Bully Nation

Next month, my book Bullyocracy: How the Social Hierarchy Enables Bullies to Rule Schools, Work Places, and Society at Large will be published. Bullyocracy by Donald Jeffries I will be talking more about this issue, here and online, as we draw closer to publication.

The original title of the book was Bully Nation. I changed it when I saw that another recent book with that title had been released. The book covers much more than the countless tragic cases of serious bullying, some resulting in the suicide of the victim, and every school system’s refusal to address it properly.

America has always been enamored with toughness. Rugged individualism. Duking it out with someone you disagree with, to “prove” who’s right. Slug fests in the boxing ring, now “evolved” into far more violent mixed martial arts fighting. Highlight reel hits in football and hockey. Loud shouting matches in the stands at sporting events and in bars. Glorified violence in films, which consistently promote the seemingly discredited concept that “might makes right.”

It’s fitting that we finally have a president who goes far beyond a previous bully personality like Lyndon B. Johnson’s. Donald Trump has every quality that the most successful bullies possess. And his many powerful enemies are, if anything, more bully-like in their discourse than he is. Threats. Trash talk. Michael Moore’s recent serious proposal that Trump step into a ring with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was topped a few days later by Joe Biden’s videotaped bullying of an 82 year old man who dared ask him a difficult question. Biden even resorted to calling the guy “Jack,” a favorite sobriquet of bullies everywhere.

As I talk about in the book, we must face the fact that most people, and certainly all successful people, value attributes like aggressiveness and self-confidence far more than they value empathy or kindness. Leo Durocher’s credo that “Nice guys finish last” could only be accurate, as it undeniably is, in a corrupt, depraved society.

Most high school students are background players, bored and only attending because they have to. Much as they either cheer on the popular kids, who are literal celebrities in their respective schools, or enable them through their silence, American adults tolerate the tough guys- the bullies- “winning” over and over again, often through nefarious means. As the pro athletes put it, “it isn’t cheating, if you don’t get caught.” Rules of sportsmanship mean about as much as our standards of conduct and actual laws do.

Few adults- whistleblowers of all kinds-  have the courage to stand up to the bullies, the wrongdoers, the corrupt. Given the treatment accorded to the most high-profile whistleblowers like Manning, Snowden, and Assange, you can’t really blame them. And they learned this acquiescence to authority in school, when they didn’t intervene when the popular kid was pounding away on the unpopular one. More accurately, they learned not to confront the social hierarchy.

The social hierarchy rules in every middle and high school in this country, and most around the world. The adults in these facilities do everything they can, with lettermen jackets, pep rallies, and an embarrassing emphasis on sports at the expense of education, to keep this hierarchy in place. And no one would have any idea who the “popular’ kids are, if there weren’t corresponding “unpopular” ones to contrast them with.

What I discovered is that a huge number of the most successful people in America were popular in high school. Many were sports stars, others were prom or homecoming queen or king, cheerleaders, etc. Fraternities and sororities continue the social hierarchy at an elevated level, resulting in an astounding 85 percent of Fortune 500 executives having experienced the “Greek life” while in college. “Popular” kids go on to become successful adults, far more often than not.

To put it frankly; a good number of high school bullies are now in charge of the adult world. And they face as little opposition from the adult population as they did from school authorities or their teenage peers. It isn’t just Joe Biden who objects to being challenged. Watch any press conference involving a high profile athlete or coach. On the extremely rare occasions when one is given anything but a softball by the journalists in attendance, the mask falls and the overt bully personality is fully on display.

It’s impossible to satirize American culture at this point. We are a combination of an Idiocracy and a Bullyocracy. Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, revealing just how “different” he is from his counterparts, has now challenged Ted Cruz to a game of basketball. While this isn’t quite as bad as challenging him to a boxing match, or a push-up contest (as Biden did with the 82 year old man), it is pretty stupid. Exactly what are such contests to prove? Again, that if you win at some kind of competition, that proves you’re right?

