A snapshot of the whole

In the midst of all the shutdown news and pointing of fingers, there was an incident yesterday that caught my attention. Perhaps you saw it in your news feeds. Congressman Randy Neugebauer, R-TX (Abilene, Lubbock, and parts in between, aka the 19th district) berated a park ranger for standing at a barricade to a national park.

Actually, he berated her for closing the park.

Now I’ll eventually meander to politics here, but I want to talk about humanity for a moment, here. See, I spent more than a few years in restaurants. And time as a clerk, and a host of other relatively menial positions.

A common form of asshole likes to berate the plebes. It makes them feel big, or something, to yell at someone who cannot yell back and who has little to no control over what the yelling is about. “HOW DARE YOU CHARGE THIS MUCH.” “WHY AREN’T YOU OPEN NOW.” bleah. And the recipient can’t tell them they’re being an asshole because it means the recipient will be out of work shortly thereafter. And I can tell you the couple of times I’ve seen it go that far the asshole throws in extra digs. How dare the plebe strike back, after all.

Actually, a better label might be bully. Or coward. Scum is too generic, though they are.

And that’s what Neugebauer did. He yelled at someone who had no choice, who had to stand there and take the abuse even though she had no voice in opening or closing or in standing at that position.

But in Neugebauer’s case it’s worse. He’s the one who made it necessary for that park ranger to be standing there. He is not only a bully, he set up the victim to be bullied.

In all the other opinions I have about this whole issue, this is the one that makes me the angriest. That one of the people involved in making the decision is, essentially, someone who likes to make others miserable – just because. Who makes himself look bad by setting up targets that can’t strike back.

I doubt he’ll lose his district this upcoming election — certainly he won’t lose it over his political positions. But I can hope. And in my own way, I’m pointing out exactly what a bullying coward this man is in the hopes that those who can give him what he deserves, do so.

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