As I mentioned before, originally as a warning, I was friends with a bully growing up. It was one of the worst decisions I have ever made, but perhaps some of the things I learned will be helpful to those of us who oppose Trump.
Taking on a bully
One story from my childhood seems helpful to today’s situation with Trump.
It was junior high and we were all outside playing basketball. A new kid came to hangout with my friends and I and he started to use your mom jokes against my bully friend.
Kids in junior high would do that to each other sometimes. “Your moms fat, ugly, or… something worse…”
It makes sense why he would think this was smart to do to my bully friend. He must have done this with other people and they just gave him a joke back, or insulted him back and never did anything.
But insulting the mother of a bully isn’t the most brilliant idea. But that is what he did.
My bully friend tackled him as a response. I figured that this kid learned his lesson. Ok, not a wise way to deal with a bully. But he didn’t. He kept insulting his mom. But each time he did so he was tackled again.
He almost looked like thought, “this is my right as an American! I can say whatever I want! This is a terrible injustice that I am being tackled.”
And maybe he was partly right… but was it smart?
Me or my other friend didn’t come and take on this bully. And I didn’t feel like we should.
I could see anyone being offended at their mom being insulted. What does he expect to happen? Especially when dealing with a bully?
Not only did the kid taking on the bully put himself in an unnecessarily bad situation, he wasn’t winning himself any support from outsiders.
A better way, from MLK
But what if this kid was on a higher moral ground? What if he was rebuking the bully for hurting an innocent woman, or kid or animal?
Then outsiders would come to his aid. Then the bully would look like a monster rather than a victim.
This is part of why the Civil Rights Movement was successful. They came off looking morally superior and they exposed the hate and indifference among the forces their opposition.
Martin Luther King’s movement was more powerful because they were smart & moral. They really tried to follow Jesus’ command to love their enemies and believed that love was a powerful force literally more powerful than violence.
And in the end they came out successful because they picked their battles.
Just some thoughts. Not sure if I missed, overemphasized or underemphasized anything…
What do you think?
I would also point out that as a satirist myself, there is a difference between how satire can expose truth, and just making your mom jokes. 🙂