Although “bully” is one of the words most frequently used by detractors to describe Donald Trump, a newly published op-ed from a renowned anti-bullying expert explained why the president might actually be the most bullied person in the world.
Writing for Psychology Today, school psychologist, author, and Bullies to Buddies, Inc. director Izzy Kalman said on Sunday that Trump can qualify as the most bullied person, “hands down,” if one is to consider how often the media has taken shots at him. He stressed that it isn’t unusual for powerful and famous people to be insulted, ridiculed, or even defamed because of their status compared to the average person.
“The media and the general public don’t care about the flaws of the average John or Jane Doe. It is the rich, famous and powerful who are on the radar of the media, constantly on the lookout for the titillating information we crave to spice up our mundane, dreary existence,” Kalman wrote.
Further emphasizing his point about how people in power can be bullied more significantly than most other people, Kalman added that the president of the United States, regardless of how popular or unpopular they may be, is traditionally picked on more often than anyone else. According to Kalman, there may be times when another famous person takes over this spot, such as when the sexual abuse allegations against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein first became public, but it typically isn’t long before the “novelty wears away” and the U.S. president reclaims their place as the world’s most bullied person.
As noted by Kalman, his piece for Psychology Today was written in the light of comments made by first lady Melania Trump in October, as ABC News asked what motivated her to focus on the dangers of cyberbullying as part of her “Be Best” initiative. According to CNN, the first lady told ABC News‘ Tom Llamas that she considers herself one of the “most bullied [people] in the world,” particularly when taking into account how she is often ridiculed on social media.
In another part of his op-ed, Kalman noted that Trump’s ascendance to the presidency has been blamed for recent upticks in school bullying, on top of the numerous times he has been called out for his “unbecoming” acts of bullying toward those with whom he is at odds. While Kalman opined that Trump is someone who “fits the image of a classic bully,” he emphasized that people tend to forget that they themselves are acting like bullies when they mock or ridicule the president in a variety of ways.
“Bullying is in our nature. As much as we attack the president for engaging in bullying, we enjoy being perpetrators and spectators of bullying as well, and we don’t want to stop. We enjoy it too much.”
Kalman summed up the main take-home thoughts of his op-ed, writing that it’s easy for the average person to forget that celebrities and other public figures are “also human beings with feelings,” and that people cannot expect Trump and other world leaders to stop their perceived acts of bullying if they themselves continue to derive pleasure from how these individuals are picked on by the media in general.
“We may protest that he started [it], but doing it back makes us no better,” Kalman concluded.