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Should Children Watch Trump’s Bad Behavior On Television?

November 6, 2020

I argued in 2016 on my blog that parents needed to be mindful of having their children around Donald Trump supporters who exhibit racist views. After Thursday night’s meltdown in the White House parents are even more aware that Trump is toxic in any form.

Trump embarrassed the nation and himself by taking to the press room to rant about his losing various states in the presidential election. He was spreading lies and concocted theories about voter fraud that was so absurd and dangerous that the networks and online news operations ended the coverage.

Just a few minutes into the meltdown ABC pulled out. Seconds later, NBC pulled the plug on the press conference. CBS then soon followed. NPR stopped coverage. USA TODAY also made the decision to take down the news conference after the president attacked, without evidence, the integrity and results of the election.

It was stunning and from the perspective of this news junkie and politico, nothing like I have witnessed before. Or read about. The reporters, who I have argued repeatedly are more important to American democracy than our military, plainly stated why such actions were made.

David Muir, “ABC World News Tonight” anchor said, “We’re not witnessing anyone stealing anything tonight. This is democracy and we asked the American people to be patient. They deserve a lot of credit three days into this.”

NBC’s Lester Holt said, “We are watching President Trump speaking live from the White House and we have to interrupt here because the president made a number of false statements including the notion that there has been fraudulent voting. There has been no evidence of that.”

MSNBC’s Brian Williams said, “Here we are again in the unusual position of not only interrupting the president of the United States but correcting the president of the United States. There are no illegal votes that we know of, there has been no Trump victory that we know of.”

CNN’s Anderson Cooper stated, “That’s the president of the United States. Most powerful person in the world. We see him like an obese turtle on his back flailing in the hot sun realizing his time is over. But he just hasn’t accepted it and he wants to take everyone down with him including this country.”

There are those moments in our history when we know parents grab their kids and tell them to watch an event unfolding on the television screen. Perhaps kids are asked to watch the launch of a space rocket, a grand performance at the Olympics, or a moving tribute at a funeral for a national figure. But would any parent have wanted their middle-school or high-school child to have witnessed the autocratic ravings from the White House as trump did all he could to undermine faith in the electoral process of the nation? Would any parent wish their child to watch such a spectacle aimed at undermining democracy?

This morning those sentiments were included in a news column from ‘across the pond’. I have been paying attention to the way this election coverage has resonated for those in other nations. In short, it has not been something we can be proud of.

I remember the huge excitement of being got out of bed as a child for major news events on the basis that, “This is history.” Yet watching Trump have his meltdown on Thursday night, I didn’t exactly feel inspired to get the children out of bed for it. They could watch the giant baby in the morning. We are finally, just about, near the point where it isn’t history. It is just histrionics.

I have asked on this blog, since 2016, if a parent should feel comfortable having their children around a Trump supporter.

Would you feel comfortable as a parent if a Trump supporter sat at your dinner table?  A supporter of someone who denigrates a prisoner of war, laughs and mimics disabled or ill people, has a proven record of misogynist, xenophobic,  racial, and religious animus, and proudly does not pay taxes?   Is that person in your home welcome to engage with your children and spread those views around?

After last night’s absurdity, we need to ask if we should expose children to Trump himself? Try explaining to your children the Trump ‘logic’ that the voters have stolen the election.

And so it goes.

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