Being ‘short in stature,’ I know a thing or two about bullies. Reflecting back on being ‘latitudenly challenged,' I can remember my dad delaying buying me my first suit because, as he said, ‘let’s wait for the growth spurt!’ Well, it never came and I eventually got my first suit for my 8th grade graduation. Despite what Randy Newman in his now infamous song, ‘Short People,’ had to say about us, we’re often the victim of bullying by those prone to such behavior – especially in grammar and middle school. What I’ve learned over the years about bullies has been finely culled and curated by such experiences.
Bullies are basically cowards. Most if not all bullies mask their vulnerabilities by a pathetic narcissism. They think that the world has to revolve around them and they do everything in their power, including intimidation by various cruel means, to feed that insatiable ‘I’ that has to be enabled at all costs.
Rather than using their intellect to persuade, encourage and to convince, bullies resort to one of the lowest and cheapest forms of intimidation, name calling, in their attempt to instill fear in their victims. Hey, shorty – your face is so ugly, Lyin Ted, Crooked Hillary, grandstanding Comey, etc.
I remember an expression – dicho- my mother used to use about bullies. They are all singing but no opera! – sound and fury but no moral substance or fundamental integrity. Bullies are basically unwilling to pay the price of intellectual honesty. Lying becomes an easy way out of facing the truth and its consequences.
What prompted this reflection on bullies and cowardice is, obviously, Trump’s decision today to end the DACA program initiated by Executive Order by President Obama, to address the thorny legal status of children brought into this country by their immigrating parents and who have known no other country than the United States. Their status and that of all immigrants with irregular legal status, should, of course, be resolved by a comprehensive immigration policy by Congress. Inter-party conflicts with the ‘possibility’ (dare I say) of a tinge of racism, precluded this resolution.
DACA provided an extraordinary Executive redress from living in constant fear of deportation and the ability to ‘come out of the shadows’ to obtain work permits, enroll in Colleges and Universities, serve in the military, obtain Social Security numbers, DMV licenses, etc. These young people, over 800,000, in order to comply with the Order’s conditions, freely gave over personal data about their families, addresses, etc., trusting that this would not be used in the future as a means of cruel entrapment. These young people trusted that our Government would be true to its word. And now, with today’s decision, these fine, upstanding, industrious, tax paying young people, are once again thrown into limbo with all the fear and intimidation that deportation to a strange and unknown land inevitably brings.
Why? Why did Trump do this? In his insatiable desire to erase the memory and legacy of his predecessor, he promised his fawning base that he would do it. While one might at face value conclude that he is being ‘true to his word,’ that ‘word’ comes at the cruel and heartless expense of these young people who have become the unlucky pawns of a nasty game of inter-party rivalry and hatred.
Some have said that he did it in order to avoid the legal challenge to the original Executive Order by 9 States’ attorneys general. As Jennifer Rubin in the Washington Post opined, he could have easily spoken to them and as the great negotiator that he is, worked out a compromise of some sort.
Tragically, this dilemma fell into the hands of a bully president who lacks the basic human empathy to transcend what his dwindling base may expect of him in order to forge a decision based on moral integrity – on what was right and good for these fine young people. It is indeed a sad day, that this decision has now been kicked down the line to Congress, an institution in our land that is hopelessly divided and that garners only 9% of America’s trust! In the meantime, as the deportation clock begins to tick for thousands of these ‘Dreamers’, the nightmare of fear and intimidation begins all over again. "I love Dreamers!" In light of today's decision, it's another example from this president of "All singing but no Opera!"