Say no more to enabling behaviors

Meredith Comas, Online Editor-and-Chief

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This column is in based on a story published in The Washington Post. To view the story that prompted the below message, go to the link below:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/national/wp/2019/01/19/feature/the-man-who-stood-behind-trump/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.9eee4c794a22.

 My fellow Kansans, I write to you today in anguish of the current political scene unraveling before my eyes. I am not yet of voting age but will be in the 2020 election. Thus, I’ve trusted women and men of a different generation to make an educated political decision for me.
Yet, I feel cheated.
I feel cheated that the political spectrum is in such shambles that the pieces simply crumble as we attempt to fix them. I feel cheated that the political parties I will be forced to choose between have lost their civility and feed off cut-throat tactics. I feel cheated that I am embarrassed to say I uncritically allowed an ordinary man to threaten nuclear war, starve American workers for a wall and talk as if there is no shame riding on the shoulders of the current administration simply because of my age. I feel cheated that I have been afraid of my own voice, an American-raised voice, because it might inflame others.

To that sentiment, I say “no more.”

Two weeks ago, “The Washington Post” came out with an article on a man, Joe Davidson, who has wholeheartedly supported the Trump administration. This same story has only just recently made its way around social media. It recounts how Davidson, after receiving backlash for laughing behind the president — who had joked about the sexual assault claims of Christine Ford — at a rally, had his life “shattered.” According to the article, Davidson asked himself, “I’m a good person. Isn’t that what they say about me?”
The answer of the internet was no.
To most Trump supporters — not simply Republicans — my answer is no.
There may be those who are an upstanding member of the community, a Christian, a caretaker, a volunteer. But none of these labels allow me to look past a singular word: enabler.
Trump, with his childish behaviors and big-money tactics, is undoubtedly a bully. He encompasses the definition every time he finger-points his way on to yet another stage to shower the audience in atypical body language and wailing vocal patterns.
In school, we teach little ones that, regardless of if you yourself are bullying someone, if you do not say something to call out the actions, you are no better than the bully; you do not help a situation, you enable the hurtful actions of another.
I find this to be my increasing takeaway from supporters of Mr. Trump.
As a high school student, I’ve learned, no matter the amount of straight A’s, the GPA, the youth groups or volunteer hours a student has, a bully — and by relation, their “associates” — is still a bully.
Translate this to the everyday life of a Trump supporter, seemingly always on the defensive to justify another browbeat tweet.
I have nothing against the Republican Party. I have nothing against the people who share my home and my country, even if it seems they are unwilling to hold the same for others.

However, I have adopted, like most schools in Kansas, a zero-bullying policy.
I implore you to ponder the actions of the president, and if truly they are the actions of a Christian, of a civilized leader. Davidson himself admitted Trump’s joke about sexual assault was too far, but still could not see how by association he was not better than the president in that moment.
It takes minimal self-awareness to decide if your actions hurt or victimize another, and whether or not clapping is the appropriate response. Americans can support their party without blindly endorsing bullying.

Next time an “incident” occurs, I propose all of two sentences to those who still hold to the moral values of society: “While I support the Republican cause, what the president said wasn’t okay. And I didn’t really like it.”
I ask you Kansas, if bullying doesn’t belong in our kindergarten classrooms, my God, why have we let it in the White House?

Until I write again,

“To that sentiment… say no more.”

 

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Say no more to enabling behaviors