Between the Lines

Kim Anderson, MSW, LCSW, ATR-BC

Razing Donald Trump

In 2009 and 2010, I wrote guest blogs for CharacterPlus, an initiative of the Cooperating School Districts, St. Louis, Missouri. The blogs were entitled Ending Bias Begins at Home and Raising Eddie Haskell respectively. I was asked to write these blogs because of the release of my first book, Culturally Considerate School Counseling: Helping Without Bias and my work with the consulting firm, Educating for Change, I spent several years training educators, clinicians, universities, communities and parents on the topics of educational equity, creating culturally considerate environments, and bullying prevention and intervention.

Lately, that work and those blogs have been on my mind. Though the themes continue throughout my work, those once “urgent” topics have been folded under the under the umbrella of Equity and Social Justice. When I reread those essays I wrote for CharacterPlus, I realized why they have been on my mind. Donald Trump.

The character Edward Clark Haskell, better known as “Eddie,” on the vintage television show Leave it to Beaver, once stated, “If you can make the other guy feel like a goon first, then you don’t feel like so much a goon.” I can’t help but wonder if this is Donald’s unofficial political slogan.

While we might be inclined to think of bullies as insecure and the brunt of ridicule or even abuse, research actually shows that characteristics of those who bully are generally positive. Self-confidence, high self-esteem, physical aptitudes and leadership qualities are not necessarily predictors of bullying, but are useful traits in exerting dominance (Anderson, 2010), Add impulsivity, quick temper, low tolerance for frustration and little or no empathic regard for others and the likelihood of bullying increases.

Some of the warning signs I pointed out in 2010 are:

  • Taunting and name calling

  • Starting rumors, objectifying language and sexual harassment

  • Lack of an emotional vocabulary

  • Grandiosity

  • Disrespectful attitudes toward peers