I read an interview the other day where Condoleezza Rice responded to the reporter’s question about Donald Rumsfeld’s continued put downs of her (“Rumsfeld also implied that you were unfit for office”) with the statement, “Don can be a grumpy guy. We all know that.”

Actually, I think Don is a classic bully and Rice’s response is a classic dismissal of bullying behavior by someone who is continuing to encourage it. And, while I understand the former Secretary of State is likely to give a diplomatic response in public, I hope she has cut off his cojones in private – figuratively speaking of course.

Seth Godin wrote a great post about bullies and their victims last week. It seems that these days when the word bully pops up it is usually being applied to kids and the terrible things they do to each other. But, too often kid bullies grow up to be adult bullies. And, the cycle of support from victims and their supporters allow the bully to continue their sociopathic behavior.

I’ve seen a bully build an entire business model around abusing his clients with ad hominem attacks he then twists in order to become the aggrieved victim if someone calls him on his behavior – just as Seth describes in his blog post. The victims too often feel like they are wrong and so the only way to make amends is to give the bully more of their money. It’s a dysfunctional process.

Bullies only continue their bullying ways because they are being enabled by their victims. Instead of putting up with Rumsfeld’s constant put-downs and attacks, Condi Rice should have called him out a long time ago. Maybe it’s something about the name Donald.

Photos compliments of Gage Skidmore

2 thoughts on “Bullies”

  1. Bullies like Donald Rumsfeld truly are sociopaths – men without a conscience. Their one goal in life is to win and they honestly don’t respond to any kind of intervention other than force. Sociopaths, according to statistics, are more prevalent in America than any other country and make up 4% of the population – that’s more people who are sociopaths than there are people with colon cancer. That means one-in-twenty-five people in a room and almost guaranteed one at every workplace in the country with more than 30 employees. They are teachers, doctors, lawyers, coaches, parents and police officers. And they have no feelings. They hide it well, but they are evil in any culture and in some cultures routinely killed simply for being a sociopath. In America we promote them, make them presidents and politicians and marvel at their drive to win at all costs.

    The reason bullies get away with the things they do is they are smart enough to charm and talk their way out of situations and to convince the powers that be that they are not at fault. Rarely are bullies ever caught and even when they are, the majority of people can’t fathom their evilness and tend to make excuses for them. The smartest thing a victim can do is leave the job/scene/school or ignore the bully as much as possible. Taking on a bully can get you hurt, fired, smeared or black-balled. It’s happened to me dozens of times. Unless you have the money to sue the bastard into next year, or superpowers to blast them into eternity – your best options are to protect yourself and remove yourself from the target zone. In DC it’s suicide for a black woman to “call out” a white man who is part of the shadow government. Were Rice to do that she’d be found floating in the basin or hacked up in a gutter. You don’t piss on DC bullies without severe repercussions.

    1. I wonder why we have more sociopaths than other countries. Who came up with the 4% number? We have a culture of winning is the only thing in many areas in the US – including way too many businesses who set aside ethics and morality to win. Does the desire to win foster the development of bullies or is it something else?

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