To be fair to Donald Trump, maybe he really is worried his kid might take a cue from Hillary Clinton and obfuscate should he ever be challenged about receiving classified materials via an unsecure personal server.
“You know, I have a son named Barron, and I wanna tell you: She is a terrible example for my son and for the children in this country,” Trump told supporters at a rally in Warren, Michigan, on Monday. “That, I can tell you.”
To be fair to Barron Trump and the children in this country, they should be cautioned that however good or bad an example Hillary Clinton might be, the elder Trump is immeasurably worse.
Some say that Donald Trump is himself a child.
But that is unfair to children.
Many children do not know exactly what sexual assault constitutes, but even the ones who thought Trump was talking about grabbing somebody’s kitty cat would know that is not something to brag about.
Most children also know that no boy is so special he can just do whatever he wants to a girl.
Most children further know to keep your hands to yourself and to treat others with respect, as were the playground rules at the Kew-Forrest School that little Donald Trump attended.
Most children intuitively know that their mommies are beautiful and that women should not have to be a particular shape or weight; one grammar school girl asked the other day, “Where does it say you have to be a broomstick with two balloons?”
Most children also know not to label an entire ethnic group as bad, as Trump did when he suggested that Mohawk Indians bring crime and violence to a community and when he branded Mexicans criminals and rapists and when he called for all Muslims to be banned from the country because they might be terrorists.
Most children would also know not to scoff at the grieving parents of a fallen solider, as Trump did with the mother and father of Capt. Humayun Khan.
Most children would also be able to grasp the hypocrisy of doing so when you yourself ducked military service, as Trump did during the Vietnam War.
Most children also know that you should not say one thing and do another, as has Trump in boasting about how much he has done for veterans while devoting years to vanquishing disabled veterans who were exercising a legal right to peddle on the street outside his elegant tower.
Most children also know that you should keep a promise (pinkie swear!), as Trump failed to do when he got the right to build his tower higher by pledging to make the lobby a public space, only to remove a bench meant for tired pedestrians and install a kiosk selling Trump attire and knickknacks made in China and Lesotho and Mexico, but not the USA.
Most children also know that a 58-story building is 58 stories high, even if Trump says that his 58-story tower is 68 stories.
Most children would also know not to lie, lie, lie whenever they do not like the truth, as Trump perpetually does.
Most children would also know not to say that anyone who disagrees with them is dishonest—even when they themselves are the liars, as Trump does by reflex.
Most children also know that when you end up doing something you know is wrong, the thing to do is apologize, as Trump only does under great duress and after attacking has failed.
Most children know that two wrongs do not make a right, where Trump feels that any number of wrongs make a right if he is the one doing them, just as many rights can make a wrong (“a disaster”) if they are done by a foe.
Most children would also know not to try to make themselves look good by falsely saying they gave somebody something, as Trump has done about his charitable giving, even when it came to the families who lost loved ones on 9/11, including thousands of kids who lost a mommy or a daddy or both.
Most children definitely know not to mock people with disabilities, as Trump did with a reporter, or to make fun of people when they fall ill, as he did with Clinton after she nearly fainted on 9/11 this year.
Most children definitely know not to call people names, as Trump did with Lyin’ Ted and others and continues to do with Crooked Hillary.
Most children also know it is wrong to urge others to punch people who disagree with you, as Trump has done at his rallies on occasion.
Most children also know you are supposed to do your homework and any Boy Scout knows the motto “Be Prepared,” but Trump just winged it in all the debates and mocked Clinton’s preparation.
A child is liable to wonder what kind of a daddy is hugely wealthy and takes $7 from charitable funds to pay his son’s initiation fee for the Boy Scouts, as The Washington Post suggests Trump may have done in 1989 when he dipped into the Trump Foundation.
The Boy Scouts also have a law saying a Scout is “Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.”
But the major reason why Trump’s two older sons and his older daughter turned out relatively well despite their father’s example was not the Scouts. It was more likely because he did not raise them.
The older kids were reared by their mother Ivanka, along with her parents—Milos and Maria Zelnicek—with the help of two remarkable Irish nannies, Dorothy Curry and Bridget Carroll of County Kerry.
The older Trump progeny have described the nannies as a vital nurturing force and stabilizing influence in their lives. The nannies were no doubt particularly important while their father was off planting stories in the New York Post about himself and his mistress, Marla Maples.
Many believe Donald was responsible for the headline supposedly quoting Maples as saying he was “THE BEST SEX I EVER HAD.” Donald Trump Jr. was 12 at the time.
“And you didn’t even know what that means,” Donald Jr. told New York magazine years later.
In the same way, children may not have understood exactly what Trump was talking about on the Access Hollywood tape that surfaced last month. The lucky ones were those who had the equivalent of a Dorothy or a Bridget or simply a good mom or dad to offer a much better example of how to be.
One has to think that the example Donald Trump makes was taking hold as he mentioned Hilary Clinton during a rally at a Virginia school in August. A boy shouted, “Take the bitch down!”
The boy proved to be 10, the very age of Trump’s youngest son.
The Virginia boy’s mother told reporters “children will be children” and “I think he has a right to speak what he wants to.” She said he had learned such language at “Democratic schools.”
A good Irish nanny would have told the Virginia boy that this was not a way to speak about anybody. The nanny might have also pointed out a sign that hung in this particular school directly behind the boy and facing Trump.
“Trustworthy, Respectful, United, Excellent,” it read, echoing the Scout law.
The billionaire who may have pulled a $7 scam when enrolling his oldest son in the Scouts and routinely violates the Scout law in just about every way save maybe the clean part was this week worrying aloud that Hillary Clinton would set a bad example for his youngest boy.
You can be sure that Hillary Clinton would not rouse Barron Trump or any other 10-year-old to shout the equivalent of “Take the bitch down!” at the mention of her opponent.
But, to be fair to Donald Trump, Clinton’s example could lead a kid to begin his career as she did, with some do-gooder thing like getting health care for disadvantaged kids rather than proceeding right to getting really rich.