What Do We Tell Our Children About President Trump?

I haven’t written on here in a long time, mostly because I have been in political retreat, burrowed in a cave, planning never to write again. This is not simply because the candidate I first met at age 13 (I am 31 now) and bet the long game on, lost the election (although that is true), but instead because I am simply embarrassed about who we decided to elect.

And I want to make this abundantly clear: I am not saying this because I am a Democrat and he is a Republican. I am saying this because he is cruel, vindictive and unkind.

I am one of the formerly optimistic individuals who was a Hillary fan and who lost in a brutal defeat in 2016. I was in the room at the Jacob Javits Center (where the victory party was supposed to be) and where the jubilant crowd turned into a defeated, sobbing bunch in only a matter of minutes.

Before we lose sight, we must focus on the most important matter at hand. For Democrats, it’s not about electing more Democrats. For Republicans, it’s not about keeping Republicans in power.

What’s most important is that our children need a role model in the White House – and we simply don’t have one.

Whether you liked President Obama’s politics or not, you could point to your children and say, “You too can aspire to be like him.” And yes, the same with President Bush and the presidents before him. Everyone has flaws and none were perfect, but no president until now has lacked redeeming qualities that could universally be understood as the reasons why he got to the highest office.

And President Trump? He is who you advise your children to stay away from on the playground.

There is a book called Wonder, written by R.J. Palacio, which tells the story of August Pullman, a ten-year-old boy who was born with facial anomalies. As he heads to public school for the first time in the fifth grade, he faces the daunting task of meeting his peers at an age filled with judgment and teasing. Yet, he is touched by others’ understanding and friendship. The book has become a required part of grade school curriculums, teaching the importance of kindness.

And at the very same time, our President is teaching our children what it means to be the exact opposite: to preach inhumanity and barbarity, to make fun of the disabled and to divide by race and religion. Plain and simple, President Trump is teaching our children that it is okay to be unkind.

There is nothing revolutionary about what I am writing. But as many of my friends have children, I keep asking the same question over and over again: What do we tell them?

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