No, America's new leader will not be a good role model for your children.

Amongst the myriad reactions to our new President Trump was the oft-repeated line, “But what do I tell my children?” Well, that’s a valid question. Trump cannot be considered a positive parental role model, after all, no matter what your political ideology.

A good parent does not spew racist rhetoric, demean women, mock disabled people, or lie about what they’ve said or done, especially when it’s captured on video. A good parent does not use their inherited fortune to suppress people of color, cheat on his wives with his subsequent wives, and come under accusation from multiple women for sexual assault. A good parent does not ditch responsibilities like taxes and then accuse everyone else of doing the same. A good parent does not align him or herself with anti-LGBTQ bigots and white nationalists.

Don’t even bother commenting after this article with “I voted for Trump and I’m not racist!” You cannot argue that Trump is not racist, there’s plenty of footage of him being just that. So while you might not be racist, the fact that your candidate is racist wasn’t a deal breaker for you, and you more than disqualify yourself from the “not racist” category right there.

You can’t say it’s because he was going to change Washington as he’s now appointed Washington elites to his administration. Along with those previously mentioned white nationalists that all you non-racists just put in power.

So if you voted for President Trump, you screwed up. You’re either a terrible person or you’re dumb enough to get played by one, meaning you can go ahead and take a seat now. Thanks.

I mean, Jeez, Trump is pretty much a stereotypical comic book super villain. He’s the evil, rich, and powerful asshole that our favorite garishly clad hero must stop from ruling the world.

Examples? Sure. Lex Luthor; The Penguin; Obadiah Stane as played by Jeff Bridges from Iron Man; any other villain from the Iron Man movies, really; and we may as well finish up with the king of the Marvel super villains, Doctor Doom, insanely wealthy despot of the nation state of Latveria, and who Trump is shaping up to be now that he’s President, frankly, except for the brilliant scientist part.

Now, how you help your kids deal with the fact that Doctor Doom is now our President is up to you. But if you’re open to suggestions, here’s a few ways I’m going to roll with it.

Full disclosure: My son isn’t even four years old yet. Although he does know who Donald Trump is, and he does know that (so far) Trump has been an absolute piece of shit (my words, not his), Liam does not yet fully grasp how massive this particular issue is.

1 – Sometimes the Bad Guys Win

Your kids are going to find out sooner or later that the bad guys win in real life. It’s not always like it is in the movies. So what we have here is the opportunity to show them that. Things do not always work out for the best.

2 – Presidents Aren’t Always the Best Role Models

Barack Obama was a great role model for parents. Now we realize how spoiled we were with him as President. He was a family man, clearly loved his children, had an amazing wife, and did everything he could to take care of other parents.

Was he perfect? No. Did he try like Hell to do the right thing even when he had to fight uphill against incredible obstruction? Yep. That’s the kind of Dad you want to be. The man even recently gave Dads baby changing tables in men’s bathrooms. He was a Good Dad.

Donald Trump? His son retweets white supremacist memes, for a start. Something went badly wrong there with his parenting. Refer back to how he’s been described previously for everything else.

What does this mean? The parenting onus is on you, as it should be. The responsibility to show your kids how to be a good person is now on you, and the people you know, love, and trust.

3 – Never Stop Fighting to do the Right Thing

Go ahead and insert whatever saying you want right here. “Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom” works well. “Difficult roads lead to great destinations.” Even “Never give up, never surrender,” from Galaxy Quest works.

You cannot give up when things do not go your way. Especially when you have kids. Don’t be the guy who teaches them to fold at the first sign of resistance.

4 – Never Stop Hoping for the Best

Look, Trump has shown us over and over again who he is, and that isn’t pretty. The Ku Klux Klan held a victory parade when he won. Russia has confirmed they were in communication with his campaign, meaning he’s probably colluded with a foreign government in order to win the Presidency.

Trump has promised that Latinos, Muslims, and women won’t be okay. His running mate Mike Pence has promised LGBTQ Americans that they won’t be okay. His chief strategist Steve Bannon has promised that People of Color and those of the Jewish Faith won’t be okay.

So it’s perfectly fine if you’re not okay with President Trump. He is quacking, moving, and looking like a duck, if by duck we mean “terrible choice to be leader of the Free World.”

But while we need to prepare for the worst, we still need to hope for the best. It wasn’t long ago that I was someone that Current Me wouldn’t trust to look after my own son. We need to leave open the possibility that Trump could prove us wrong.

Unfortunately, the best analogy I have for that is Darth Vader’s redemption before his death, and that was a fictional character who at that point had carried out genocide at a galactic scale and was probably irredeemably twisted by being retconned as a whiny boy band wannabe in those godawful prequels anyway, but that’s a story for another time.

Regardless of my coming up empty on a good analogy though, it doesn’t matter if you hate Trump’s example, he is not your child’s parent. It doesn’t matter if you love Obama’s example either, he is also not your child’s parent.

Just because this situation isn’t ideal for you doesn’t mean you should just throw everything you believe in aside. Because when it comes down to it, the person who is going to parent your kids is you, and nobody else.

What we have here is a test for you. To be a parent is not always an easy thing, and sometimes you will be forced to explain to your children that things aren’t always going to be awesome. Sometimes the person who is supposed to be our leader is going to come off like a complete dumpster fire.

We cannot control the outside world, as much as we desperately want to. We cannot win every battle, every election, and we can’t always have our way. This is our opportunity to show our kids that this is how the world is. This is our chance to show them what a truly good parent does in the face of bile and ignorance.

The bad thing about America is that we do not always get everything we want. Hell, Trump even played “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by the Stones at his rallies, so he was at least being straight up about that.

But the good thing about America is that this country gives us the opportunity to learn from our mistakes. What Americans do better than almost anyone is get back up when we’re knocked down, and re-apply ourselves to a problem.

So how do good parents deal with President Trump? The same way they deal with anything else. They take it day by day and suss out for themselves the best way to deal with situations as they arise. How exactly we deal with this is up to each of us and how we relate to our children.

But it must involve honesty and reinforcing what responsibility, accountability, and tolerance means to you as a good Dad, and not the example that President Trump may not but probably will be presenting.

Ultimately, that’s what we should be doing regardless, no matter who is our President.

Chad R. MacDonald has a degree in English literature from Cape Breton University and subsequently received a full scholarship to AMDA in New York City. He is a former security professional, veteran of the hospitality industry, and experienced in both the arts as well as administration.He has been writing all his life, likes baseball, hockey, literature, science, the arts, and marine photography.Chad lives in Brooklyn with his wife and son and their gigantic cat.

Leave a Comment