chuckled about a plane dropping a virus infecting us with toxic views. Stranger things have happened. Take care 😊🌺

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  9. Here here Ms. Sweeney! My mom was an English teacher too and also declares Donald a bully. What a shock he would have as president realizing that every American citizen – even the women, disabled, and minority citizens – are now his boss. How could he ever represent us? Great post!

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    1. Ah, that’s just it. He has no intention of representing anyone but himself and those who will cater to his whims will be rewarded in kind. Thank you for this comment. I know you must be very concerned about this as any mother should be. I hope all is well with you and your family. Clare

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      1. All is well, and we are anxiously awaiting the next debate. I couldn’t pick the vice presidential candidates out of a lineup of men in suits, so I’m anxious to hear what they had to say. Sadly there will be no Joe Biden this time to wow the cameras with his stellar grin.

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      2. I just watched the VP debate tonight and have mixed feelings, but that could end up being another whole blog post. Last week Biden was at a college in NC and gave the greatest speech about the buffoon’s debate debacle, (as I am now referring to the televised disaster we all sat watching with our jaws hanging down). I hope there will be a position for him somewhere when Hillary takes office. I would really miss his voice in Washington.

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    1. Thanks, Yvette. I’m retired from that career and doing what I have always wanted to do – write. But I never thought I’d be spending my time writing about politics. I feel the post was much too long, but if people only read a bit of it, I think the message is clear. This situation is very strange to all of us. The depiction that buffoon has presented of America is not who we are here in the US. And it is not who we strive to be. I hope people in other countries realize this and take some heart from it. 🌹 Clare

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  10. Well said, Clare. I so hope everyone who shares your views gets out and votes. Over here our political situation is in a state of turmoil and unease but if the donald gets in its going to be a disaster. From here it’s like watching a dreadful car crash – you know you shouldn’t look but you can’t help it.

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    1. Yes, Mary. It’s a massive pile up here in the US. But there are those of us who are being very vocal about this situation. Unfortunately we are standing in the middle of this car wreck and trying to figure out how to entangle ourselves from the wreckage. This surely is a test for all of us here in the US.

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  11. From a UK perspective I’m keeping everything tightly crossed that the US sees sense and chooses not to vote this bully into power. He will be dangerous for the entire world. Aside from all his faults, which you so eloquently document, there is the fact that he has absolutely no experience of government. How can such an influential country countenance being led by a novice? His instability will spread rapidly, if he is elected. The trouble is that I can see parallels with here. We recently had our referendum, in which one of the leading characters was a bullying buffoon with no experience of leadership of anything other than a small, third rate party of racists and idiots. But he came out on the winning side, and has since been invited to support Trump: Nigel Farage, the grinning twat. God forbid you make the same mistake we did!

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    1. There are certainly vivid parallels and the buffoons seem to have gained a foothold. It is quite a disaster right now and I know it is not a time for silence, because it could just get worse before it gets better. Thanks, Clive for reading my too-wordy post. I appreciate your feelings and concerns and hope things will take a better path here in the next few weeks. 🌹 Clare

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      1. Always happy to read your words, Clare. We can but hope that sense eventually prevails, and then we could usher Trump into one of his buildings and erect a wall around it. At his expense, of course 😉

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      2. Strange you should mention that. Trump was brought up as the son of a rich man and his reality was never like most of the people in the US. So, in a sense, he’s always had a wall separating him from most of us. Therein lies the crux of the problem – he has no empathy; no common ground. He just doesn’t get it because he sees himself as “entitled”. (Entitled to everything, I should add.) But, I don’t see this ending well, Clive. Too much hatred has been stirred up by his words and antics. The ripples of this are going to turn into a typhoon no matter who wins. We are now on a course that is uncharted. And all I have are words as my life jacket.

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      3. I fear that you are right. We’ve had far more instances of racial abuse, even a murder, since the Brexit vote. They see people who they believe to be influential saying the same things and feel legitimised. A destructive genie has been released from its bottle, and putting it back in won’t be easy.

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      4. That’s a good point, Clive – the idea of the legitimizing of violence by influential people; people who are able to manipulate the minds of those who are angry and want to act out their anger. I know the US is not the only country where this is happening and so many of us are truly concerned about those destructive genies and are articulating this and discussing it with others as we try to work out how we are going to deal with this massive problem.

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      5. I don’t think they either realise or care about the impact of their words and attitudes, and that is what saddens me most. There is no easy answer, as they won’t just stop doing it! They are legitimising not only violence, but also some people’s perception that it is acceptable to hold racist, extremist beliefs. I’ll never accept that to be right!

