Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Failure of the Bully Mentality

 Answering Kennedy’s Call


We need no more evidence than the Uvalde Elementary school massacre that the gun-toting male machismo of the NAR and extreme gun rights advocates doesn’t protect children or adults,

Adults with military weaponry and tactical gear waited more than 70 minutes before engaging the shooter while 19 fourth graders and two teachers were killed; and 15 children and a police officer were wounded by one AR-15 toting 18-year-old.

Why is it a surprise when studies have shown that such male machismo, or “toxic masculinity” to use the contemporary term, is a façade that protects the gun bearer from his own fears of inadequacy but not those that need protection?

It’s a form of bullying behavior that is well-known to Psychologists and behavioral scientists that have studied bullying behavior. A state like Texas with its ruling political party that discriminates against women and immigrants exhibits such behavior is concealing just such an innate feeling of weakness and ineffectiveness.

What more evidence do we need than to witness 376 guardians of law and order, including more than 90 Texas Rangers, cowering in the halls of Robb Elementary School while those children were being slaughtered? What more evidence do we need than the NRA assertion that “good men with guns” are the solution to gun violence when not one of the 376 guardians was good enough to risk life and limb to save those children?

It turns out such “manliness” has been all show and posturing that has led to an ideology that espouses such Machismo with nothing behind it except their guns? It should be obvious that they carry those weapons to protect themselves, not those they have sworn to defend.

I have written in the past to describe such behavior as a bully mentality, a mental state that seems to govern those that prefer to prey on the weaker but avoid confronting those that exhibit strength, such as the leader of their party, ex-President Trump.

Psychology Today posted a list of bullying behaviors at the time, a list that fits a political party that opposes all gun regulations like a glove:

– Uncontrolled anger and unpredictable irritability, frequently directed at the weakest people (‘safe targets’) or those perceived as a future threat
– A sociopathic ability to control their own image – the selective ability to look like a different person to different audiences – for example, being aggressive to ‘subordinates’, while being charming and helpful to others
– Having little status outside of work, bullies wield the power that their job gives them with vicious zeal
– Running ‘witch-hunts’
– Gratuitous domineering behaviour – sometimes physical
– The ability to make the unreasonable seem reasonable, even to the victims
--Projecting their own inadequacies onto others
– Making irrational accusations
– Publicly putting people down
– Sadistic enjoyment in humiliating others

One commentator on toxic masculinity described exactly what happened in Uvalde: “Our country is saturated in guns, and yet the mythical “good guy with a gun” who is supposed to stop these mass shootings has yet to actually be produced. That is because the good guy with a gun is a myth, propped up to justify toxic masculinity’s obsession with guns, and nothing more.”

The foremost characteristic of bullies is that they prey on weakness. That also goes for a political party that preys on the less fortunate by denying them adequate medical care and restricting their voting rights. What is their excuse?

New York Times columnist, Paul Krugman, perhaps said it best. “And what these severe conservatives hate, above all, is reliance on government programs. “Rick Santorum declares that President Obama is getting America hooked on “the narcotic of dependency.” Mr. Romney warns that government programs “foster passivity and sloth.” Representative Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, requires that staffers read Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged,” in which heroic capitalists struggle against the “moochers” trying to steal their totally deserved wealth, a struggle the heroes win by withdrawing their productive effort and giving interminable speeches.”

Heroic deeds are conspicuously absent from those who believe the Second Amendment allows 18-year-olds to own assault rifles.

Harlan Green © 2022

Follow Harlan Green on Twitter:

No comments: