Trump Is a Bully

On a forum I frequent, someone called Trump a bully, but the charge was just shrugged off by Trump supporters. It’s a disservice to make the charge without rounding it out so his supporters know why you feel the way you do.

To make this concrete and less likely to be dismissed with the wave of the hand—consider this style breakdown.

Recently I read Crucial Conversations—that is conversations that involve strong opinions, strong emotions, and high stakes. The race for the president involves some of the most crucial conversations we’ll ever hear. The authors (Patterson, Grenny, McMillan, and Switzler) work from the premise that it is essential for good decision making to appeal to common information and use logic to make rational decisions.

Action paths when frustrated

When there is disagreement in crucial conversation, there are basically 3 types of actions people take

  • They make it safe for others to disagree by emphasizing mutual purpose and respect, and by focusing on the similarity between people, not their differences.
  • Some are so afraid of disagreement, they end up not sharing their thoughts, desires, and informational insights. They avoid or mask their thoughts with sarcasm, sugarcoating, and by withdrawing.
  • Then some people attempt to allow only their thoughts, desires, and meanings into the shared information pool. They use methods like cutting others off, changing the subject, and stereotyping to dismiss opposing positions. They attack their opponents to make them suffer by belittling and threatening; meanwhile redirecting attention away from their shaky positions to their opponent’s negatively labeled personality.

Of course, for a successful crucial conversation both sides have to want it to succeed.

Which path does Trump choose?

Trump mocking disabled reporter
Trump mocking disabled reporter

Trump’s path is the last one. He forces his opinion, he ignores opinions he dislikes, and attacks people who disagree with him.

What’s the result of Trump’s approach?

Sub-optimal decision-making resulting in consequences that eventually bite the country in the ass, because legitimate concerns are squashed rather than considered and planned for.

Politics Thinking in Daily Life