I was bullied as a child. Mercilessly. Would my childhood have been more pleasant had I not been bullied? Of course. But my adulthood would have been robbed of its clarity, and of my clear-eyed understanding of the world in which we live—bullies and all.
Forty-seven US states have passed “anti-bullying” laws, with New Jersey’s “Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights” being the most recent and extreme. At the core of these laws is the seemingly compassionate goal of protecting our children. But protecting our children from bullies also prevents our children from ever learning the true nature of bullies—and how to deal with bullies—in a world often shaped by the aggressive use of force.
When President Obama launched his “StopBullying.gov” initiative in March of this year, the CBS headline read “Obama: bullying shouldn’t be a part of growing up.” But bullying is a part of growing up. It is a part of life. And, whether we like it or not, bullying is a part of the world that we share with nearly seven billion other people—some of whom are bullies, and some of whom are heavily-armed bullies intent on dominating the world and destroying our way of life.
Winston Churchill understood bullies. Neville Chamberlain did not. Chamberlain tried to appease bully Hitler, and millions of innocent people paid the ultimate price. Those lives might have been saved, and the Holocaust might never have happened, if men like Churchill were in power during Hitler’s rise, instead of bully-blind wishful thinkers like Chamberlain.
Right now, America is led by wishful thinkers and blind hopers who do not understand the true nature of the world’s bullies.
In the last two and a half years since President Obama began physically bowing down to the world’s bullies, and philosophically bowing down and apologizing for America’s power, the world’s bullies—sensing weakness from the world’s lone superpower—have gone on the march.
China shifted gears from its “peaceful rise” to openly calling for “China to abandon modesty about its global goals and ‘sprint to become world number one….the top power.’” Egypt threw off its “weak horse” leader for the “strong horse” Muslim Brotherhood. Turkey went from relatively moderate friend of America and Israel, to a belligerent bully that launches flotillas and expels ambassadors. Lebanon has been swallowed by Hezbollah bullies, Yemen is in chaos and falling under the control of al Qaida bullies, Libyan rebels are rounding up blacks and calling for shariah law, and the Palestinian Authority has joined forces with the internationally-recognized terrorist bullies of Hamas, and shouting from the streets “We tell Obama that we are a people that doesn’t bow to anyone.”
The way to deal with bullies is not to bow down to them, and not to pass laws or resolutions that say “bullies shall not be bullies” (every failed or flouted U.N. resolution and sanction is evidence of just that). The only way to deal with bullies is to look them straight in the eye and to deal with them in the only language they understand: the language of the bully.
A caller to The Dennis Prager Radio Show last week shared her personal story about bullying. After she was bullied as a child, she took it out on her little brother. “I was very physically and verbally abusive with my younger brother,” she said. “I would beat him up often and, when he would cry out, I would tell him ‘You can’t cry out. In the real world, no one’s gonna listen to you. You gotta fight back.’” So that’s what her little brother did. He learned to fight back against bullies. Today, he has forgiven his sister, lives with a happy and light heart, and is grateful to his sister for opening his eyes and making him the man he is today. What kind of man is he today? A Marine. A strong and proud Marine sniper, now on his second tour of Afghanistan, facing some of the world’s worst bullies the only way they deserve – down the barrel of a gun.
Here is how my bullying story ended. After years of being terrorized by bullies, and wishing in vain that my bullies would go away or tire of tormenting me, I finally decided to change tactics. I grabbed the biggest, meanest bully by the throat, slammed him against a wall, lifted him off the ground, and breathed my warning into his shocked and trembling face. I cannot remember what I said to him. But I could tell, from the terrified look in his eyes, that he believed every damn word of it. Because I spoke to him in the language that he understood. The language of the bully.
My years of torment ended in that moment. I was never bullied again.
That is how you deal with bullies.