As our kids and grandkids grow up, most of us have recurring thoughts about what kind of world they’ll inherit - whether they’ll be better off than we were - whether their lives will be more peaceful - and loving hopes they’ll experience better conditions than we have.
The way everything changes so quickly these days, it’s hard to tell what the reality of those hopes will be. Some things better - others not so good. Given the nuclear fractiousness we live in, there may be no world to inherit.
But something new - something more personal - has come to mind lately - something that worries me more than all other situations they’ll face. And it all springs from our current national disgrace of a presidential election.
Few media types enjoy writing or talking about Donald Trump. National talking heads excepted. Most of us do it with clenched teeth. Ridenbaugh Press Prop. Randy Stapilus, for one. He’s midway through a 100 day exercise of 100 reasons - often excellent reasons - why Trump should never be president. His jaw has been excessively tight for the last few weeks. Teeth grinding is probably involved, too.
The fear I have is not Trump - the most unqualified, most dangerous candidate for national office in my long lifetime. Nor is it the monumental, simplistic ignorance of millions of Americans who plan to vote for him without the slightest thought of how a Trump presidency would damage the political, legal and moral fibre of this entire country. No, my fears are of something else.
I’m deeply frightened how such a disastrous occurrence would adversely affect the next several generations of Americans. More specifically, my fears are for our children and grandchildren.
Talk to classroom teachers right now. Anywhere. Ask them if they’re seeing more “acting out” - more one-on-one violence - more playground bullying - more disruptions - more bad behavior from kids in the lower grades. Go ahead. Ask ‘em. And don’t be surprised when they answer “yes” to several or all of those factors. And more.
How can children not be affected with the 24-hour cacophony of accusations, lies, confrontations, charges/countercharges, despicable behavior, violence and adults behaving badly that surrounds them? Many kids get regular, traditional lectures about proper behaviors expected of them - civility and courtesy to others; lessons we all were taught. But, what they’re seeing and hearing on all those electronic devices they live with is just the opposite.
Under no condition - none - will there be “peace in the valley” when this national mess is declared over on November 9. Not a chance. The divisions that separate us now will - if anything -be more sharply drawn and more formally pronounced. Donald isn’t going to disappear “into that good night.” In fact, I believe he’ll be an even greater presence with or without the key to the Oval Office.
I believe he’s going to look to the millions of votes he received as a “mandate” to continue his arrogant, racist, misogyny-laced, lying, bomb throwing. Roger Alies - the deposed sexual deviant from Fox News - has not taken up space at the top floor of Trump Tower just to enjoy the view. With Ailes political proclivities and media contacts - and Donald’s ability to come up with the big bucks - creating a “Trump Media Company” would be a no-brainer.
With it, he could outfox Fox. Trump would get his international podium and Ailes would be able to hold his middle finger high in the face of Rupert Murdoch who embarrassed him and separated Ailes from the blonde airheads in his former playground. Trump disavows the idea. Now. But, remember, this is a guy who, if he told you the time, you’d still look at your watch. I don’t believe him for a second. The only thing real about Trump is his ego. His word on any subject isn’t worth the hair spray on his over-coiffed head.
But, even if that doesn’t come to pass, Trump will continue to dominate national media whenever he opens his uninformed mouth as he’s been doing for over a year. Millions will continue to treat him as a “messiah” - deeply flawed but their “messiah.” The divisions he represents - deep and wide - will still be dangerous threats to the life and welfare of our Republic. His political blasphemy isn’t going away.
Adults - at least thinking and informed adults - can and likely will tune out most of his noise and BS. And the wrong-headed millions who support his civic and political ignorance will continue to do so. But, what about the kids? What about young people who - though they’d deny it - take their cues from what they see and hear their elders doing and saying? How could they not be affected? What societal, civic, political and governmental foundations we’ve historically nurtured will erode because of this cretin?
It’s not our future in jeopardy. It’s theirs.