I am glad I am not raising a child these days, because with Donald Trump as president, it would be difficult for me to explain to my little ones why it is wrong to say or do what our commander in chief routinely does.
Growing up, there was not a lot of swearing or derogatory discussions in our house, and as I pointed out the other day, most conversations said around the children are heard. (Our Children are Listening…“Who is Adam Schiff, Grandma?”)
After the president’s latest post-impeachment rant, when he called the Russia investigation “bullshit” to a roomful of his supporters in the East Room of the White House shortly after noon, Daddy, Kelly, and I had a conversation about his little tirade.
Dad recalled listening to President Kennedy’s moonshot speech when he was not yet nine, and then being inspired to work in a technical field. Back in our day, can you believe that parents could permit their children to watch the president speak anytime without fear that his behavior would be repeated and then emulated by America’s kids? Kelly then recalled innocently sitting in front of the television while the presidents spoke, and it was not until Clinton’s impeachment that I had to monitor what was being discussed on the news.
Now our children’s vocabularies are “enhanced” with bullshit, discussions of shithole countries, goddam this, what the hell that, and of course, the lovely non-G-rated Access Hollywood tape discussion which made it to the news when he famously said he could “grab them by the pussy.”
Dad wondered, and I direct the answer to the teacher in our family for the answer, what would happen if one of your students yelled “bullshit,” or worse, in the school cafeteria? Would the behavior go unpunished if the child said they learned it from the president?
I guess I could give him a pass if he wasn’t locking children in cages, loosening environmental regulations which helped clean our air and water (Oh, but that’s good for business!) , mocking a sixteen-year-old climate activist, a Gold Star family or a disabled reporter. I could look the other way when he refuses to apologize for anything if only he would take care of Puerto Rico, did not make fun of women who were sexually assaulted, protected us from gun violence, or stopped going after the Biden family when his own children are openly making a fortune from their Daddy’s presidency.
But people are making money in the stock market, so we look the other way because honesty, integrity, and empathy are less important. His party does not have a single alternative candidate it seems.
Maybe our children will say “bullshit.”