In politics, as in playgrounds, there are bullies. They use their falsely perceived power or belief in their relevance to intimidate others into action or feigned respect. But there is one incontrovertible truth which is inescapable, and should cause all to take a moment for serious introspection:
When you kiss a bully’s butt in an effort to keep him focused upon anyone other than you, YOU ARE CULPABLE FOR THE CASUALTIES HE INFLICTS UPON OTHERS.
Often, these casualties will be your friends. Those of us who behave in this way MUST take accountability for being an enabler of the violence. The first time it may be attributed to poor strategy or poor judgment. The second time… is more likely selfishness or cowardice.
So what to do next? Shall we cower in the corner in silence like some bystander armed with a cell phone camera in a New York subway? Shall we assume no risk to make amends for our previous risk-averse behavior? Shall we cheer him on?
Will you defend your friends or feed the bully more of the fawning pseudo-respect which is his sole reason for being? Will you feed a vampire more blood in the naïve hope he will be satiated?
It has been said that “character is what you do when nobody is looking.” Well, I submit to you today that CHARACTER IS ALSO WHAT YOU DO WHEN EVERYONE IS LOOKING.
Who will defend Lisa Ross?