The most popular kids in any school are often guilty of regular bullying. Very few valedictorians, who aren’t also athletes, on the other hand, are popular. The most accomplished tuba player in the marching band is never going to be popular, anywhere. Spectators, in high school bleachers, or in expensive sky suites, want to cheer “tough” guys. Tuba players and valedictorians aren’t normally “tough.”

This attitude extends especially to teachers, principals, and even superintendents of every school system in this country. Like the student bodies, and the adult population at large, they instinctively side with the bully, and not the bullied. This attitude goes back to Roman times, when crowds cheered the lions devouring Christians. Sports fans love winning teams- there are very few who regularly root for the underdog. Bandwagon fans are just as typical as bandwagon students, who loyally vote for the same popular kids to win every accolade doled out by the system. The unthinking mob, with their pitchforks and lighted torches, is not a literary and Hollywood trope, but a very sad and real historical phenomenon.

Although we all learn the classic fairy tale The Emperor’s New Clothes as children, the lesson is clearly lost on society at large. How many Americans have the courage to point out that our collective emperors are stark naked? It takes a lot to go against the grain- against the social hierarchy and the popular kids- in high school. It takes just as much to go against the popular consensus in the adult world.

I think most of us still teach our kids that it’s wrong to fight, and that right makes might, not the other way around. However, this parental admonition is contradicted by the messages coming out of every film and television show, and the behavior of politicians and other alleged role models. We are counseled repeatedly that the best way to resolve any conflict is through violence.

Not only are there few if any adherents of Gandhi’s nonviolent opposition left in this world, virtually no one- least of all any Christian- follows Jesus’s advice to “turn the other cheek.” On the contrary, bullied victims that take their beatings like good unpopular inferiors find no support from authority figures or the unthinking mob. It’s only when they strike back, that the authority figures notice (by instantly punishing them), and the mob starts to cheer.

We have to face the sad fact that most people love bullies, because they are usually popular, successful “winners.”

About donaldjeffries

Author of the critically acclaimed best sellers "Hidden History: An Expose of Modern Crimes, Conspiracies, and Cover Ups in American Politics,""Survival of the Richest: How the Corruption of the Marketplace and the Disparity of Wealth Created the Greatest Conspiracy of All," and the newly released "Crimes and Cover Ups in American Politics: 1776-1963." Author of the 2007 sci-fi/fantasy novel "The Unreals," which has been described as a cross between The Wizard of Oz and The Twilight Zone, and compared to A Confederacy of Dunces and classic Russian literature. A second edition of "The Unreals" was published in February 2015 by Pocol Press. Long time JFK assassination researcher. Seeker of truth, proponent of justice and fairness. Enemy of corruption. Sender of as many "tiny ripples of hope" as possible.

Posted on December 11, 2019, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 20 Comments.

  1. “Power concedes nothing without demand. It never did and it never will.” Frederick Douglass

