Monday, January 09, 2017

When I was about 8 years old I went through a "difficult" phase. I became very surly to my teachers, got into fights with other kids, etc. When my parents confronted me about my behaviors (which had been reported to them by school staff) my answer was always the same: I had done nothing wrong; the teachers were lying and were all out to get me. Things got to the point--after I intentionally kicked a teacher's aide in the shin--that a school-district psychologist was brought in to meet with me a couple of times. He apparently assessed that there were no serious issues and, sure enough, before long I grew out of my little reign of terror and became more agreeable and learned to take responsibility for my own words and actions and have empathy for others.

That was 46 years ago. What reminded me of it this morning was reading Donald Trump's tweets in response to Meryl Streep's criticism of him mocking a disabled journalist in front of a crowd (we all saw it). Trump's "defense" was to blame the "very dishonest media." This has become his standard deflection technique: rather than take responsibility for his own words and actions, he blames the media. I don't buy it any more than my parents bought my blaming all the teachers at Pleasant View Elementary School for my childish anti-social behavior.



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