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      6. They are very good words. It’s a pity you aren’t writing a few speeches, but I guess politicians think that showing compassion is a sign of weakness. I actually think it’s a sign of strength.

        Like

  12. Clare, this is a very well written and heartfelt post about taking citizenship seriously and exercising a hard fought for right to vote. I hope that loads of people read your words and take them to heart.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Bernadette – The power of the pen. But I think I’m preaching to the choir with the people I blog with. They seem to grasp the impact of what this buffoon has done. I really wonder if my words and thoughts are reaching anyone who has not grasped the seriousness of this situation? But to keep silent would be a crime right now.

      Liked by 3 people

  13. We have tolerated things from this candidate that we would not tolerate from children. What does that say to our youth? Also, a vote for a third party candidate that has no chance of winning is a vote for him. We are really not as progressive as we’d like to think.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re right, Kate. And I’m not buying that bill of goods they’ve been trying to feed us about Hillary all these years. She is strong, competent, experienced, has put children and families first and stood up to that buffoon during the debate in a way that made me proud to be a woman in this country. We really can’t lose this opportunity to show our daughters (and sons) what a true force this woman could be for all of us.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Most believe who don’t like her only know what they hear and never research it. She is responsible for CHIP. I have always admired her. Oh yes, she is a woman. God forbid a woman should be president. The other thing is that he is such a buffoon (as you say) how do you seriously debate him. I remember the Republican debates in the spring. It’s so easy to lose your temper. I’m still in shock that the Republicans haven’t “done something.” It’s sad when the presidential race has become yet another reality show.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. My take on this is that many of those obstructionist Republicans have been bought or put in place by the rich CEO’s and the major corporations now running this country. The lobbyists for these companies have done their job well. The belief that you give more money and cut all taxes for the rich because it’s going to benefit the rest of us is ludicrous. We’ve already experienced the results of this and the ripples continue as our middle class disappears. And so these congressmen and senators have to back Trump, one of those corporate millionaires, to protect the others. It’s what they’re being paid for.
        As far as the different picture of Hillary we’ve been given ever since she “dared” to make an attempt to run for president, I think the media is realizing what this has wrought for all of us. In trying to make her look like a she-monster, they’ve empowered a real monster – one who denigrates women. Enough of this. Is this country really wants change, how about the massive change of putting a woman in charge? You and I are in total agreement on this, but 1 out of 4 Republican women say they endorse this man who devalues them in so many ways. I just don’t get this.

        Liked by 2 people

  14. This was POWERFUL and heartening to read. Entitlement and the resulting reaction from an maddening entourage has indeed fueled anger and resentment. I do hope that somehow reason and sanity will restore our collective faith. A great post, Clare. Thanks for writing it. – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marty, thank you for this sentiment. Every time I write about religion or politics on this blog, I am breaking every resolution I made when it began almost two years ago. I’m not comfortable writing my political beliefs and putting them out there for all to see. I didn’t sleep well the night I posted it and considered moving it to “private”. But I just don’t know what else I can do to stop what I consider an insane, dangerous attack on everything we hold dear. And I know silence surely is not the right path. I look forward to a time when I can get back to writing about music, and children’s books, and reading with children and my adventures with Charley and friends. But I don’t have the heart for that at the moment. And yes, our collective faith in humanity is screaming out to be restored

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Clare, I made the same resolve (re: political topics) with the possible exception of “rarely” as opposed to “never.” My blog’s sole role is to convey the imbecility of my own daily thinking, with occasional sane discussions of retirement issues. But to ignore the attacks on our collective conscience and intelligence makes me feel as if I’m no better than Nero.

        Write from your heart when the moment hits you. Its what keeps you sane. And sanity is in short supply right now. – Marty

        Liked by 1 person

  15. I agree that some of Trump’s support comes from lingering vestiges of racism and sexism that still exists in our country. You hit it spot on that there are some who believe that 8 yrs of a Black man could only be made worse by 4 yrs of a woman. However, I’ve also read a number of articles that another group of Trump supporters are in dire straits–jobs dried up, if there is work the pay is stagnant, few or no hope for advancement–and see him as a last-ditch effort for change, a change they yearn for so badly that they’d put up with him for 4yrs. I think this group deserves to be heard. I’m saddened that things are that hard for them. But here’s the thing: Trump is resoundingly unqualified. There’s no way he could (or would) follow thru with his hollow promises and make the lives of the working poor substantially better, not to mention the unemployed poor. As a business owner he can order people around, fire them, declare bankruptcy and enjoy all the privileges of entitlement. But a country of 300 million is not a corporation. There are a whole host of skills needed to be a public administrator, not to mention President of a superpower. And Trump just doesn’t stack up AND is an offensive & reprehensible human being. How did things get this far??