  2. WHAT WE ARE WITNESSING IN AMERICA IS THE DESTRUCTION OF KNOWLEDGE BY RELIGION. MORALITY, GEOMETRY AND LUCK ARE ALL FORMS OF KNOWLEDGE. KNOWLEDGE THAT HAS PREDICTIVE VALUE, SUCH AS GEOMETRY AND MATHEMATICS, IS SCIENCE. MORALITY IS CIVILIAN AUTHORITY.
    CIVILIAN AUTHORITY/MORALITY/ACCOUNTABILITY TO CIVILIANS HAS BEEN ABOLISHED BY TRAITORS CALLING THEMSELVES THE PENTAGON AND NATIONAL GUARD. THE PENTAGON/NATIONAL GUARD PLEDGE THEIR PERMANENT SERVICE TO THE BRITISH EMPIRE NATO HEROIN MAFIA. THE PENTAGON/NATIONAL GUARD
    WIPE THEIR ASS WITH OUR DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE JUST LIKE GEORGE WASHINGTON, THOMAS JEFFERSON AND THE BRITISH AGENT ALEXANDER HAMILTON DID IN THEIR 1789 U.S. CONSTITUTION AND AGAIN IN 1795 WHEN THEY ABOLISHED THE CANADIAN AMERICAN BORDER IN THEIR JAY TREATY.
    LUCK IS A FORM OF KNOWLEDGE. LUCK IS NOT SOMETHING YOU CAN BELIEVE IN.
    THE PURPOSE OF RELIGION IS TO DESTROY MORAL AUTHORITY AND ALL OTHER KINDS OF KNOWLEDGE. KNOWING RIGHT FROM WRONG IS IRRELEVANT TO SOME ONE WHO HAS AN IMAGINARY FRIEND WHO LIVES IN THE SKY THAT FORGIVES THEM FOR WHAT THEY DO TO REAL PEOPLE.
    PEOPLE WHO HAVE NO LUCK CAN NEVER TAKE CHANCES.
    PEOPLE WHO CAN NEVER TAKE CHANCES MUST NEEDS BE COWARDS.
    LUCK CAN BE CULTIVATED USING REAL HONEST MONEY SILVER COINS FOR CHARITY GIVEN TO DESERVING PERSONS. FAKE MONEY PRINTED BY THE PENTAGON TRAITORS CANNOT BE USED FOR HONEST CHARITY TO CULTIVATE LUCK BECAUSE IT WILL NOT MAKE YOU LUCKY.
    THE ONLY THING THAT WILL FIX THINGS HERE IS HONEST MONEY.
    LENDING CREDIT/FAKE MONEY AT INTEREST IS FRAUD.
    THE U.S.A IS A NATION OF COWARDS RULED BY THE BRITISH EMPIRE.
    NATO IS TREASON.
    RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS ARE A REPUDIATION OF MORAL OBLIGATION
    TO SERVE THE GOOD AND CONDEMN THE EVIL.
    JUDGE NOT , LEST YE BE JUDGED IS A COWARD’S AND DEGENERATES IMMORAL IDEOLOGY INVENTED BY THE FLAVIAN EMPERORS OF ROME TO ENSLAVE AND SUBDUE THE MESSAINIC JEW’S THAT OPPOSED THEM.
    JESUS IS FOR COWARDS THAT ARE NOW BEING ENSLAVED BY MUSLIM CHILD RAPIST PEDOPHILES. ISLAM IS THE PROPERTY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE.
    MUSLIMS TEACH THEIR CHILDREN THAT A CHILD RAPIST PEDOPHILE IS A HOLY PROPHET FROM GOD. RELIGION IS USED TO DESTROY MORALITY.

  3. So few readers, otherwise there’d be a lot of comments praising this article. My concession to less violence in this world is watching less nfl football, more soccer, more Classical dance, less Hollywood. After years of mind softening education, I’ve become more peaceful and less prone to fall g for their, the bosses, bully’s, tripe. I see it for what it is. Mouthings of the bullying that has been going on in this country for far too long. I know it for what it is. I have no friends because of my lack of participation in this madness i must wade through,i.e. tv, movies, harsh sports. That’s ok. I continue searching for the friends that are awoke, or will awake.

    • Frank Krosnicki

      Fred, I too, have thoughts along the same line as yours. I have not watched a total of 20 minutes, at most, of any team sports, pro or college, not even high school. At get togethers I have little to contribute because not to many so called “men” care for hiking, pack packing, dogs or horses, building things, or good non fiction books of any kind. We have way too many so called Hollywood and sports “heroes” in this country. I like my life as it is.

  4. Thank you, Don, for your right-on-target comments 01/04/2020 in your live interview with Richard Syrett on Coast to Coast AM. I keep seeing adult women being murdered and time after time after time, it’s because they picked a “bad boy” for a boyfriend or husband. While they blew off “normal guys” as TOO BORING and refused to go out with them, they self-selected dangerous people instead — and received the logical result of their choice. (My own saving grace, after years of painful rejections in the dating world, is I started dating girls FROM CHURCH instead. Church girls were oriented towards good values and were open to dating decent guys instead of bad boys.) — Doug

  5. jayesouthworth

    I couldn’t handle your constant whining about bullies on your coast-to-coast interview 1/4/2019. I had to turn you off, your whining was over the top.

