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What Will You Tell the Children?

Posted by Gail Barth on

Amid the chaos of our collapsing democracy and the demolition of our once-great nation’s status in the world, I just have to ask those die-hard supporters of the lying, cheating, woman-hating train wreck of a president: What will you tell the children, especially your own? How will you justify your continuing allegiance to a man whose only real purpose in life is to thump his own chest and line his own pockets? Please—I really want to know.

We’ve moved way beyond the ‘let’s give the poor guy a chance’ mentality and are now in the weary and helpless ‘where do we even begin to undo the incredible damage he’s done’ state of mind. Basically, how will you respond when your child or children yet to come want to know where certain species of animals have gone? Why they can’t play outside on days when the air is no longer safe to breathe? Why it’s dangerous for them to swim in lakes, creeks, and rivers? Why the seasons are so out of whack that they can’t even recognize their own state? Why hurricanes, droughts, tornadoes, fires, temperature extremes, and earthquakes are the new normal?

And how will you answer them when they ask why it’s no longer safe for them to go anywhere in public (and maybe eventually in private) because every loony toon with a little cash can own unlimited fire power with absolutely no restrictions? How will you explain that this man had the power to slow this down and keep them safer and, instead, went the other direction? And if, God forbid, anyone that they love is ever hurt or killed by unrestricted gun violence, how will you explain that your support of this man means you didn’t care enough to help end the violence?

And I’d really like to know how you’ll justify the rise in hate crimes against their black, Jewish, and Muslim friends? And why women no longer have a say over what happens to their own bodies? How will you manage to explain that, even though women no longer have access to birth control, they also no longer have access to abortion, no matter the circumstances? And here’s a really difficult one: how will you justify your support of a man who has admitted multiple times in front of witnesses and on tape that he abused women and bragged about it? That he has managed to somehow get away with it because he has the unwavering support of people like you who condone his behavior even as the Weinsteins and Ailes’s of the world are being taken down for the same crimes.

Seriously, I need to know how you’ll deal with these questions and so many more. Because they’re coming. You’ll be asked. If not by your children, then by what’s left of your own conscience. And you’d better be prepared with some semblance of real answers.

But maybe even more of interest to me is how you’ll handle questions regarding Trump’s behavior, How will you justify calling your children out on behavior you obviously tolerate in him? How do you explain to them that bullying is very wrong when you support a man who does it continuously? What will you answer when they question why you punish them for lying but seem okay with the literally thousands of lies your president has told and continues to tell? How do you rightfully chastise them for calling other kids names when he routinely indulges in name-calling, and always has.

How do you tell them that it’s wrong to hit back and ‘get even’ when your man in the White House has become famous worldwide for doing just that, at least verbally? How do you tell them that they need to pay attention in school and get better grades in writing and expression when your man has such obviously limited vocabulary, depth of expression, and ability to string together even simple sentences? How will you handle teaching them that poor sportsmanship and constant boasting are wrong, while simultaneously cheering on a man who makes bragging and self-aggrandizing his mantra?

How do you sternly reprimand them when they make fun of handicapped children or call a classmate ‘ugly’ when the man you support has done it publicly many times? How do you tell them not to use ‘bad words’ when Trump has waxed profane in public, both during his campaign and his unfortunate presidency? How do you convey to them that they must share and think about others because the world does not revolve around them, while continuing to support a man who believes the opposite when it comes to himself?

You’d better have some answers for the many questions your children will have because, again, those questions will be coming. Children are little sponges who soak up everything they see and hear. They are very sensitive to moods and atmosphere. They’ll most certainly want to know how you can claim to support a man who not only exhibits this bad behavior on a daily basis, but clearly revels in it, because you have helped empower him to do so. And if they can’t formulate their questions now, they’ll certainly have some for you once they grow a bit older and realize the connection between his heinous behavior and your tolerance of it. But by then it may be too late; the damage will have been done. They’ll surely see you for the colossal hypocrite that you are. And they’ll come to realize that they should never have listened to you and need not listen to you ever again.

So, in the face of all of this, I just have to ask one more time: What on earth will you tell the children?

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