Trump aide Stephen Miller was a creepy glue-eating kid in 3rd grade, says former teacher


#41

Hey! You can’t talk about our Shadow President that way! Wait a minute. You can and you SHOULD talk about Baby Goebbels that way. He’s one evil SOB. HE is most assuredly the actual author of that pack of complete LIES that the USA Today published under Trump’s name.


#42

As many, many others have already said here, this is stupid and irrelevant. Unless he was killing animals and keeping them in a fridge I really don’t think doing weird things in school is indicative of a person as an adult and only shames other people who did weird things as a kid by association.

I never did this, but my desks were always a mess inside and I THINK I’m a functioning adult.

ETA: The point, which I forgot to include, is draw attention to the actual problems. Don’t point out every irrelevant detail in a desperate attempt to seem important or to fill up space.


#43

Was he a bed-wetter too? What a monster.

When I was a baby, I shit into a cloth bag. Every day. I deserve nothing but scorn.


#44

ya, the “stuff mashed up” in his desk line made me sweat a bit. At he end of every year I had to borrow a ruler (mine having been long lost, but not before the metal edge had been tapped out) to excavate my notes and unfinished assignments from my desk. But, the detail this woman remembers from 25 years ago. Does she have some kind of permanent record?


#45

nuclear hot take: while his behavior isn’t appropriate, maybe people need to make the connection between toxic behavior and bullying to actually care about bullying.

I noticed a steep decline in violent bullying post-Columbine but then it mostly shifted into exclusion/derision based shunning.

Maybe this kind of thing will give people the impetus to see that actions have consequences - you can’t just go off into the world having been mean to someone for years, claim you had a change of heart in college, and acted shocked when years later they’re still acting out.


#46

Thanks for this. A structuralist approach to large social trends absolute has to be part of any critical theory. Feelings of personal animosity towards terrible people don’t have to supersede a sober view of macro social trends. Indeed these things are important to recognize if we’d like to create situations in which people can grow up without these crazy persecution complexes.

It’s something that the right does regularly, with the “pull yourself up by the bootstraps” rhetoric. It’s true that some people will be able to to this, but the fact is that liberalism creates a situation in which there will inevitably be massive numbers of impoverished people. Similarly, a repressed, patriarchal society that teaches us to fear free expression and autonomy will inevitably produce, if not political fascists, then certainly the impulses we associate with fascism.

Of course, fuck that guy. We’re still individually responsible for the things we do.


#47

In large part what my 10 foot wall of text was about, was precisely the opposite of that. Or at least that society is the determining factor in the whys and precise hows of the things we do.

Last I checked Liberalism was the only end of the political spectrum focused on practical reactions to people being impoverished and disenfranchised and how to prevent it. While conservatism is largely concerned with excusing those same people’s impoverishment and disenfranchisement. It boils down to some people get fucked. And either you think that’s wrong and want to figure out how to prevent if from happening. Or you think that’s good. And you are a terrible person. All I was trying to do was lay out the psychological basis for the the excluded buying into their own exclusion.

Lucky you. I was part of that same age group at the time. And I also happened to be one of those “weird” kids who had already had a rough time of it. It got way worse in the immediate aftermath.


#48

So I’m trying to gesture towards a position that acknowledges that the structural realities you’re talking about are essential for understanding incels, the alt-right, proto-fascism, etc., while at the same time recognizing that we’re not individually helpless in the face of social trends, that one can choose to unlearn shitty behavior, for example. I guess I’m trying to thread a needle, but I think both perspectives are valuable and not mutually exclusive.

re:liberalism, I’m referring to Smithian economic liberalism–laissez-faire markets, privatization, etc. I’ve been reading some British political stuff lately; I should probably make a note to avoid using that word in that way in the future.


#49

I find that’s true of a lot of conservative pundits and politicians. A lot of them are bitter HS debate club nerds who are angry that they were bullied by the thugs or that their genius was ignored by the cool kids and just couldn’t let it go well into adulthood. Now, when they’ve attained power in the conservative apparatus, they’re exacting their revenge on society by choosing to become the bullies.

Some of the worst cases, like Miller, started on that path during high school.


#50

I bet far more of them were actually top of the heap and bullies themselves. For example, Kavanaugh. Not all of us became bullies.


#51

Definitely. One way or another, bullying jock or nerd seething over being a target, we’re all able to transcend our high school years if we make the choice to do so. But the Newt Gingrich’s and Stephen Millers of the world chose differently.

And yet so many don’t, even when they escape the atmospheres that stifled them in their teens and even in a time when the geeks and weirdos have in large part triumphed in the economy and in popular culture. It speaks to some deeper damage in their worldviews, or to the fact that (like Breaking Bad’s Walter White) they were just arseholes all along.


#52

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