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  • December 13th, 2019


By Joel M. Vance

I suppose you could call it a bonus blog if you’re charitably inclined but it is the first time in more than 350 posts on this website that I have posted two in one week. Rather than a bonus, I suspect it is more in the nature of a spillover of bile, like a bubble of stomach acid, belched after a heavily spiced taco salad. Possibly, before I finish writing this, the United States House of Representatives will have passed two resolutions of impeachment against Donald J Trump, sending his eventual fate to a right-wing dominated Senate which will fall in line and declare him as pure as the driven slush, rather than the playground bully he actually is.


The description of the quintessential bully ((and it almost always is a he) is one who picks on the weak and defenseless. Donald J Trump the presidential Pretender in Chief, is that bully. But he is so abysmally ignorant that he doesn’t have the mental capacity to carefully pick his targets so they can’t fight back.


If you recall the moment in “the Christmas story” when Ralphie has had enough from the bully Scut Farkus and totally loses control in a maniacal outburst which finds him pummeling the bloody nosed Scut, screaming four letter words, learned from his furnace fighting father.


Trump doesn’t have enough sense to realize that he is running the same risk as Scut Farkus when he verbally assaults a 16-year-old Swedish teenage girl who has more integrity in her little finger than Trump does in his whole corpulent carcass. In fact, he has no integrity anywhere in that bloated tub of guts that resembles nothing so much as it does a puff possum two steaming July days after it has been run over on the highway.


If Trump thought he was singling out a weak and defenseless person on whom to vent his inane pique at her having been picked as Time Magazine’s person of the year rather than him (an honor which he has long lusted after, so much that he created a fictitious Time cover with his photograph on it—a spooky demonstration of insanity), he was laughably wrong.


Greta Thunberg is as far from being weak and defenseless as moral strength and integrity are from Donald Trump. Weak? How about a kid on a crusade, sitting day after day in front of the Swedish Parliament, lobbying for action on global warming? Through her strength of purpose and her unyielding dedication, she has won well-deserved admiration worldwide and has organized a youth movement dedicated to forcing those in power to address climate change, the most urgent threat to global integrity.


Defenseless? Her defense is truth, the best defense of all.  She doesn’t need to stand toe to toe with the likes of Donald Trump and punch him out, although I suspect a couple of whacks in his flabby gut would have him groveling on the ground like Scut Farkus, shrieking for mercy.  Ms. Thunberg quickly responded to Trump through his favorite medium of communication, Twitter, by tweeting “if anyone thinks that what I and the science are saying is advocating for a political view–that says more about that person than about me. That being said some are certainly failing more than others.”


She went on to amplify her philosophy by saying “I’m sometimes called political but I’ve never supported any political party, politician or ideology. I communicate the science and the risks of failing to act on it. And the fact is that the politics needed don’t exist today, neither to the right left nor center.”


Trump has had a remarkable and incomprehensible ability to evade responsibility for any of the destructive actions and statements he has made since he was inexplicably elected president of the United States. But just perhaps he has gone one step too far in attacking a 16-year-old environmental crusader who has the admiration and respect of anyone with a smidgen more than half a brain.


Trump has carried on an inexplicable vendetta against Ms. Thunberg for some time (and I suspect childish jealousy is a major part of the explanation) since she gained recognition after she confronted world leaders at the United Nations climate change conference. The Swedish teenager verbally flayed world leaders discussing a warming planet and how to avert disaster with a blistering speech. “I don’t want you to be hopeful,” she said. “I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act. I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if the house was on fire—because it is.”


She has been castigated for her views about the need to immediately address climate change, not just by the president of the United States, but by right-wing commentators and others whose primary claim to fame is that they are awful human beings. Even Fox News, as low blow oriented as it often is, was forced to apologize for right-wing guest Michael Knowles calling Ms. Thunberg “mentally ill” a day after her United Nations talk. Ms. Thunberg deals with Asperger’s syndrome, a type of autism characterized by, among other symptoms, difficulty in dealing with social situations—think of the immense courage it takes for someone with that problem to take an assortment of world leaders to task for their inability to deal with climate crisis.


After her United Nations talk, Trump snidely tweeted “she seemed like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!” Ms. Thunberg immediately updated her Twitter biography with subtle sarcasm, saying she was “A very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future.” Trump wasn’t about to let up on his bitter resentment after the Time Magazine honor, immediately tweeting “Greta must work on her anger management problem, then go to a good old-fashioned movie with a friend! Chill Greta, Chill!”


Greta immediately responded by again updating her biography on Twitter by saying she is “A teenager working on her anger management problem. Currently chilling and watching a good old-fashioned movie with a friend.” Take that, fat man. Trump, the Dolt in Chief has no chance of winning this word duel with a person infinitely smarter and more articulate than he is.


Our daughter, Carrie, who has been an environmental champion from cradle onward, spent several decades as a high school English teacher, doing her best to shepherd teenagers toward responsible adulthood. With what I hope is pardonable parental pride, and taking no credit for her development as a person deeply concerned with the health of the planet—especially, its natural resource integrity— I was not surprised when she reacted on Facebook after Trump tweeted his inexcusable assault on Ms. Thunberg. She posted on Facebook, “I just can’t let this one slide. Donald Trump, president of the United States and husband of anti-cyber bullying crusader Milania Trump, spent his Thursday morning cyber bullying a teenage girl.  So sad.” I sense a bit of sarcasm there since Trump is fond of ending his tweets about something he doesn’t like (which is almost everything) with the comment “so sad.”


Someone who spends much of his time venting in choleric rage with insane tirades against a whirlwind of reactions to his erratic life suggesting that a sincere, much admired teenage girl needs to deal with anger management is so ludicrous it would be funny if it weren’t so aggravating. No point in telling Trump he should deal with his own anger management. It would just make him angry.


Trump’s entire philosophy of life is based on anger. He thrives on it, fuels his self image with it, and energizes his debased base by appealing to their latent rage about what ever— their lack of intelligence, their lack of achievement in life, their lack of success at winning the lottery, the failure of their sports team to win, their failure in who knows what? It’s called lynch mob mentality and it has been the weapon of choice for those who would rule by terror since the first barely human bully crawled out of a cave, armed with a club and a handful of rocks, bent on subduing his weaker peers.  The idea is that if you can’t beat them, whip up a mob and have it do the dirty work, especially if you’re too cowardly to attempt it yourself.


In an absolutely insane reaction to Time’s selection of Ms. Thunberg as person of the year, the Trump   reelection campaign committee issued a photo of the Time cover with Trump’s head superimposed on Greta’s body. If this is not paranoia not to mention cyber bullying in its most crude and despicable form, then nothing is.


One reactive comment to Trump’s idiotic attack on Ms. Thunberg pretty well sums it up: “Greta, take it from me when you rattle cages you will get haters. Keep fighting for what you believe is right. You don’t owe your critics a damn thing.”


The late-night comedians, have been feasting on Trump and his slavish supporters. Trevor Noah perhaps summed it up better than any by saying “she’s 16, so she is used to handling temper tantrums from immature boys.”


So let’s boil it down in conclusion. Trump always is going to be the petulant bully picking on whomever he feels is too weak to fight back and he always will make the mistake of picking on people who are stronger than he thinks they are and who will put him down like the Scut Farkus he is.


Go Ralphie! Er…. Greta!







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1 Comment

  1. CJ

    December 13th, 2019 at 2:27 pm


    Soooo true!

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