Playground bully Donald Trump faces his last stand — and even conservatives know it

Trump isn't strong or tough or manly — he's a coward and a bully, as many of his fellow Republicans know well

By D. Watkins

Editor at Large

Published October 19, 2016 7:00PM (EDT)

Donald Trump   (Reuters/Carlo Allegri)
Donald Trump (Reuters/Carlo Allegri)

Think about how much of a bully Donald Trump is while you pour that glass of wine, pop that popcorn and gear up for the final presidential debate.

He’s the worst type of person in the world, a coward — the opposite of brave, a hate-fueled clown who is only capable of swinging at people he deems to be beneath him. In his defense, it worked really well in the primary: He now owns Chris Christie, Ted Cruz and Uncle Ben Carson and they proudly campaign for him after he insulted their intelligence, looks, character and families.

Nevertheless, it’s really easy to pick on those gutless primary losers, previous reality-show contestants, the winners of pageants he judged, the Gold Star family and even little Paul Ryan, who’s too scared to speak out against a guy who seems to be a sexual assaulter.

* * *

The one thing I respected about Donald — and yes, there was one thing — was his willingness to attack. I thought Trump was a crazy, orange-skinned, orange-haired live wire who would attack anyone and everyone that stood between him and his goals with that Michael-Jordan-in-the-fourth-quarter mentality, the kind of pursuit one needs to be successful in sports, business or, well, life. And then Warren Buffett proved me wrong.

The 86-year-old multibillionaire was one of the first to call out Trump on his taxes over the summer. Buffett stated that he was being audited and had no problem showing his tax returns because it’s not illegal or even unusual to do so. Most of us didn’t make much of it and it kind of went away until last week's debate, when Trump said he took a massive deduction, just like Buffett.

Buffett instantly called bullshit, not just verbally the way Trump does, but by releasing his taxes while he is still under audit — and showing that he has paid federal taxes every year since 1944! Donald had no response to that, just as he really didn’t have much to say to Michael Bloomberg. Both those guys have way more money than him, which has proved to be Donald’s Achille's heel. Trump’s claim to fame is his supposed success in business and how much money he has.

But Buffett gave away an amount equal to 75 percent ­­of Trump’s net worth last year. He and Bloomberg could both easily buy or sell Trump 10 times over without a blink and he cowers at the mention of their names, a true characteristic of the bully.

Trump is not the kind of bully who physically roughs people up. I couldn’t imagine Donald ruining his manicure. He is exactly what would classify as a mental abuser:

Teasing -- Bullies like to pick on children that [are] smaller than they are. This is probably the smartest child in the classroom or perhaps the smallest. Bullies make it a point to isolate children during recess time. They exclude their victims from outside activities and forbid anyone else from accepting them. This type of mental bullying is very abusive. The victims are forced to stand around and watch all the other children run around the playground, having fun and making loud noises. Bullies also like to make fun of children who are different. Bullies might single out children that wear glasses, braces, hearing aids or non name brand clothes. Bullies are very cruel. Bullying is often carried out by children with low self-esteem.

Trump houses the bulk of these qualities. He picks easy targets, teases the poor with his money and even famously mocked a man with a disability. He takes it a step further into a far darker place, however, telling his followers that he can accomplish the un-accomplishable — building purposeless walls with imaginary funding, selling false dreams of social mobility in Hitler-esque rants to groups that may never advance­, based on underdeveloped policies and a collection of secret solutions. These are the people who would explode after seeing his results if he ever got the chance to serve. They'd have guns, anger fueled by Trump, and nothing to lose.

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I champion the Republicans who have had the heart to reject Trump's trash campaign. Mitt Romney, John McCain, John Kasich and the rest of the people who are smart enough to do what’s right over what’s politically popular right now. Trump has heard tough words from those guys but he’d never go in full-attack mode because they aren’t cowards like Paul Ryan.

As you prepare to watch the last debate of Donald Trump's political career, I want you to pay close attention to his bullying ways. Notice how he subscribes to no moral code. Watch how he talks over Hillary Clinton, interrupts her and threatens her —  and then ask yourself, “Do I want this clown in office?”

By D. Watkins

D. Watkins is an Editor at Large for Salon. He is also a writer on the HBO limited series "We Own This City" and a professor at the University of Baltimore. Watkins is the author of the award-winning, New York Times best-selling memoirs “The Beast Side: Living  (and Dying) While Black in America”, "The Cook Up: A Crack Rock Memoir," "Where Tomorrows Aren't Promised: A Memoir of Survival and Hope" as well as "We Speak For Ourselves: How Woke Culture Prohibits Progress." His new books, "Black Boy Smile: A Memoir in Moments," and "The Wire: A Complete Visual History" are out now.

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2016 Presidential Campaign 2016 Presidential Debates Donald Trump Elections 2016 Hillary Clinton