American patriots: Stand up to bullies, and they’ll cower

From Wisconsin and Tennessee to Delaware and New York, Trump and his allies are losing. Upright Americans are standing up.

Rep Justin Pearson
Tennessee state Representative Justin Pearson speaks to demonstrators outside the House, April 17, 2023, in Nashville, Tennessee. Protesters demonstrated outside the state Capitol to demand gun reform laws. Pearson was removed from the house by its Republican majority but later reinstated in the face of protests [George Walker IV/AP Photo]

Enlightened America stirs.

A sliver of hope tantalises after years of what has amounted to a new dark age where a kind of Muzak of madness has dominated what could charitably be described as the “public discourse” in the dis-United States.

A familiar gallery of rich, pampered bullies masquerading as “journalists”, politicians and “free-speech” apostles has enjoyed, until recently, the licence – that money and position afford – to shout and strut about with impunity.

Enlightened America has had enough and now, happily, seems to understand that to defeat a bully means having to confront the bully.

What a delight it has been to watch as the elections technology company, Dominion Voting Systems, takes a righteous stand against the rich, pampered bullies at Fox non-News.

Rather than cower or demur in the face of a fight, Dominion embraced the necessity to defend the truth and its name after both were assaulted by the prime-time bullies in the service and pay of a billionaire, Australian alpha bully.

Since Dominion launched its defamation suit in 2021, the once-obscure firm has done a wondrous job in exposing how the bullies at Fox non-News not only lied repeatedly about the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, but knew they were lying all along to mollify their fact-allergic audience and to turn, of course, a handsome profit.

Opening statements, which were set to begin on Monday in a Delaware courtroom, have been delayed. Reportedly, both sides were said to be trying to reach a settlement before the sensational case goes to trial.

Apart from being awarded an oh-so-satisfying mountain of money, Dominion wants Fox non-News to apologise for lying again and again and again about its fictional role in a fictional plot to flip votes from Donald Trump to Joe Biden.

Whatever the outcome – inside or outside a courtroom – Dominion has already prevailed by embarrassing a cocky bunch of TV studio toughs who believed, no doubt, that they were untouchable, beyond accountability.

The bullies at Fox non-News share that defining sense of immunity and entitlement with Trump, a career bully they publicly championed, but privately mocked.

Like Fox boss Rupert Murdoch and his swaggering company, Trump has had to endure a legal comeuppance that he had, until earlier this month, been able to avoid like a modern-day reincarnation of the slippery mobster, Al Capone.

“Don” Trump’s reliance on delay and distraction to escape being indicted did not work this time. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg finally did what frustrated prosecutors in his office believed they had gathered ample ammunition to do years ago – charge Trump.

Belatedly, Bragg squared up to the bully-in-chief. Enlightened Americans and the country’s fraying notion of the rule of law thanked him for it.

For once, Trump’s tantrum-trigger trap was shut tight as he sat in a New York courtroom, flanked by lawyers. Trump looked small and defeated, the trademark bluster drained out of him in the remarkable moment by a terse judge who will, in time, decide his fate.

The doubters and naysayers who dismissed the indictment as thin gruel missed the point. By challenging the bully-in-chief, Bragg had invited other district attorneys and a special counsel to follow his historic lead and affirm that no one, including former presidents, is above the law.

That is important.

Still, bullies attract bullies. So, it was no surprise that full-time flame-thrower, Marjorie Taylor Greene, travelled to New York to exploit the opportunity to confirm her MAGA-spouting credentials.

Enlightened New Yorkers were having none of it. Armed only with whistles, they surrounded and drowned out the Georgia congresswoman, as she tried, in vain, to be heard with a bullhorn above the glorious din.

Beaten, Taylor Greene retreated into a large SUV and scurried away as bullies are apt to do when they are defied face-to-face. Her gaggle of supporters broke out into a limp chant of “USA, USA” that, like their piqued patron, faded into irrelevance.

Perhaps taking his cue from pissed-off New Yorkers, Bragg also put Congressman Jim Jordan, a Trump attack dog, on notice. Bragg was through playing polite with so-called “lawmakers” more interested in protecting a hush-money-paying thug than abiding by the US Constitution.

Bragg is suing the House Judiciary chairman over what the district attorney describes as a “transparent campaign to intimidate and attack” his office’s case against Trump.

Good for him. Message delivered: Bullies will no longer be tolerated. Meet you in court.

The same message was delivered by enlightened voters in Wisconsin, who, in record numbers, showed up at the polls in early April to remove an election-and-abortion-rights-denying bully-in-a-black-robe.

Dan Kelly was crushed by former judge and prosecutor Janet Protasiewicz. Her persuasive win means an end to 15-year control of the state supreme court by arch-conservatives at a time it is hearing a lawsuit calling for Wisconsin’s 19th-century abortion ban to be scrapped.

The same message of defiance was delivered by three Tennessee legislators who took on the state’s Republican super majority over its failure to protect school children from being dismembered and murdered by automatic weapon-toting assassins.

Two of the three members who happen to be Black – Justin J Pearson and Justin Jones – were expelled from the Tennessee House of Representatives on April 6 by racist Republican bullies intent on silencing dissent.

The gambit failed. Enlightened citizens flooded the streets and legislature in a powerful show of solidarity with Pearson and Jones. Days later, the pair returned to their seats in the state House.

The bullies had, once again, been routed.

Then, last week, editorial leaders at PBS and NPR told electric car salesman, Elon Musk, and his money haemorrhaging, social media vanity project, Twitter, in effect, to take a much-deserved hike.

Musk, the bully with a bulging bank account, had tried to discredit NPR’s journalism by labelling it as “state-affiliated media” on its popular Twitter accounts.

To its credit, NPR responded to the blatant falsehood and Musk’s smear by announcing that it was abandoning Twitter.

PBS did the same after Twitter affixed “government-funded media” to its accounts, as well. Both news organisations chafed at the implication that their newsrooms are staffed by propagandists, not journalists.


Journalists are supposed to stand up to bullies. Pardon the pun, but bully for NPR and PBS. I hope more journalists and news organisations follow laudable suit.

Bit by encouraging bit, enlightened America is, to borrow a phrase, taking back its dazed and disoriented country from the grifters and charlatans who have disfigured it for notoriety and cash.

That is the definition of patriotism.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial stance.