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Donald Trump Never To Be Role Model, Anywhere

May 25, 2020

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I grew up when there was still an understanding in the heartland of the nation that a President of the United States was a role model.  I grew up seeing pictures and hearing reports from international travelers and workers about the homes of many people in far-flung places having two pictures hung on their walls.  The Pope and a photo of President John Kennedy.   That to me demonstrated not only the power of our nation, but also the gravitas and prestige of a president.

It is not a partisan thing to say no one on the planet is hanging a picture of Donald Trump in any living room this weekend.  The den, perhaps, so to better aim when playing darts.

The idea of Trump being a role model came to mind this weekend as he took to the golf links.  He was trying to demonstrate that his being out and a part of the nation’s reopening should encourage others to follow suit.   Trump considered his golf time not only a personal outing but also a message of how the rest of his fellow citizens should act.  (Regardless of data and medical advice about wearing masks and self-distancing.)

But Trump can never be a role model for anyone.  He has no character traits any adult would want to see duplicated in our youth.   That fact was demonstrated when he again demeaned women on social media and spewed groundless accusations against a former Republican congressman.

Over the weekend Trump lashed out at the way House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Democratic rising star Stacey Abrams looked.  He had the temerity to talk about someone’s weight!  Not to leave out the person who defeated him in the 2016 popular vote –by 3 million votes–Trump attacked Hillary Clinton as a “skank”.

He did not set aside his bizarre behavior at that point but instead launched into a feud with former US attorney general Jeff Sessions, and then repeated a murder charge against Morning Joe, TV host Joe Scarborough.

There is no parent in the land wishing their child grows up to be like Trump!  Given how and when I was raised as a child, I can assure my readers I make that statement about a president with no glee.  It is damn sad to have to print and post such a fact.

I grew up 20 years after the end of World War II.  As a boy there was much reverence in the nation for President Eisenhower who died when I was seven years old.  As the years passed it was always demonstrated that even though Ike had a lofty place in world history that few would ever attain, he was also to be recalled for how he set an example about how to act.  He pushed aside vanity and conducted his presidential career with humility.  He had ‘the stuff’ that made parents all over the nation look to him as a role model for their kids.

It has long been a sore point of mine when national public figures succumb to the dark side of their character.  No one alive in government has fallen so completely to the worst side of their character than Trump has over the past three years.  I fully understand that in reality there are limited national figures in our country who have the qualities and characteristics that most parents would want their child to look up to, or model their lives after.  Baseball players on steroids, or movie stars on their third marriage, or the president on his third wife, who only months after giving birth, he had sex with a porn star. We really have so few genuine national figures that our kids can call heroes.

But should we not demand that the President of the United States have at least the basic qualities our youth should be encouraged to emulate?  When did Americans toss the idea of virtue aside when making the choice for president?

Trump is not going to change into a book reader any more than he will grasp what empathy is all about, or adjust his self-centered behavior to meet the needs of his office.  He will never be a role model for anyone, anywhere. He is a pathetic person.

This November I need to have faith my fellow citizens will rise up and reject the one who has demonstrated the worst of human nature—on a daily basis–and turn towards a path where again adults can use their president as an example of how to live life.

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