    Bravo to you, Clare for speaking out. And kudos to your readers who have good sense & common decency.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nancy, thank you for this. And from the comments this week, it’s obvious that people who read these posts are amazing. Many of these bloggers have become such good friends and I appreciate and respect their input as they help me work out in my own mind something I cannot fully comprehend. (And I really am having difficulty with this election process right now.) You bring up a very critical and valid point about Trump’s followers. I’ve referred to them as his “entourage” and likened them to the enablers surrounding most bullies. I know we are all crying out for change. We’re disgusted (I’m disgusted!) with what this country has become – a Corporatocracy where the rich are in charge and the middle class is disappearing and becoming part of the dis-advantaged class. I’m part of that middle class.
      But, this is what I feel his followers are not truly grasping: The man they are endorsing IS part of the Corporatocracy, the entitled rich, who have calculatingly, for their own selfish goals, led us into this abyss. He personally has abused the people who work for him. He’s taken advantage of a crisis and used it to take their homes from them. Through his bankruptsies, he’s left so many small businesses in tatters. He admits to being part of the rich faction who know how to use the system to their advantage and to our disadvantage. Don’t they realize that he would never associate with his faithful followers outside the halls where they cheer him on? To him they are part of “The Great Unwashed”. In so many of his own comments, he infers that they are beneath him. And the women! What are they thinking? Do they believe he would advocate any change that would benefit them?
      Yes, we all agree, we want change. But you don’t open the door and put the fox in charge of the chicken coupe. Those followers are going to be worse-off with the changes he really will put in place if given the reigns of power. Power is what he really wants.He has absolutely no plan, no idea, no clue how to bring about positive change in this country. And that is what I don’t comprehend. 42 million people think he’ll make their lives better because he manipulates their minds and their emotions with false rhetoric. 42 million people intend to vote for him because they hate the system which has taken so much from them; from all of us who are not the 1 %. They just don’t see that he is a major part of that system and will dole out more of the same should he win this election. Because he is entitled; because he can; because in the end, they will enable him to abuse them because that is the monster he is. I know Hitler’s followers cried out for change and placed their hopes in him to bring it about. And he did. And it left his country and much of the world in ruins. And I ask myself, “Are there really 42 million people in this country who never read that chapter in our history books?” Again, thank you Nancy for bringing this out, because the disenfranchised are a large and important part of this country and deserve to be heard. But they deserve a better leader than a buffoon.

      Like

    1. Oh you are a hopeful woman! But they are already bought and must make sure a Republican gets in to satisfy their owners. (sensitive, caring Republicans? Wouldn’t that be considered an oxymoron?) I just finished watching the VP debate and am trying to finish answering some blog comments, so I’ll have to put off visiting your blog to tomorrow. See you soon! Love, Clare

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jo. I love reading your posts and we both clearly understand the need to deviate from our usual topics during the current climate in the US. I’m not sure if either of us will change anyone’s mind, but we can console each other in the fact that we are not alone in our concerns.

      Like

  16. Well told Clare. I hesitate to say I enjoyed reading this post but I did enjoy it … for your reasoned argument and your association of this political current with bullies. I believe your concerns are shared by many and I hope those number enough on election day. My warm regards, Gail.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Gail. We are watching the presidential debate and I had to leave the room. I can’t even look at that idiot’s face, let alone, listen to his ridiculousness. I’ve had to deal with many bullies as an educator in a way that they could learn from their poor choices. But this guy is a macro bully. I don’t think even I could have made a difference with the likes of him. I truly hope people will come out on election day and show a different America than he is portraying in his words and actions. I’m finding this whole thing interminable and feel the damage already has been done. He has caused an atmosphere of hatred and violence to emerge where bullies are made to feel they are in charge. We will be dealing with the detritus of this election cycle for many years to come. The photos and stories of your adventures take me away from all this at least for a little while. Thanks again, Gail.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. The whole world is counting on clear thinking people like you to make a difference on election day . Over here we are shocked that such a person could have been allowed to go so far and be supported by so many (and it is scary to think that millions of people can be brainwashed?manipulated?deceived? – again – by such a Bully) . This is a menace not only for the American people but for everyone . We had 2 national television stations covering last nights’ debate , with simultaneous translation and some of the best political and foreign policies commentators before and after the debate , which started 02:00 am our time , on a week night ! That is how concerned we are , even as a very small country of 10 million people on the other side of the Ocean .
    (and I watched the live in English broadcast , because I didn’t want to loose any of the expressions/innuendos/subtle meanings that are sometimes lost in translation)
    Hoping people will wake up on time and that articles like the one you wrote will help them think .
    Turtle Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Turtle, Yes, I’m sure the world thinks the US has gone insane right about now. We are feeling the same here and are trying our best to be vocal about making a prudent decision. We have a two-party system and the Republican Party has been searching for what it should represent for a decade and they obviously thought the answer was big corporations. But now they’ve made a mess of it and created a monster they can’t seem to reign in. The Democrats have been steady and have always been a party for the middle and working classes and those in need. Hopefully this election will just be a very bad nightmare in the future. Thank you for your comments and I truly hope this country can do the right thing for the sake of all of us. Hugs, Clare

