Hey, Melania Trump, here’s how you could actually help stop cyberbullying

Melania Trump set off a nationwide eye roll when she announced she would fight cyberbullying as first lady.

Taking a hammer to the tweeter in chief’s smartphone would certainly send a message.

.. In this first major push, Trump isn’t expected to unveil proposals but, rather, to ask the companies how they’re addressing problems such as trolls and promoting kindness, according to people invited to the meeting.

.. I’m not hopeful that anybody — even the first lady — can control the president’s name-calling Twitter persona. But her experience as a mother, her life in the spotlight as a model and even the nastiness emanating from her own White House certainly give Trump a unique vantage point on bullying.

Here are five ideas the first lady could get behind.

.. Focus on bystanders. America might be able to learn from Finland. There, a national anti-bullying education program called KiVa has been shown to greatly benefit the students who experienced the most bullying. Its secret: a focus on increasing the empathy of bystanders, who can keep bullies from gaining status and power.

KiVa asks students to use role-playing exercises and computer simulations to think about how they would intervene to reduce bullying. Anti-bullying programs usually seek to reduce the overall rates of bullying, but KiVa’s focus on bystanders showed a significant mental health boost — reducing depression and improving self-esteem — for the victims of bullying.

The Tweetstorm Heard ‘Round the Republican Party

Women nationwide are denouncing Donald Trump. Conservative Marybeth Glenn is furious that men aren’t following suit—and she has a message for them.

you cowards sit this one out? He treats women like dogs, and you go against everything I – and other female conservatives – said you were & back down like cowards.

Get this straight: We don’t need you to stand up for us, YOU needed to stand up for us for YOU. For YOUR dignity. For YOUR reputation. Jeff Sessions says that he wouldn’t “characterize” Trump’s unauthorized groping of women as “assault.”

Are you kidding me?!

Others try to rebuke his comments, yet STILL choose to vote for a sexual predator – because let’s be honest, that’s what he is. “What he said is wrong, and the way he treats women is wrong, but it’s not wrong enough for me to not vote for him.”

Thanks, cowards.

Various men in the movement are writing it off as normal, confirming every stereotype the left has thrown at them. So I’m done. I’m sooo done.

If you can’t stand up for women & unendorse this piece of human garbage, you deserve every charge of sexism thrown at you. I’m just one woman, you won’t even notice my lack of presence at rallies, fair booths, etc. You won’t really care that I’m offended by your silence, and your inability to take a stand. But one by one you’ll watch more women like me go, & you’ll watch men of ACTUAL character follow us out the door.

.. These sentiments felt so familiar to me. Then I realized why. It’s how I heard Catholic women of my mom’s generation talk after the church’s child molestation scandal broke. Learning about the predatory behavior was awful in its own right. But what really caused them to lose faith, what caused many of them to never return to the Catholic Church, were the religious leaders who failed to denounce the molestation; who dishonestly minimized it in hopes of saving the institution in the short term.

A bad actor can cause a scandal in any institution. The true test of core soundness or rot is how everyone else reacts to the depravity.

.. If the groups that Trump targets, especially the sizable ones, like women and Latinos, turn out in large enough numbers to vote against him, handing a crushing loss to the corrupting billionaire; if other folks who usually vote Republican join in that protest, to signal that this behavior is a dealbreaker; then the GOP will likely never nominate a man like this for high office ever again.

.. rare election where the larger the margin of the GOP loss, the better the chance it will have to be reborn into something viable and constructive.