First, thank you sir, for your selfless service to our country, especially during the horrific tragedy of 9/11. We owe a debt of gratitude to all of you who were on the front lines that awful day.

Second, please allow me to clear up some things:

I don’t presume to “proudly strut,” nor would I ever consider myself a “hero.” But more importantly, I’d like to tackle this notion of bullying. A lot of people seem to misunderstand what it actually means.

After reading my thoughts on the president, you may feel free to judge me and decide I’m rude (or a host of other things). That’s fair game. But in this situation, it’s completely inaccurate to label my writing as bullying. By its very definition, bullying is seeking to harm, intimidate, or coerce someone, particularly someone who’s perceived as being vulnerable. Further, bullying is considered bullying only when an individual or a group of people have:

a.) some semblance of power over their victims, and

b.) they repeatedly and intentionally cause hurt or harm to another person or group of people who are vulnerable, i.e., those who feel helpless to respond.

I’m a private citizen. I don’t hold any power or influence over the President of the United States. I can write things about him all day long without it having negative consequence over his life, because he holds all the power in this scenario. This is called punching up.” Conversely, Donald Trump is the POTUS, and as such, he holds all the power over private citizens — especially marginalized groups of people, or unprotected minorities, who already live with daily microaggressions, widespread mindsets of willful ignorance, harassment, and even bullying by those in power. As President, Donald Trump actually has the ability to destroy someone’s life if he so chooses. And he actually does do this. All the time. It’s his M.O. This behavior is called punching down.” Punching down is never okay.

I’m a private citizen using my first amendment right to express my displeasure with the state of our politics and specifically, the person at the top. I have no power or authority over him, and odds are in my favor he will never even know my name. Conversely, Donald Trump as President uses his personal Twitter account (with some 58 million followers) as a platform to draw unrestricted attention to all his bullying tactics: name calling, intimidation, threatening, harassing, and fearmongering (to name a few).

As Americans, it’s not just our civic duty to vote, but to also hold power to account. It’s a Constitutional right to criticize the President and the government in general.

As private citizens of America, you and I both have the right (through freedoms of speech, petition and expression) to call out anyone whom we perceive as being unfair, corrupt, or just generally acting morally reprehensible. What we don’t have the right to do without consequence is to attempt to silence other people from expressing their views, incite people to violence, or blatantly lie and/or distort the truth — ironically, something our President does all the time.

As an army sergeant, I’d like to think you understand that independent thought, critical analysis, and peaceful protest are crucial components of a functioning democracy. Media, journalism, reporters, writers, etc., are here to serve the governed — not the governors. Again, being an army sergeant, it would seem you’d fundamentally understand this.

What the current president does on an almost daily basis is inarguably bullying, i.e., using (and abusing) his power to intimidate the masses. If we didn’t have the right to criticize our own government, then who would? What would we be? This experiment known collectively as America was never meant to be a dictatorship; the electoral college was put into place to prevent people like Donald Trump from becoming president in the case that our people failed to see they were being swindled or coerced. Likewise, forced complicity and blind obedience are not American values, yet it seems every Trump supporter I’ve encountered thinks they are.

At the end you wrote, “How anyone can feel good about themselves after such a bias(sic) vile attack is incomprehensible.” But I think the more appropriate statement would be this:

“How any Trump supporters can feel good about themselves after his daily, biased, vile attacks on American values, priniciples, morals, and governing norms is incomprehensible.”

Written by

Seen in HuffPost, Scary Mommy, etc; heard @ NPR, SiriusXM, TIFO podcast & more. Gender dismantling trailblazer. Political news junkie. TikTok aficionado. Mom.

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