05/20/2016 04:03 EDT | Updated 05/21/2017 05:12 EDT

The Scourge Of 'Crybullying' Affects Parliament Hill And Beyond

Chris Wattie / Reuters
New Democratic Party Member of Parliament Ruth Ellen Brosseau speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa March 8, 2012. REUTERS/Chris Wattie (CANADA - Tags: POLITICS)

Imagine you are a small child in a crowded school hallway. A couple big kids block your way and when you try to move around them they maneuver to stay in your way. Getting tired of being bullied, you push by. The next thing you know, the bully runs to the vice-principal to report you for pushing and demands that you be punished.

The scene I just described is called "crybullying." It is used by political and environmental activists daily to slow down industrial development and discredit their political enemies. Consider this classic example of crybullying from the University of Missouri.

In the video a young reporter is trying to take pictures of a demonstration in a public space when he is physically assaulted by protestors. The photographer, who is standing still, is repeatedly bumped by these protesters who then turn around and demand that the photographer be arrested for assaulting them.

Think that is the only case of this scourge? Consider #elbowgate this week (video here). In #elbowgate, two members of the NDP caucus physically blocked the path of a senior member of the Conservative party (MP Gord Brown) in the House of Commons.

MP Ellen Brosseau took a dive that would put Cristiano Ronaldo to shame.

As MP Brown tried to move around them, the NDP members repeatedly moved to block MP Brown. At one point one of the bullies (MP Ruth Ellen Brosseau) is even seen laughing, presumably about their actions, to a fellow MP in red. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, clearly tiring of the antics, decided to intervene and in doing so brushed MP Brosseau.

The result? MP Brosseau took a dive that would put Cristiano Ronaldo to shame. This is a grown woman who, before being elected as an MP, worked at a campus pub where she was presumably jostled on more than one occasion. Instead of shrugging it off she made a grand speech about how traumatized she was. It is easy to forget that she wasn't the innocent bystander in this story, she was one of the bullies.

So, what is the story the next day? The prime minister, who stepped in to help a bullied colleague, issues a formal apology and the crybullies are lionized by their peers.

Think this only happens in school grounds or the House of Commons? Think again, the tactic is used at virtually every major environmental protest. Protesters storm into buildings and then complain when they are detained by security. After all, they only wanted to scream at office workers using a megaphone. There was no way they could expect that the occupants of the building might not appreciate their intrusion.

Ultimately the crybullies have a simple approach, as Daniel Greenfield (who has written a lot on the topic) points out:

If you don't fight back, the crybully bullies you. If you fight back, the crybully cries and demands a safe space because you made him feel unsafe.

Sadly, we as a nation are letting the crybullies win and in doing so are only encouraging them to bully us more.

So, what is the cause of this problem? Well it can be traced back to the fact that the government has trained these crybullies to believe that they can use the tactics of civil disobedience while not suffering the consequences of their actions.

Back in the 1990s, during the Clayoquot protests, protesters understood that their actions had consequences. The protesters at the Clayoquot were arrested with over 850 being thrown in jail. Most interestingly, it was not a Conservative or Liberal government that had them arrested and charged, the government of the day was NDP, their allies. You see, the government of the day recognized that their role was to ensure that the law was obeyed irrespective of political stripe.

Since that time our governments have gradually given in to the crybully pressure. Consider the Burnaby Mountain protest. There the police actually asked the protesters which ones wanted to be arrested. Can you imagine a police officer asking a bank robber if he wanted to be arrested?

The decision by our government to not enforce the law has taught activists not to be concerned with the law. Coupled with our school system which emphasizes second, third, fourth and more chances, we are bringing up a generation that wrongly thinks that the rules don't apply to them.

They have been taught that each one of them is special and that their individual wants and needs are more important than those of anyone else around them or even society as a whole. To conclude this piece I will quote Daniel Greenfield again:

Crybullies are everything they claim to abhor. They are narcissists who complain about selfishness. Completely incapable of human empathy, they whine that no one cares about their feelings. They are prone to cowardly acts of violence, but demand safe spaces. They are bullies who say they're bullied.

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