  6. We are becoming a Jerry Springer nation. Young people think this is way to behave.

  7. Worked my career in nursing homes where we care and protect the frail, and debilitated at the end of life. There are some once mighty, popular, unwittingly self confessed unethical, sociopathic people in there, traversing the same journey as everyone else -with everyone else.
    It is interesting how much more difficult facing debility is for lifelong sociopathic folks, as they find themselves in a position where they are powerless to manipulate or push others anymore. Nor can they get their fun from doing so (they will simply be drugged with anti -psychotic agents or get kicked out with no care, because they are too hard to handle).
    They must also behave, cooperate and be respectful, to receive the care they need from over stressed underpaid staff (of course those with dementia don’t know that, but neither do the lifelong sociopaths).

    The greatest gift I received working in NHs is the wisdom that no one at the end of life wishes for more fame, wealth or power, and that they do wish for the fruits of healthy community life and good relations with others…visitors, friends, family, someone to lean on, and good memories. Every young person should be privileged to be given this long view by volunteering in NHs possibly. I have become an observer of younger folks and my peers, who choose to be pernicious in social interactions and conclude that they don’t know what they don’t know.

    Sociopaths and bullies, beware…there eventually is a lonely and unpleasant road ahead when we don’t practice graciousness and respect.

  8. I quit listening to Coast-Coast when they let John B. Wells go, and when George Noorey got onto the Trump bashing wagon (I’m not blindly in love with Trump either). The shows seemed to follow the same topics as well over and over. I wish I’d heard this interview though. I’ll be turning 62 in about 2 months. I’ve been on the receiving end of some downright inhumane bullying both in schools, and in the workplace, more often than I would have cared for. I’m no martyr, just an average Joe who wanted nothing more than to live my life, and be left mostly alone by those I had no desire to break bread with, but had to interact with. Never bullied a soul, abhor it, nor gone out looking for confrontations. I’ve always viewed the worship of athletes and sports programs as a leading culprit of bullying. That, and the total disregard for the bullied who finally stand up, only to be punished by feckless managers, educators, courts, and Johnny law. These days, I look over my shoulder more, do more deflection exercises by playing clueless, letting the narcissists have the last word, avoidance as much as possible, and put on a facade that I care for a day job that could give a rip about me other than a pulse who can fog a mirror for chump change. I find solace in my supplemental part-time evening job teaching as an adjunct in a community college, my faith tradition and church family, a few select family members, and my pets. Age has also shown me that sometimes “what goes around comes around”, “sow the wind and reap a whirlwind”, and “sometimes the sun sets on a dog’s rear end” has some merit.

  9. I heard Mr. Jeffreys on C2CAM, and he used an anti-intellectual/anti-introvert slur, ”nerd’, twice even, which is a double standard, since he’s supposed to be against bullying. But it’s certainly true what he says about the establishment enabling bullying.

    Beside sports and schools there are whole movements based on bullying, like the political ‘correctness’ mafia, the anti-self-defence mafia, feminazis, homosexual extremists, the UFO cover-up, and the conspiracy denial cult, and there used to be hippies and yippies. And there are institutions also based on bullying like the science establishment, which compulsively and viciously defames anyone who disagrees with them and is systematically repressive and fraudulent; psychiatry, which is a culture of systematic abuse and incompetence; Big Pharma; and secret agencies.

    And there’s, of course, the ‘bad boy’ cult, which worships and encourages all kinds of bad behaviour by men against women, and entirely hypocritically, too, naturally, since all of the women in it are feminists. And they’re all, both the men and women, seriously mentally ill.

    It has been indeed and in fact a sick and depraved, radicalized and desensitized society, with no moral compass, ever since the luny left took over everything in the ’70s, and it continues to get worse.

    • Amen! You’re a realist, sir! The touchy-feely types just don’t get it. When I was a younger man, I had the unfortunate experiences of having to work for, and with, many folks from the late 60s/early 70s era (hippie culture). I can’t broad brush and say all were like this, but there was a very dark and nefarious worldview that came out of the hippie culture. IMO, what we are witnessing in the snowflake culture today, is just a repeat of the hippie era. Years ago, a clergyman in a more conservative denomination told me “we are one generation away from paganism”.

