1. Carolyn, your post has me thinking so many things! For one thing, isn’t it interesting that we still conceive of bullies’ targets as “weaker,” even when that isn’t always the case? This is the classic image of the bully and his/her victim. I’m put in mind of several of my own experiences that do not, in any way, reflect this pattern – and at the same time, I’m remembering what a revelation it was for me the day I understood that I could just step up and confront the bully directly. Hm. Interesting!

    I’m also thinking about what you say about television. I remember watching Mad Men and just waiting, WILLING Don Draper to be a better person. “Be the person I know you are!” I would yell at the TV.That’s a crazy thing to say; clearly, I’ve been conditioned by Western narrative structures to believe the protagonist MUST be virtuous (oh Sarah, so simple). In fact, in the end, I stopped watching, because he didn’t redeem himself and I grew fatigued with caring and waiting for something that never happened. (As for GoT; well, I admit: I’m pretty much hoping every episode has dragons in it. And more of Michelle Carragher’s amazing embroidery. And I like Brianne of Tarth because she’s tall like me, and obsessed with honor, which I totally get.)

    My husband is confident (and his confidence gives me comfort), absolutely confident that Trump is unelectable. I really do take solace in this. Because the alternative is too horrible to imagine.

    But I’m with you on the dismay. What has happened to us, as a culture, as a nation, as a people? We’re doing a play at ACT this year about an important juncture in the 20th Century – a turn by the Republican party toward a more conservative position, and the creation of perhaps the most infamous television attack ad, ever. So we’re mulling over a lot of these same issues at my work this year. I guess it’s hard not to, in a presidential election year. There’s a lot at stake – and when I see the rabid fans cheering this jingoistic and racist ideologue … I worry, too.

    • Carolyn

      Sarah, thanks for your thoughtful response! I know what you mean about the bully/victim as not the only scenario out there. Or, rather, that the victims are weak. I think what I mean is that the bully probably perceives the victim as weak, which is why they are attacking them. Once the victim stands up, doesn’t the bully usually back down or back track? I think that’s what we need to do with Trump. He thinks we, as an American public, are too stupid to understand what’s happening and that we’ll roll over so he can achieve his twisted dream of being ‘the most powerful man in the world.’ No thank you.

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