Of late there seems to be a willingness to label anyone arguing that a program is violating the public process a “bully”. Of course the very fact that the srgument is made in fact to empower the public not only renders the labeling nonsensical, it illustrated the use of projection; the ad hominem is being employed in fact to bully the public advocate into ceasing their advocacy.
The essence of bullying is forcing another to engage in conduct not in the other’s interest. Arguing against governmental action, especially where that action may be problematic, is not bullying in any sense of the word.
Then there is the claim that any public argument is bullying as it seeks to bend another to the arguer’s will. Of course that posits that the other is vulnerable, helpless, or incompetent. How do we make the marketplace of ideas safe for those not equipped to deal with adult conversation? It also chills completely public discourse – and that of course is the intent of such ad hominem.
This kind of attack is most perfidious when used as one of two favored responses by public officials to marginalize or discredit competent evidence. The other, potentially more effective, is simply to ignore the issue in the hope that it wint generate enough public interest to warrant any response.
The public process is just that. In a heterodox society the oublic process is there to resolve conflicting public interests. Insisting that public assets be managed through a public process is all about protecting those whose voices are not being heard from bullies who want what they want and reject the concept that someone who is not insane disagrees.