THE BLOG
09/29/2016 05:40 pm ET Updated Sep 29, 2017

First Presidential Debate: A Loud and Clear Bully-Baby Phenominon

Here is a truth you can bet on: When bullies fail to get their way, they become whining, belligerent babies, their insistence in pitching to hatred toward others unwavering. This was precisely demonstrated at the first presidential debate. Hillary Clinton and NBC News anchor, Lester Holt, gave Donald Trump all of the room he needed to expose his true nature, and he took the bait. I could not believe my ears when I heard Trump's grandiose interjections as Secretary Clinton pondered the possibility that he would not reveal his federal returns because he did not pay federal taxes: "That makes me smart" and "It would be squandered, too, believe me" are exact quotes.

Immediately following the debate, one where the Democratic candidate clearly came across as prepared, knowledgeable, calm, and assuredly presidential, what did Donald Trump do? He entered the Spin Room, where candidates at this stage in the election never go -- his family entourage, the whole enmeshed gang of them, following. There he got really ugly, warning that due to his fondness of Chelsea (a close friend of his daughter) he had contained an assault on the personal lives of the Clintons, i.e. their marriage, which may well be forthcoming.

The following day, in predictable "bully to baby form," he whined and complained, sputtering on, taking no responsibility for his lack of preparation and poor showing. The fault, he insisted, was the possibility of someone tinkering with the microphone and, in shades of his Megyn Kelly attack, the unfair questions of moderator Holt. Again, he raised speculation about Secretary Clinton's stamina, a clear endorsement of the right wing on-line insistence that she has an undisclosed neurological illness. Plus, he warned that President Clinton's marital indiscretions were on the table for consideration in the next debate.

Sadly, the Republican Party has been bringing humiliation on itself for years, and Donald Trump is their culmination. Members have stood far too quietly by as the Tea Party has highjacked their dignity. I was not alone in hoping that when John McCain, whom I saw as statesman and hero, opposed Barack Obama in 2008 there would be high level issue concentration pointing to the differences in philosophy of each party, an approach which would have enlightened voters about the convictions and strengths of each orientation. Sadly, the opportunity was missed. Instead, McCain drowned common sense and decorum, selecting ditzy candidate Sarah Palin to become his vice-presidential candidate.

The last time someone like Donald Trump dominated our political scene, staining the honor and conscience of our country to this degree, here and abroad, was the reign of terror brought by Wisconsin Senator Joe McCarthy in the 1950s. During McCarthy's post World War II domination lives were destroyed when the senator branded them Communists. The tipping point ending this madness came in June, 1954 during hearings on whether communism had infiltrated U.S. armed forces. At this time Joseph Welch, Special Counsel for the U.S. army, brought a long overdue public awakening by asked the senator, "Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you no sense of decency?"http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/welch-mccarthy.html

When I think of those who thrive on the domination of others through intimidation, insult and fear -- in families, in communities, in job settings, and on a national scene, and the intense hold they are able to achieve, I am reminded of the parable that speaks of the competing forces that exist in each of us: A Cherokee chief took his young son aside to teach him about leadership, preparing him for the time son would replace father. The boy was intrigued as his father told him that a dangerous fight was going on inside of him between two wolves: One wolf was evil - dominated by anger, selfishness, envy, greed, and a sense of inferiority, which led him to look down on and demean others. The other wolf was good - concentrating on clear thinking, love, hope, benevolence, generosity, empathy, and joy. He further explained that this fight was going on in every person his son would ever meet. Captivated, the boy asked his father which wolf would win. His response: "The one you feed."