Bullying has always been a part of life and was something of a rite of passage for many young victims of the school yard bully.   However, bullying has become a far more sinister and devastating problem with the immediacy and expansiveness of cyber bullying.

When I was young, a bully had limited and sporadic opportunities to harass and intimidate his victim.  I was never the target of a bully because I learned very early in life that bullies are cowards and will only seek out those they perceive to be vulnerable and weak.   The best way to deter a bully was to make it clear that you were not afraid and that you would fight back if necessary.

That has all changed with the onslaught of relentless and overwhelming bullying that can be accomplished remotely any time of day from anywhere by using the Internet as a weapon.  There is no fighting back because the bully is able to attack his victim instantly, constantly, and without recourse on a worldwide forum where his accomplices can also mercilessly pile abuse on the intended victim until their victim is emotionally beaten into submission or worse.

To be sure, bullies are still cowards and I would venture to say that they are even more of a coward when they use the Internet.   At least, in the past, the bully confronted his victim face to face and there was an opportunity to put the bully in his place.   Today’s victims do not have that ability to confront their bully and can only sit helplessly by as the torment continues unabated and unchallenged.   It is no wonder that many of these victims lose hope and some seek out the final escape.

I have suggested in “The Wussification Of America” that we should not let hurt feelings become our next national crisis; however, I also agree with those who feel that cyber bullying is, in fact, a national dilemma that needs to be stamped out by imposing harsh civil and criminal penalties on these cyber bullies.

The days of stopping the bully in his tracks in the school yard are gone.   We must, as a society, stand up for these victims and find a way to stop the cowards that hide behind the Internet.      

On Monday Joe starts a two part series on why small business owners should reject the “Occupy” movement in “Take Back The American Dream, Part 1″.