Oh, Kellyanne, Kellyanne. Where to start? The amount of spin that you have put on things over the past year is staggering, but now, with your newly coined “alternative facts,” I really have to put my foot down. My kids might hear you, and I certainly don’t want them believing that utter nonsense.
Now before you or anyone else gets themselves worked into a tizzy, this is not a partisan issue. I am looking at this solely as it relates to parenting. I would hope that Republicans, Democrats and Independents are equally outraged, because this has the potential to get out of control FAST.
I mean, can you imagine if our kids embraced this concept of alternative facts?
Actually, I’m pretty sure this will be happening soon in households across the country, if it hasn’t started already. Sure, some of us might chuckle initially, but some of us might stop seeing the humor in it pretty quickly, especially as our parenting directives are met with increased resistance and ridiculousness.
Sorry, Mom. My bedtime is actually at 10 o’clock, not 8. Alternative fact!
Green gummy bears count as fruits in the food pyramid. Alternative fact!
I’ve already done my homework. I did it in my head, and that’s totally acceptable. Alternative fact!
I didn’t fail that test. My teacher isn’t acknowledging it, but I wrote down some valid alternative facts!
I’m a violin-playing astronaut who travels through space with Han Solo and Chewbacca, and Darth Vader is my father! Alternative fact!
Cat is spelled “dog,” and the world is flat. Alternative facts!
There’s nothing wrong with hitting. That’s a sign of love. Alternative fact!
Oh, yes, I know, I know, it’s our job as parents to teach our kids right from wrong and to send them out into the big, bad world with the right tools to combat whatever they encounter. And trust me, I do.
I teach my children about empathy on a daily basis. I make sure they are respectful to their peers and their superiors. I show them how to be strong and smart while still being open and seeing the best in people. I tell them how to protect their minds and their bodies from those who might want to hurt them. I encourage them to speak up in the face of injustice. I educate them in history, science and other facts, as well as encourage them to learn about the arts and think creatively. I tell them that lying is wrong, that it hurts people and that it just makes everything more difficult in the long run.
All the parents I know provide these lessons. I’m sure you do, too, Kellyanne.
Is any political point worth compromising those lessons? Would you teach this to your kids?
Our children are always listening. To me, to you, to everyone around them. We have a responsibility to them to teach them the right things. You have a profound responsibility now that you’re in a position of power.
You want to spin the facts? Go ahead. There are a million ways to look at an empirical fact and explain it.
You want to give your opinion? Go for it! I love when my kids have opinions—and boy, do they have plenty of them!
You want to debate? Even better! That’s an excellent skill.
But don’t say that facts don’t exist. Don’t say that some people have their facts and that others have their own extra-special set of facts. Don’t gaslight people and make them think that they’re crazy for seeing what they see with their own eyes and believing what has been proven.
Alternative facts are not facts. They are untruths. They are LIES. Here, look, Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary kindly sent you a definition of what a fact is: “A fact is a piece of information presented as having objective reality.
I know that can be confusing, so I’ll break it down for you. It is something that is objective (proven), not subjective (opinion). Facts hold true for people of all political parties, of all sexes, of all races, of all faiths. No amount of your semantic gymnastics is going to change that.
I, for one, am glad that my kids are young enough to be kept away from this sort of language and this dangerous philosophy. But they’re growing up by the minute, and I won’t be able to keep them away from it for long.
Plus, even if kids don’t actually go down the rabbit hole of alternative truths, the idea that lying is OK is insidious. It seeps into the fabric of our society and informs children’s ideas about what’s acceptable in this world. And you know what? That’s not acceptable at all.
So, please, Kellyanne, let’s change the narrative and get back to the very basic and very important concept of telling the truth. Let’s be responsible and accountable. And let’s get to the business of governing this country by being brutally honest about what’s going on. Let’s disagree and debate, but let’s agree to start here. Because this is my daily, factual reality: I have a ton of very real things to worry about and to do with my children without having to deal with the very real effects that your alternative facts will have on our lives.
This post originally appeared on Momsanity.