To be fair, there are plenty of horrible things that Donald Trump hasn't done during his campaign. For instance, as far as I know, he hasn't bludgeoned a baby seal on live television. I don't think he's uttered a magical incantation that brought Satan into our earthly realm. And I have never seen anything that indicates he is an alien lizard creature underneath his orange skin.
That being said, Trump has gone and done something that is beyond any of those transgressions. Something unforgiveable. He has completely destroyed the glory of parenthood. The man is precisely the sort of person we parents spend all our life trying to make sure our children don't grow up to be. Greedy. Racist. Rude. Sexist. Arrogant. Hair that makes even televangelists go, "Yeah, that's a bit extreme." It's like there are only seven things on his to-do list: the Deadly Sins.
And yet he keeps leading in the polls, a phenomenon that is as baffling to me as all those years Two And A Half Men kept getting more popular every time Charlie Sheen went on an embarrassing bender. This disturbing trend makes no sense. It's kind of like Star Wars only everyone on Alderaan decides, "You know what? We're good with this Vader fellow after all."
At the end of the day, our president becomes kind of like our surrogate daddy (or mommy). This is the person we want our kids to aspire to be, the ultimate American role model who represents us all over the world. So, before you settle on your candidate of choice, please take a minute to ask yourself what kind of daddy Donald Trump would make. And pay attention to the way he's changed some of our most enduring parental homilies:
If you can't say anything nice about a person, by all means...have at it! Give me a minute to think of even one time Donald Trump has conducted a TV interview or given a speech where he didn't attack at least one fellow living, breathing human. Actually, never mind. You could give me a week and I still couldn't come up with anything. Whether it's griping that a federal judge of Mexican heritage can't fairly judge him or criticizing John McCain for being captured or consistently mocking Elizabeth Warren or imitating a disabled reporter, this is a guy who seems to succeed not by raising himself up but by dragging everyone else down. If your kid tried even half the stuff he does, chances are he or she would probably spend an entire junior year in detention.
Treat others the way you want to, no matter how they treat you. I grew up in a church every Sunday sort of family and outside of the crushes I had on some of the teachers, I don't remember much from the experience. However, one thing I have retained is the Golden Rule. You know, that whole thing about reaping what you show. This may be the only golden thing that Donald Trump doesn't want to own. Instead, he looks at his opponents with the same sort of disdain that a devout vegan looks at a Big Mac. Children who behave like that probably won't have a lot of friends when they grow up. And yet, he's won over the Religious Right. Go figure.
Sticks and stones may break my bones (if you come to one of my rallies anyway) but names will always harm you. It's not exactly a secret that kids can be pretty cruel to each other. Every single element of your appearance is up for commentary. For instance, I enjoyed a childhood filled with nicknames about my large nose (Beak), my Coke bottle glasses (Four Eyes) and my fondness for counter-culture (Freak). I justified the insults by assuming it came from the social insecurity my detractors secretly felt. Which might explain Trump's interest in creating ridiculous nicknames for opponents. "Crooked" Hillary. "Pocahontas" Elizabeth Warren. "Lyin'" Ted Cruz. Personally, I think the Clinton campaign slogan should now be, "I'm rubber. You're glue. What you say bounces off me and sticks on you."
Actions speak louder than words. Unless those words are really depressing. Much like me, my kids are largely introverts. We don't feel the need to keep all eyes on us at all times. As opposed to the Trump Doctrine. Instead, I've always taught my children to lead by example because that demonstrates an actual interest in the topic at hand. And now we have a Republican presidential candidate who spent 75 minutes in his convention speech explaining to Americans that a vote against him is a vote for a godless, dystopian future not unlike, say, Back To the Future 2. Which is ironic considering that Trump is essentially the Biff Tannen of our generation.
The truth will always come out. Just not from me. Sure, we all tend to exaggerate from time to time. It's the best way to feel better about yourself even if you really shouldn't. For instance, I assured my editors this piece would be brilliant and thought provoking. Still, these lies only work if they are within the realm of possibility and you use them with the same frequency you pee in a swimming pool. Don't do it unless there is no other alternative. And yet, most of what Donald Trump says and does is, at best, truth adjacent. Listening to one of his speeches does get me feeling nostalgic, though. Whenever I hear him refusing to take any responsibility for pretty much anything, I am taken back to the times my son swore he was getting As in biology class when in fact he hadn't turned in homework in weeks.
Ignorance is bliss. Okay. I stand corrected. Please accept my apology, Mr. Trump. Turns out there is one piece of parental advice that you actually seem to believe in.