Most people can be cowed by criticism in a social context. They feel safe talking about ideas in the abstract, but once an idea is related to their person, they become defensive. This is because to be shamed or dominated in a social context is to lose power and importance. “Losing face” means losing out.
The Left capitalizes on this because for them, all things are social; they are disconnected from cause/effect reasoning because that produces antisocial conclusions like the knowledge that some people are better at some things than others. To be social, one must insist that everyone is wonderful and all success is luck.
When those who are highly social attack, they usually do one of two things: (1) they imply that you are lesser in some way that is important to the group; and (2) they imply that what you are doing is wrong and “everybody knows” otherwise. They imply these things because their goal is to bully, not prove a point.
A bully achieves release — a relaxation of his own inner tension and doubt — when he dominates someone else by taunting them and then forcing them to back down. He does not get the same charge from beating them up, which is the key to understanding the psychology of bullying. The use of his power to subjugate is what gives him the thrill.
Almost every bully has an entourage. These are toadies, or yes-men, who follow the bully around and repeat what he says. This rapidly gives the victim the impression that the whole social group is against him, and makes him likely to back down. Bully and entourage have a discussion about how inferior the victim is.
In this way, a small group (the bully and his entourage) become more influential in a single instant than the whole group over all previous instants. This breaks people, or so confuses their will that they fall into a mode of constantly reacting to everything around them as a series of threats. They struggle to regain a sense of direction.
The American media, government and academic establishment forms one of these groups, but true to the anarchic form of the Left, there is no leader, only a rotating cast of “lead bullies” who summon an entourage by attacking the other. Their appeal is always this: we are not the bullies, this other guy is, so he is bad and must be slain.
The group fears its own inferiority. This makes it manic about finding scapegoats to destroy if those scapegoats rise above the norm, making the group look bad. Its goal is to make sure that bad and good are equal, so that each person can be as mediocre or bad as he wants to be.
During this campaign, the media bullies have attacked Donald Trump many times, but their most concerted attack came in the last few days over some crass locker-room banter from ten years ago. Apparently, the collaborationist elements of the Republican Party were in on the joke, because they were ready to strike.
Trump handled it admirably. He acknowledged the one part of the attack on him that was legitimate, which was that he did not feel those statements represented his candidacy. But like a true fighter, he refused to back down. He was not cowed by the bullies.
This occurred despite the fact that nearly every media outlet and politician was repeating the same idea: this is the scandal that must end his campaign. It must be hard for them to keep straight faces while doing so, in the light of the ongoing pay to play, racism, hidden emails, and collusion scandals rocking the Democrat party.
In the end, there will be a victim inversion in this case. Trump fought back, and the bullies did not get the subjugation by peer pressure they desired. As a result, they have lost face, and he has gained stature for standing up to the people who bully many of us all the time with their sanctimonious but effective attacks.
If civilization can take a lesson from this, it is that bullying is not done by the strong against the weak, but by the weak against the weaker or the weak against the strong. It is a method by which a group defends its mediocrity, but by doing so, it lowers that standard in the next generation, and ensures its demise.