Monthly Archives: March 2016

I’m with Cokie: It’s (Past) Time to Call Out Donald Trump

Why am I doing this? Sharing political posts on a parenting blog?

Well, I’ll tell you. Because parenting is political.

It’s about whether the leaders we elect care about the same things parents care about: family-supporting jobs that enable one parent to stay at home and raise the kids; clean air to breathe and water to drink and bathe in; affordable college tuition. The list is long.

These are all things I am for as a parent and grandparent. Things I can wrap my head around.

What I can’t wrap my head around is what Donald Trump is for. Like punching people in the face. Lying about nearly everything (I can’t account for his self-aggrandizement). And acting as though a fair percentage of the world’s population should be exterminated – or at least deported.

How is it that someone so oblivious to the rules of civil discourse, and obviously unqualified to fight for anyone other than himself,  Continue reading

The Abusive Paternalism of Donald Trump (Mostly a Reptile) vs. Bernie Sanders, the Nurturing Father Figure

Is it possible that two powerful father-figures are running for president? One, a brazen rich guy with orange hair, parleyed an inheritance into billions, flies around in private jets, and owns hotels emblazoned with his name. The other, the son of poor Polish immigrants, made it all the way to the U.S. Senate and still drives a small Chevy –  the make of which he says he doesn’t know.

While Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders aren’t only presidential candidates in this election cycle, something the media never ceases to remind us of, the excitement among their supporters is indeed unprecedented.

Crowds in the thousands, including a preponderance of young people, wait in line for hours to hear the white-haired, philosopher they call Bernie. The senator from Vermont doesn’t have a superPac because he won’t take corporate money. Instead, the average campaign donation from his fan-base is twenty-seven bucks. While he’s done well in largely white states, Bernie’s popularity has been crossing the racial divide due to his views on income inequity, raising the minimum wage, and educational and job opportunity.

Donald Trump attracts a different demographic – older and mostly white, according a 2015 story in the LA Times. Trump doesn’t need a superPac because he’s rich.  Although he probably has a plethora of corporate donors. His past racist comments on minorities have no doubt given him a black eye, and are a turn-off to people of color. Even sorority girls with fake tans.

Whoever wins the presidency, though, will be at the nation’s helm at a pivotal time. Are we to be ruled by corporations that can spend unlimited amounts on their candidates?

Or are we to be a government “of the people, by the people and for the people…?”

I think we’re still trying to outgrow our adolescence – not yet out of that awkward stage – like teenagers trying to decide what they want to be when grow up, and in desperate need of mature guidance.

Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are both are “outliers,” not of the establishment mold. And each bearing wildly different ideas for a middle class groaning under the weight of lost jobs and low wages, craving the stability of their parents’ generation. You know, a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage. (Or is it a computer in every room? I forget.)

But I’m not going to discuss how they intend to run the country. What I want to talk about is personality.

Trump the billionaire is an outsider to politics, never having been elected to public office. Though I hope he at least had a class in civics. When his sentences don’t begin with the word I, leading to an outrageous proclamation, he’s demeaning, combative, and at times downright vulgar.  He also has a tendency to skewer people. Like Fox debate moderator Megyn Kelly. And how about the time he squirted a water bottle on stage, mocking a nervous Marco Rubio? How is this mature, reasonable behavior?

Sanders, on the other hand, is an insider. A decades-long crusader for the middle class, he’s an old-school gentleman, a good listener, and avowed democratic socialist who cares deeply about the welfare of others, but doesn’t give a ___ what his detractors think.

Let’s take these two outliers apart.

Trump is a phenomenon. He “shakes things up” with his wild behavior, I heard one devotee say. (Actually, it was my 84 year-old mother, whose favorite TV show is Shark Tank.) And he’s completely unpredictable, pouncing on any bit of perceived judgement by threatening a law suit.

Scientifically, this is how a reptile acts: Responding to challenge with a show of colors and finally aggression, fighting to the finish.Reptile with orange head

A reptile’s behavior is ruled by Continue reading