In May of 2018, First Lady Melania Trump, over one year into her role as FLOTUS, inaugurated an anti-bullying campaign directed at online behavior that affects youngsters. The White House effort was entitled “Be Best” to help children “avoid negative social media interaction.”
In December 2019, Melania’s spouse, in an apparent snit, attacked Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old autistic climate activist whom Time Magazine featured as its Person of the Year. P45 tweeted that the award was “ridiculous” and that the youngster “must work on her Anger Management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend! Chill Greta, Chill!”
These two scenarios echo a few lines of the song “Woolly Bully” from 1965 by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs:
I know it’s out of my control
But I can’t let out a beast that
A beast that lives inside of me.
And I’m not your waterboy
I don’t wanna be on your team
That’s exactly what my bully says
When he’s standin’ face to face with me.
Some maintain that bullying is a personality trait emanating from narcissism, a disability often attributed to P45. But bullying may also be a learned behavior, a characteristic deliberately expressed to gain attention or to make a point. In our contemporary politisphere, bullying may erupt in any social setting. More pointedly, the use of this tactic has become a hallmark of political dialogue as a tool of elected officials.
Bullying may also be a learned behavior, a characteristic deliberately expressed to gain attention or to make a point. In our contemporary politisphere, bullying may erupt in any social setting. More pointedly, the use of this tactic has become a hallmark of political dialogue as a tool of elected officials.
All of this introduction is by way of relating a recent incident starring the Commonwealth’s Sen. “Annie Oakley” Chase, wherein it may be best described that she displayed “inline bullying” as opposed to online. On a campaign tour of Virginia locales, Chase was challenged in a restaurant for refusing to wear a mask pursuant to state emergency regulations. The substance of the encounter was captured by the Senator is a Facebook statement:
This weekend while touring Virginia … on two separate occasions, store employees initially denied me service because I refused to wear a mask, in spite of me expressing to them that I had an underlying health condition and could not wear a mask. Once I provided a letter from my doctor, I was finally provided service, but not without being harassed and belittled in front of other store patrons.
Chase did not disclose her health condition, adding in the social media post, I chose to stand my ground because there are thousands of disabled Virginians who are being victimized and harassed because of this governor’s confusing and ever-changing executive orders. Does this governor truly care about those with disabilities? Her statement also accuses Gov. Ralph Northam of advocating for “killing babies” in the third trimester and championing “rioters and looters in our communities.”
Most of us of a certain age will recall forging “get out of school” doctor notes, a strategy far more sophisticated than “the dog ate my homework.” On the other hand, it seems unusual for a politician campaigning for governor to be secretive concerning a serious physical (mental?) disability as a statement about overcoming long odds to success.
The ploy seems to be much more transparent. . . . There are virtually no medical conditions constituting an exemption with the exception of COPD, which medical experts also state is a strong reason for wearing a mask.
In this instance, however, the ploy seems to be much more transparent. Recent articles addressing medical exemptions from mask wearing conclude that there are virtually no medical conditions constituting an exemption with the exception of COPD, which medical experts also state is a strong reason for wearing a mask. Otherwise, individuals seeking an exemption may allege a disability covered under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA). However, that option has requirements establishing the condition by way of an assessment. Then, according to an expert in the field:
The individual would have to establish that she is a person with a disability under the law, which has specific legal standards and is not always an easy or straightforward thing to do.
–Professor Jessica Roberts, director, Health Law & Policy Institute, University of Houston Law Center.
This criterion, of course, leads into a circle of rationale as to why Amanda Chase would be reluctant to publicize the medical condition that exempts her from wearing a mask, unless the condition also precludes her from running for office.
It may, in fact, be true, as Sam the Sham serenaded in the song: “I know it’s out of my control but I can’t let out a beast that lives inside of me.” Further, the link between Amanda Chase and P45 may be no accident when matters of bullying are in play “because that’s exactly what my bully says, when he’s standing face to face with me.”