The War Against Children

Imagine yourself as an American from Anywhere, U.S.A. It is 8:45 on a Saturday morning. You are running a bit late for your seven year-old son’s 9:00 soccer game.  Your wife has your nine year-old daughter in the family’s other car, headed for a soccer game at a different venue. You start the car, and immediately the radio blares out:  Men…YOU…WILL…BE…LARGER. All you have to do is take this little red pill, and you will immediately notice the difference in size. Your wife will be satisfied, and will thank you! You glance over at your son and see him giving you a quizzical look.

It was just last night at the dinner table that this family of four had a serious discussion about how children should deal with television ads touting Viagra and Cialis, or, whether children should even be subjected to such ads. This family unit decided that parents should carefully monitor programming and shield children from shotgun-style advertising directed at an adult audience.  Then comes this unprovoked assault on tender ears. But there is more.

Being impressionable, the seven and nine year-old children have seen the leader of our country on television and discovered that it is ok to lie; it is ok to mock the disabled; it is ok to degrade women;  it is ok to be a bigot; it is ok to be a bully; and it is ok to be offensive. And one should never apologize for violation of social niceties.

Youngsters everywhere have been exposed to a litany of grievous behavior by a 71 year-old man who makes no attempt at civility, and has never been held accountable. He is a con man; a mere carnival barker who migrated from reality television into the murky world of politics.

Trump is a failed investor. His 1995 tax returns revealed losses of nearly one billion dollars. He had to borrow money to cover his losses, but U.S. bankers denied him any credit as an extremely poor risk. He thus went overseas and obtained financing from shadowy money managers.

To tidy up his tattered reputation, Trump began sponsoring beauty pageants and hosting reality television. It appears that rubbing elbows with pretty women and the Hollywood elite gave Trump the courage to become a sexual predator. This he revealed in an Access Hollywood taped conversation with host Billy Bush. Trump indicated that he might start kissing a woman he was about to meet during filming, and then said:

“I don’t even wait.  And when you’re a star, they let you do it, you can do anything…grab them by the pussy.”

On the day that Donald Trump announced his candidacy for the office of President of the United States, he decided that since a handful of the migrant population out of the millions who crossed the border had committed crimes, that all Mexicans were “rapists and criminals.”  Later, he even referred to those so-called criminals as “murderers.”

New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski suffers from arthrogryposis, a congenital condition that appears arthritic and limits movement of the joints. Trump callously mocked Kovaleski’s disability during a campaign rally when he  grotesquely contorted his face and flailed his arms while saying, “Ahh, I don’t remember what I said! Ah, I don’t remember!” Sad, but true.

No one will soon forget Charlottesville, in the aftermath of which Trump referred to his racist and white nationalist supporters as “fine people.”

Donald Trump lives to insult and bully; anyone, any time, all to feed his own insecure ego. This man is clearly not well.

So, this is Trump, the man―a man who claims after a short tenure of months to be the greatest president, with the possible exception of Abraham Lincoln, who ever lived.

While the Trump candidacy attracted its fair share of  sycophants and humanity’s outliers like white nationalist Richard Spencer and former KKK leader David Duke, many of his supporters seemed almost normal; almost. There is a frightening validity to the Trump statement “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters.” These voters suffer from illusory superiority, a condition otherwise known as the Dunning-Kruger Effect. This is the inability of low-ability persons to recognize their own ineptitude, and thus defines the psychological architecture of apologists and a cult-like following.  There is nothing, absolutely nothing… in the factual universe that will pry these blissfully ignorant followers from their adopted leader.

The accepted meaning of the suffix phile is “one that loves, likes, or is attracted to.” Consequently, Trump supporters, including the vile, the disgusting, and the seemingly normal, may be joined into one group, which may legitimately be referred to as “trumpophiles.”

In the August 1, 2017 edition of Psychology Today, Thomas G. Plante, Ph.D., ABPP, gives some valuable pointers for parenting in the toxic world of the Trump era. In part, he stated:

Research in psychology highlighting social learning theory helps us to better understand that impressionable children (and others) will surely model behaviors that they see from important people such as parents, coaches, teachers, Hollywood celebrities, star athletes, and of course, well known politicians who are frequently in the news.

While we certainly can’t control the behavior of others or completely control what our children are exposed to via mass and social media we can make clear to them what our expectations are for behavior, ethics, and values and be sure to model the very behaviors and perspective that we endorse.

If we want to live in a world of honesty, integrity, respect, concern for others, and so forth then we have to push back hard to model and support these values and behaviors at every opportunity. Treating others as you wish to be treated is a really good rule of thumb regardless of one’s political points of view.


We incarcerate pedophiles like Jerry Sandusky for molesting the bodies of young people. Many of us believe that deviants who are aroused by the thought of sexual relations with children, and subsequently act on those emotions, should be castrated, executed or imprisoned for life. And yet, we stand dumbfounded and impotent while Donald Trump and an arrogant breed of trumpophiles ―Trump’s army of bigots, boot-lickers and apologist supporters―assault, ravage and destroy the minds of our most innocent population. Why?

Trumpohiles and pedophiles; two peas from the same pod.

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