we cannot shelter our children from the things we want them to stand up to

Depending on how old and how interested in politics your children are, chances are the topic of Donald Trump has come up. And if it hasn't, it probably will. And if it won't,well... you might want to bring it up anyway. Because for the first time in our living history, a PROUD BULLY is winning his party’s presidential nomination. 

Don't get me wrong. I don't understand how anyone could support Cruz, either. His ideas are just as scary (if not scarier) to me than Trump's. But he doesn't deliver them like a frat boy before a hazing.

And surprisingly (but at the same time, not at all surprising at all) a large part of America LOVES that about him. Because he's "tough" and "speaks his mind." Because he knows what it's like to be a rich white person struggling in America? Because bullies make you feel safe when they're your friends.
Bullies make you feel like you can do and say anything without consequences. 

Racist things. 

Sexist things. 

Hateful things. 

Trump is what happens when bullies are rewarded with attention, which is why I think Trump, in all his awfulness, is presenting parents with a FANTASTIC allegory to discuss and dismantle. Like The Emperor's New Clothes in real time. Or Yertle the Turtle with a Combover. 

Trump is a cautionary tale come to life. And I believe the ONLY good we have to gain from his presence is our willingness to discuss WHERE Trump comes from and WHY we must do what we can do to keep hate-built Frankensteins from rising to the top in the future. 

And Trump? Well, he's a child. And it’s VERY easy for a child to understand him because he is no different than the bullies on the elementary school playground. He’s an insecure kid who is acting out violently because he KNOWS he will continue to get attention when he does. 

Kids get that. 

Hell, Archer got that within two seconds of hearing Trump debate for the first time. 

"This guy is more like a toddler than a man." 


...I've always felt it dangerous to teach children to do as I say... Hell, even the idea that all children must respect their elders is bullshit as far as I'm concerned. There are plenty of elders who do not deserve to be respected. There are teachers who get away with treating students like shit. And there are leaders in our nation who do the same. 

Because challenging authority is, in many cases, doing what is right. And Trump is a great example of what happens when the bully emboldens half the playground to join his team. 

...Last week I read the following article about a girl who recorded her teacher saying HIDEOUSLY insulting things to her in class. HE WAS WRONG and she knew it, so she stood up to her bully, even though he was her teacher -- even though she (and every other student) is taught to LISTEN and RESPECT authority figures.

Yeah, except when, NO. 

Just because you're a teacher with tenure doesn't mean you can get away with abusing your students. Just because you're an officer of the law doesn't mean you can get away with shooting people. 

Calling out authority figures for DOING THE WRONG THING isn't just "OKAY," it's IMPERATIVE. 

And our children should know that. They should know that growing up doesn't absolve a person -- or group of people -- of childish behavior. That children have just as much a right as anyone to challenge authority -- to call out bully behavior whether it's from a peer at school, a teacher, or a presidential candidate.
...Trump is representative of what our country has ALWAYS tried to hide about itself -- its systemic racism, classism, sexism, thirst for violence. He is, in a way, releasing all of the skeletons America has in its closet. Trump forces us to look in the mirror and to face our shit head on. ALL OF US. Children, included. Because when we don't include our kids in the global conversation, we are saying that their voices don't matter -- that their opinions aren't valid -- that they don't have control to make change. 

And they do.