So our local GOP chairwoman Amanda Orlando Kesterson, as well as her brother Joe, who is running for re-election to the council, caught wind of a gravestone at the West Parish halloween party that said “Don Trump.” (UPDATE: It apparently according to a few local parents, was part of a game that first appeared at a Boy Scouts party – Kesterson is heavily involved in the local Boy Scouts, for what it’s worth.) And then they ran to the media with it, immediately bypassing the school’s principal and superintendent. I was told becoming massively offended about a tiny thing was what “liberal snowflakes” do, but I guess it’s more bipartisan than they’d care to admit. Was it in bad taste? Probably not the best taste, but there’s some serious melodrama about how terrible and disgusting it was from the same people who “hate PC culture” and whose predecessor in her chairwoman job, Angela Hudak, posted photos of Obama as Osama Bin Laden IN FRONT OF THEIR RESIDENCE. Take a look.
No, Amanda, you’re wrong. We shouldn’t teach our children that the office of the President always deserves respect. It’s sad, but until November I did not imagine I would need to type that sentence. We should teach our children to think critically about what a person worthy of high respect and honor looks like and does, so that they grow into people of high respect and honor.
Each previous president, even the ones against my particular political views, were worthy of respect. They spoke with honor, chose their words carefully (even if written by another person), understood the gravity of their office and the job they sought out. I was not a fan of George W Bush, as it just cemented the idea of “failing upward,” but I respected him just as much. Perhaps begrudgingly at the time, but in hindsight, I now respect him more than I did then. It was only the most respected of men that sought the highest office, to represent us as a people, a nation united.
And along came Trump to garbage up the Oval Office. A man who left in his wake of a career bankruptcies, racist policies that kept people of color out of his rental apartments, broken contracts ruining small businessmen, serious allegations of sexual assault, cheap steaks, and lies. The fact that the man ascended to presidency is an anomaly. He chews respect up and spits it out, daily. So, here’s a list of things our president has said that the local GOP wants our children to show respect for:
“Marlee, is she retarded??” (about deaf actress Marlee Matlin).
“If and when the Vatican is attacked by ISIS, which as everyone knows is ISIS’s ultimate trophy, I can promise you that the Pope would have only wished and prayed that Donald Trump would have been President because this would not have happened.”
“I always wanted to get the Purple Heart. This was much easier.” (Rally in Virginia, August 2, 2016, upon receiving a Purple Heart medal from a supporter.)
“She [Alicia Machado] was the winner and she gained a massive amount of weight, and it was a real problem.”
“Part of the problem and part of the reason it takes so long [to kick out protesters] is nobody wants to hurt each other anymore.”
“He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured, OK?”
“Jeb Bush has to like the Mexican Illegals because of his wife.”
“You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.”
“Heidi Klum. Sadly, she’s no longer a 10.”
“Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?!”
“I’ve done it [filed bankruptcy] four times out of hundreds, and I’m glad I did it. I used the laws of the country to my benefit.”
“I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.”
“Wow! Just think—in a couple of years, I’ll be dating you.” (To two 14 year old girls)
‘Laziness is a trait in blacks. It really is, I believe that.” (so awful I had to include the source)
“You have to treat ’em [women] like shit.”
“[Arianna Huffington] is unattractive both inside and out. I fully understand why her former husband left her for a man- he made a good decision.”
“Bad (or sick) guy!” (a tweet about Obama)
I could go on, but you get the picture.
Maybe Amanda wants her kids to grow up thinking this is an appropriate way to gain respect and act in your daily life, but I will never teach my children that a man who has said these things is to be respected just because he was voted into office. I respect people who fight for our country. I respect people who run into a burning building. I respect people who give up everything they’ve ever known just to get to our country for the smallest possible chance to build a life here. But until Donald Trump does something that commands respect – literally, ANYTHING – no one should teach our children that this is what a leader who commands respect sounds like.