If you examine him through the lens of playground politics, you will recognize Mr. Trump as a thin-skinned bully who seems incapable of stomaching criticism or opposition. At the same time, he postures as a victim, vacillating between venomous outcries at his foes and the desperate need for validation from his fans.
.. The problem with America — Mr. Trump’s playground — is that we’ve developed an insular, conflict-averse culture. The president’s trolling is so effective, in part, because many of us have not learned how to deal with interpersonal conflict, starting with the playground. We must learn to defend ourselves so that when Donald Trump or any other bully taunts us, we can rise to the occasion.
.. One of the earliest lessons you learn at school is about the boundless cruelty of other children. And that bullies can win. Yet contrary to these early playground lessons in realpolitik, children are consistently taught to avoid conflict by well-meaning parents, teachers and caregivers because that’s how we want the world to work.
.. I don’t want her to lose it when somebody like Donald Trump is elected. More than anything, I want her to be able to defend herself and fight back.
.. I want my daughter to learn to say no confidently and unapologetically. Dealing with conflict is also about standing up for yourself as a woman, whether a man is talking over you at a meeting or trying to engage in unwanted sexual behavior. If we learn early how to have difficult or uncomfortable conversations up front, we don’t need others to fill in the gaps, make our decisions or read our minds. But if we can’t stand up to conflict, we risk becoming the snowflakes that the Donald Trumps and the wagging tongues on the right make us out to be.