Every day Life
I had low expectations for the Republican debate on Thursday night, but this left me speechless. How low can we go? Does Mr. Trump really think that the size of his manhood is the top issue weighing on the American voters’ minds?
When I had kids, I made the decision to always be open and honest. Sure, there have been those times where the truth was stretched (‘of course your drawing looks exactly like a horse!’) but on the bigger things, I strived to be approachable and to encourage frank conversations. I grew up in a close-your-door, don’t-ask household, and I decided early on that my kids would know that all topics are open for discussion.
With the Republican election circus now in session, however, these conversations are taking on new maneuvering on my part. Take, for example, this morning, when my 15-year old wondered what the meaning was for the comment on Thursday evening, about the size of hands and “doing quite well in that department.” I vaguely mumbled something about body parts corresponding in size, and she looked at her phone and said, “Mom, CNN says it’s about his penis.” Welcome to the new era in politics, where the soundbyte is more important than issues on national security, the economy, the environment, the welfare of the people.
Having seen the type of voter attracted to Trump, I can image that Thursday’s debate has elevated the man to an even greater statue in their eyes. “He’s got balls! He speaks freely.” Yes, he does. There is no holding back, no diplomacy from the stage. Trump speaks, he shouts, he insults left, right and center. He does indeed, stand out among his fellow office-seekers. Who, by the way, shout right back. What in the world are we teaching the next generation of candidates, of voters?
With all the negativity in this campaign era, I think back to the wise words of Robert Fulghum. He has this gem, that wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sand pile at school. And among the kindergarten lessons he reminds us, are: Play fair. Don't hit people. Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody. When you go out in the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together.
I wish that all the candidates this season, would spend a few hours in a kindergarten classroom. They may actually learn something.