In a world where controversial ‘Hot Topics’ are abuzz, Brian Gawlak finds the teachable moments in trending issues.
I am scared. As a man, I don’t typically admit that with my out-loud voice for fear I may come across as weak. I am so truly scared I am shouting about it and it is coming from a place of strength and concern and fatherhood.
I decided to watch “On Point With Sarah Palin” a few weeks ago so I could check out her interview with Donald Trump. One of my seven-year-old twins entered my office and asked me what I was doing. I explained that I was watching a woman who once ran for vice president interview a man who is hoping to be the next president.
“You mean like Barack Obama and Biden?” she asked.
“Yes,” I affirmed.
“Are they fired?” she asked as she tilted her head innocently. I chuckled at the Trump/”You’re fired” connection.
“No, their term is almost up so we will have a new president and vice president,” I advised her.
My daughter hung around my office for a bit pretending to read, play with a doll, look out the window – but she was lurking as she does sometimes when she wants me to stop what I’m doing and pay attention to her. As I realized this, Donald Trump began speaking about how he is going to change our veteran’s lives when he becomes president and about how much veterans mean to him, as my daughter walked up to my desk.
“Is that man a liar, daddy?” she asked.
“Why would you ask that?” I asked her through a chuckle.
“Look at his eyes and the way he is talking – that is how you know someone is lying.” Out of the mouths of babes.
I am a political person, but I do not typically like to discuss politics in a public forum. I believe everyone is entitled to their own opinions, and find that personal political debates can get heated. Much to the surprise of many who know me, I am actually pretty middle-of-the road when it comes to politics (with the exception of human rights where I certainly lean liberal). I have been a registered Independent since I turned 18, and have voted specifically for each candidate based on his/her platform. This, however, is not political.
“You’ve called women you don’t like fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals,” remarked Megyn Kelly.
“Only Rosie O’Donnell,” Trump admitted. Click here for reference.
Ms. Kelly tried to point out specific tweets Mr. Trump made about other women, but he was dismissive. Mr. Trump later went on a Twitter attack against Ms. Kelly where he referred to her being off her game after a vacation and then tweeted (from @realDonaldTrump): “The bimbo back in town. I hope not for long (sic).” I won’t even dignify what he said about “bleeding” by referencing it directly.
Mr. Trump continued this barrage on women by remarking on his presidential competition, Carly Fiorina, “Look at that face, would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that the face of our next president?”
When Ms. Fiorina was given a chance to respond, she said, “I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said.” Click here for reference. I promise you, Ms. Fiorina, not just women heard. I not only heard Donald Trump, but his remarks have made the papa bear in me emerge full-force. I thought Trump’s campaign was a joke for a long while (probably longer than I should have). He lost endorsement deals, destroyed business connections, and was offensive to so many people. Great reality television, right? I thought it was all a ploy to promote his show, his business, his clearly frail ego. The fact that he is serious is beyond troubling.
Donald Trump is outspoken, dynamic, self-promoting, and is ‘outside of the box’ – all things I believe resonate with people. I understand those who appreciate his candidness, but it comes with so many negative promises and threats to our society. Is anyone else concerned about what would happen if the world is at the brink of war, and Mr. Trump enters a foreign country that doesn’t suit him and he pouts and shouts insults at that nation’s leader the way he has been talking to/about women? What are the consequences of someone who can fight back with a weapon stronger than Twitter?
I was raised to respect our president and our government, regardless if those in office align with my particular political affiliation and beliefs. I have been trying to instill these same beliefs within my children. I don’t care what party resonates with my children, or what their eventual political affiliation will be, so long as they think for themselves, question everything, and respect those in power.
If I ever hear the words, “President Donald Trump,” I will abandon my entire belief system about respecting the oval office and the government, and choose to empower my daughters as I have been: “you are not defined by your bodies, your looks, or how the world perceives them. YOU are beautiful for your empathy, your sympathy, your inner beauty, and who you are!” If Trump becomes president, I’ll make sure my daughters know that while I don’t support anarchy, I certainly support them having no respect for a man who has no respect for women.
Perhaps Mr. Trump’s ongoing shenanigans will contain a solution to this issue (click here). If not, in a perfect world, the majority of voters will see what my seven-year-old daughter sees, and the headlines the day after will read: “Trump, you’re fired!”
Photo: Flickr/Gage Skidmore