Trump calling people names

Children Know: Name-Calling isn’t Presidential

If you ask most school children what the President does, they can tell you right away — the President is the leader, the one entrusted to make decisions and chart directions on behalf of all the country. And, uh-oh, looks like we’ve got a problem here if the leader is bent on name calling in the crudest ways, yucking it up on twitter as if we all just slap dashing around in some pro-wrestling match.  (Shouldn’t he be preparing for a meeting with Vladimir Putin or something?)

Trump uses name-calling, anger, and bullying as a tool to divide the country. As someone who grew up in the midwest watching pro wrestling and now lives on the east coast, I get it. He’s built on resentment. Rather than uniting the country toward a common goal, serving those who’ve been left behind, and creating the best health care in the world for all in the US, he’s fanning the flames of resentment and anger. He’s solidified a small base of people who, rather than feel hope, feel the satisfaction of anger-bashing a perceived enemy.

Any schoolchild will know that’s not what’s expected of a President. That’s not what children learn from Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln. That’s not what a President does.

Trump's disparaging comments about women

Can Children Help Trump Speak More Respectfully?

There’s a golden age — maybe four or five? — when children learn there are “bad words” and may begin to test them out.  Someone is “stupid” and, yikes, they realize they shouldn’t have said that. And, hopefully, as children mature, they come to realize that what you get out of the world is connected to what you put into it, and if you’re pumping out bad feelings about other people all the time, you will often get the same in return.

But what happens when adults don’t make that connection and continue to pump out bad words and feelings about other people frequently? And what happens if they become President? And they are trying to pass legislation they think is important, and improve their standing among the population, and gain respect and cooperation from other leaders? But instead, they dwell on the bottom, calling other people “psycho”, “low IQ” and “crazy”? And look for hurtful ways to demean people physically?

Children will come to realize there is something wrong with that person. That they aren’t a normal adult, and they aren’t acting in a way that adults should act. Children grapple with these issues — and so maybe then they’d be best to advise Trump. Organize an advisory council of children, one from each state, working with him every morning on how to communicate with decorum before he picks up his iPhone.

Obama’s Lessons for Trump

Donald Trump has been criticizing Barack Obama pretty consistently since taking office, accusing Obama of wiretapping him, dismissing Obama’s policies on climate change, health care, and Russian hacking (of all things). And on each of these topics, Trump is either heading in the wrong direction or taking not a stance at all. (Is it not a concern that Russia intervened in our election? Is it ok if they do it again?)

Well, we have news for President Trump: he could learn a thing or two from his predecessor. In our book, Obama appears in the final pages to remind us what it is to have a President who can communicate with the country (and not just tweet to his followers). President Obama reminds us our country is best when “people of every background and belief find a way to set aside smaller differences in service of a greater purpose.”

It’s a belief that has guided us in our book, and we hope that it offers hope for the future through civic engagement (and protest when necessary). We need a leader who leads the country toward that greater purpose.