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We're now seeing a backlash against the bullies

By Robert B. Reich, Tribune Content Agency on

Why are so many women now speaking out about the sexual abuses they've experienced for years? Is there anything unique about the time we're now living through that has encouraged them to end their silence?

I can't help but think that their decisions are part of something that's happening throughout much of American society right now -- a backlash against what has been the growing domination of America by powerful and wealthy men (and a few women) who came to believe they can do whatever they want to do, to whomever they choose.

"When you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab 'em by the p***y," said Donald Trump in the infamous "Access Hollywood" tape from 2005.

Sexual assault is one obvious assertion of dominance. Other forms include economic bullying and the stoking of bigotry to gain political power.

Trump epitomizes it all. As a businessman, he stiffed contractors, used bankruptcy to avoid paying creditors, and wielded lawsuits to threaten critics.

As a politician, he gained traction by alleging that Barack Obama was born in Africa, that Mexicans are rapists and murders, and that Muslims must be kept out of America.

 

As president, he has bullied everyone who disagrees with him -- journalists, judges, members of Congress, his own staff and Cabinet.

He's bullied the vulnerable and innocent -- "dreamers," who came to the U.S. as small children but could face deportation because of him; the elderly and sick, who may lose their health coverage because of him; needy families, who will no longer receive assistance because the massive corporate tax cuts he's pushing will require cuts in programs they depend on.

But the days of Trump and the bullying he represents are numbered.

Soon after the 2016 election, millions of women marched against Trump, and the Resistance was born. Since then, a growing number of Americans have been rising up against the bullies.

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