Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The Presidential Bully

"I think he [President Bush] is a bully, and like all bullies, he’s a coward when confronted with a force that he’s fearful of."
- Al Gore, "The New Yorker", 13/09/04

PRESS RELEASE April 15, 2005
Subject: Bullying

The President recognizes that bullying is a serious problem in today’s schools and wholeheartedly endorses recent anti-bullying initiatives. In support of that goal, The White House is providing these helpful guidelines.

There are a number of characteristics associated with bullies. For example, most bullies insist on getting their own way. They don’t consult with others. They don’t compromise and they often act unilaterally.

Bullies tend to intimidate weaker students and force them to do what the bully wants. Sometimes they’ll even lie to get their own way.

Often bullies will scare other kids into silence or fawning approval. These kids would normally broadcast any wrongs or misdeeds to other kids or the proper authorities. But fear of reprisals prevents them from using various media to tell their stories.

Bullies are usually attention seekers. They establish their power base by testing the response of less powerful members. They bully because they believe they are popular and have the support of others.

There are three main types of bullying:
* physical: hitting, kicking, invading someone’s space
* verbal: name-calling; insulting, illiberal remarks
* indirect/emotional: excluding others from groups (e.g. - "you’re with us or against us")

Bullying is deliberate, hurtful behavior that is repeated. For example, if a student continually threatens another student’s social security or medical care, that’s bullying. If he continues to take money from another student even when he and his friends have more than they need, that’s also bullying.

The Bush Administration fully supports all reasonable efforts to stamp out bullying including the suspension of civil liberties and the use of off-campus detention centers. If anyone has a problem with this approach, the President invites them to meet him tomorrow at 3:30 behind The White House.

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