    • Thanks for listening, and for the good points. I never thought I might be offending anyone by referring to “nerds” being bullied. Probably dating myself by even using that term. I think it’s pretty obvious that my sympathies lie with the victims of bullying.

  10. Some very interesting comments, all with valid platforms..however, the C2C interview and all comments appear to be focused on schools…However, I welcome comments on the following pls….I have been bullied in a church setting – to the point where have had to seek medical help for both physical ie stress issues, and mental health support. Have also lost self confidence, self worth, lost earnings as a contract worker and it appears that the bully’s false accusations have travlled far , wide. It is correct that bystanders are just that , no one either wants to speak up lest they be a target, nor have the tools to speak up to deal with the bully…………I am lucky to have a Meditation grp I can lean on for spiritual support, and learn how to respond to the bully , however, once spoken, or written the damage is done. Any comments are appreciated should anyone else have experienced this Is it a society shift or what that has ggrown so many bullies?

    • So sorry to hear about your situation. “Bullyocracy” covers work place bullying, and examines how adult cliques form, which it sounds like might be happening in your case. When you’re subject to bullying within a church group, you know that no part of society provides an absolute safe haven.

  11. Sorry to hear your dilemma, especially coming from a church environment. I’m a Christian (convert from evangelical Protestantism to the Eastern Orthodox Church 22 years ago). I know you’ll hear from those who both hate and disparage faith on here, but I’d like to respectfully submit my thoughts. My younger sister has spent over 20 years in employment in evangelical Protestant churches, and she too has faced some toxic situations. In two cases, the pastors were so mean spirited bullies, as well as some colleagues, that she was forced to resign from one church, and was unceremoniously let go from another, despite rave reviews from the parishioners and most of the other staff. I grew up in small hard nosed Baptist churches where bully pastors and parishioners were far to common, and too vocal. Sad. I don’t know what type of denomination you are employed in, but sadly, many churches, IMO, have embraced popular culture, and there are parishioners and clergy who have agendas, and not always the right ones. You ask why the proliferation of bullying. As the other gentleman on here pointed out: mental illness, desensitization, entertainment industry’s message of violence and bullying, homes without a strong father figure, authority figures who are either disengaged, or have the worldview of “boys will be boys, so deal with it” (or the same could be set about girls), no moral absolutes (everything is relative), no respect for others, etc., etc. I wish you well. Btw, have you considered secular employment? It’s mostly hellholes, but with some prayer and vetting, you may find a reasonable winner.

    • Bully pastors. Wow. Thanks for sharing.

      • Thank you for your comments, and info…I am not employed by the church, am self-employed-apologize for misunderg. Denomination is Roman Catholic, I am in mid Canada, the Prairies…a small village pop 600…………. The RC church has had a dark history of “re homing, re educating” children with our Fed Gov’t blessings, has gone on for 100 hundred yrs. we call them residential school survivors………reason I bring this up is that there has never been any respect for women in this church, and when 5 women who are trying to set up a meeting with the bully and co-horts are being put down , accused of lying, etc you get the picture…any trust for any one in any authority is lost, esp when a priest is actively condoning the action, and accusing women of actions , things that are nor true. where is this mentality coming from? At this point we gals have left this particular parish, not sure if we will ever return to the RC, all 5 have had to attend to dr, and even hospital for one and so I have decided to take legal action against said bully etc a defmation suit, human right suit, may not win, but will send a message at least Many thanks for this op…wonder how many more women or men have had this experience?

  12. Interesting discussion of above topic on the C2CAM show this past weekend. The bullying observations were spot on. Do I have a thought on a resolution? Wish I did.
    Forgive me for drifting, Can’t believe someone posted above about G Noory bashing Trump. I left the show soon after the election, and only listen when he’s not on, because all he did was suck up to the Trump cult.

  13. Rational Xooberance

    The title, “Bullyocracy,” is better because it means “ruled by bullies,” rather than saying that the nation is comprised mostly of bullies.

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