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Claire so many great points on a worthless piece of ____. Also funny how the Republican party big wigs are now distancing themselves from him knowing that when he losing this election the backlash could come falling down on them. As one that is working with a couple immigration organizations I fear the worse for all immigrates he and his leaders would create a America lust like Hitler’s Germany on them. Also he brings back visions of the 60’s (before my time) when people of color were fighting equal rights. He and his followers would take us back to the 1800’s before Lincoln.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, Dennis. Making America great again would be a true disaster for many of us he obviously despises – immigrants, women, minorities, the overweight and handicapped, anyone who doesn’t agree with him. I could go on. I really don’t think his vision of America is any sane person’s vision. Take care and hold on tight. We’re in for a bumpy ride! Clare

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Life lessons these are.
    Experience that counts.
    A matured and responsible to take charge.
    It’s no bullying henceforth.
    High school or the society at large the eyes are always open.
    Let humanity kindle the light.
    In whichever country the question it arises.
    Clare Ma’am!
    Beautiful post.
    Shiva
    👍😘👌💝

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Hi Clare. Apologies for the delay in replying. I read it once in a hurry and then again just now. Stirling piece. You make fundamental and very important points. Great stuff. I do think Trump is odious, you know that but I also don’t think the other side are as white as we might hope for. Sorry about that because I know you hold Hilary in high esteem. However, the Presidency aside, I love the point you make to the kids in your office. I will have to remember that one. its al true… so true. So really I want to say that you make some very sensible and serious points to which I subscribe to. Looking forward to the next one… thank YOU!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have been totally off-line these past few weeks, so I’m even more behind than you. I thought you’d like my “test”. It always worked. I’m so glad I’m retired. I often tell people when they ask for something, “I am not the adult in charge any more!”
      So, just when you thought it couldn’t get lower in the US election fiasco, here we are actually buried underneath the mud flats! He is a pig! I haven’t written anything since that piece BUT I did finish the mystery book editing a few minutes ago!!!!!!! I met with a police woman detective on Friday to go over the procedural areas in the book. Lots of big and little details I wanted to get right. So, now I will let it sit and get to a blog post this week, maybe. I need some beta readers for the book to get to the next step. I don’t anticipate publishing it until Spring 2017.
      Are you on vacation yet? Enjoy and I’ll visit with you soon.

      Like

      1. I’m liking the first draft but worry that it’s because I’ve spent so much time on it and not that it’s any good???????? I definitely will have a bully, buffoon character in one of the books to follow and he will die!!!!!!! One last torturous debate tonight – not sure I can hack it.

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      2. I finished the 1st draft yesterday and have been sending it out to beta readers. I’m sure there’ll be lots of changes when I get their input.
        It looks like Trump has truly blown it and is resigned to losing. He’s blaming everyone (especially the media) because he hates being a loser and now he’s saying he might buy his own television network to deliver news to people in the way he sees fit. Hmmmmmm? I guess that would be a steady diet of lies?

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Eugenia. I haven’t written another post since then. Just too much negativity. But I think I’ll get something out in the next few days that’s a bit lighter than this political stuff that has engulfed all of our lives in the past few months. I’ll visit you soon. Clare

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Paayal, Welcome and thank you not only for visiting, but also for re-blogging. It is very kind of you to do me that honor. I don’t usually blog about politics, but what is happening here in the US during this election cycle has gone beyond politics into the realm of moral and ethical behavior. Many of us in this country who have not written about political issues feel the same way and have put thought to pen – especially the women. I appreciate your sharing my own thoughts on the important matters at hand with your followers. Clare

      Like

    1. Ah, we can only hope this is true. I will be writing a post some day on the situation facing women (gender equity) here in the US. I am thrilled that we are going to have a woman President. Thanks, Aquileana
      Your post on myths and flowers was awesome!

      Like

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