One of the great mysteries to the Spirited Reasoner is the number of Americans who passionately support the negative behavior of Donald Trump.
Yes, I can thoroughly understand the dilemma many of us faced when we were forced to choose between two candidates—Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump—both of whom seemed to exemplify the worst aspects of politicians who had allied themselves with all sorts of corrupt elements. So, it would make perfect sense to me if one of my childhood friends—too many of whom voted for Donald Trump—were to tell me that they felt forced to select the lesser of two evils.
But that’s not what I hear from these folks.
What I hear is the equivalent of idol worship, as if President Trump’s presidency represents the second coming of the Messiah, and anyone who feels differently ought to be jettisoned from this great nation of ours.
So, here’s this week’s challenge from the Spirited Reasoner to those friends of mine. If you had a young son—let’s say a boy around 7 years old—would you be okay if he learned the following behaviors from our current President?
- Calling other children names. Suppose your son comes home with a note from his teacher, informing you that your little darling has been causing fights by calling other children names during recess. Being a precocious child, he proceeds to defend himself as follows: “But Mom and Dad, we learned in our current events class that the President of the United States called his election opponents names like ‘Little Marco’ and ‘Crooked Hillary.” Then he called two members of Congress “Lamb the Sham” and “Crazy Maxine.” And he even called the FBI Director an ‘untruthful slime ball.’ I’m just trying to be more like President Trump.”
- Teasing others because of their nationality and religion. And then your son’s teacher informs you that he has been making fun of students whose families immigrated here from the Middle East. “But Mom and Dad,” he says. “President Trump called a news reporter from the Middle East “Mr. Kurd.” And he wanted to ban all Muslims from entering the United States. I’m just trying to be more like him.”
- Treating girls with a lack of respect. And finally, when his teacher tells you that your son insulted some other girls because of their looks, and followed that up by grabbing some other girls by their private parts, he responds as follows: “But Mom and Dad, I saw where President Trump called a woman named Stormy Daniels ‘Horseface.’ And we just read in our current events class about a man in Albuquerque, New Mexico, who was arrested for sexual assault, but answered the charges by saying it was okay to grab women’s genitals because he had seen where the President bragged that it was okay to do that.”
Regardless about how we feel about the great issues of the day, and regardless of whether we call ourselves Republicans, Democrats, or Independents, shouldn’t we insist that our President engage in personal behaviors that our children can emulate? If the behavior of Bill Clinton in the White House was worthy of condemnation, shouldn’t those of Donald Trump be equally so?
Can’t we all agree, as a nation, that we can do better than this?