A sign of just how weird things are these days is that we’re pretty much used to hearing Donald Trump’s behavior called childish. His aides have to make sure his name is in any printed materials or he won’t read them. His attention span is notoriously short. Foreign leaders are advised to praise The Donald and to say mean things about his predecessor. His frequent Twitter rants are referred to as tantrums or childish hissy fits.
Then there’s the Tweets from the past which are almost as if he was warning us about himself in 2017.
We need a President who isn't a laughing stock to the entire World. We need a truly great leader, a genius at strategy and winning. Respect!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 9, 2014
And of course, he requires constant praise for whatever he does, even if it’s just a ludicrous ceremonial signing of a piece-of-paper-that-isn’t-even-an-executive-order-just-a-vague-statement. Sort of like the way a parent praises a toddler for any attempt to help, even if it’s not helpful – “Yes, Kendall, you did a GREAT job helping mommy set the table (even if you used the dog’s dishes by mistake).”
But now child psychologists have been pointing out that comparing Trump to children isn’t fair – to children. Most kids actually enjoy reading (even without their names inserted into every paragraph), and they relish learning new things.
Even kindergarteners have learned to cooperate and to take turns, and toddlers as young as 2 show clear signs of empathy for others. And while many kids do sometimes have short attention spans, most of them can sit still for a class (or a cabinet meeting) without requiring ‘dear leader’ type fawning praise. So when we call Trump’s behavior ‘childish’, we’re really insulting most children – not to mention making a sad comment on the state of our nation’s leadership.
On that note, here’s my musical plea on behalf of well-behaved kids everywhere.