As precarious as it may seem, we’re going to have to trust Congress and our fractured system of government to train president-elect Trump on his duties as president. You know what I mean: budget, taxation, terrorism, immigration, climate change, international relations, war, human rights, pardoning turkeys, …the day-to-day grind such a world leader faces.
But we’re really going to need some help training Trump in how to behave as an appropriate role model for our children and grandchildren. It has been said that it takes a village to raise a child. And when I read that Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway openly referred to Trump as a “ridiculous man-baby,” and when I witnessed day after day of whining, bullying, shaming, lying and all the other controversial behaviors we’ve read about for months, I thought, “Holy crap. We’ll need more than a village with this one. We’ll need the WORLD!”
Training Donald Trump on how to behave as an appropriate presidential role model will be no easy task. That’s a given; but we must try. Our country’s legacy depends on it. We can’t just let him go on and on for four more years being that “ridiculous man-baby.”
So here’s the plan…and it applies to every human on this planet who might ever come in contact with president-elect Trump, be it as a member of Congress, leaders other countries, ordinary folks at public events featuring Trump, invitees to state dinners, servers of any kind anywhere, religious leaders around the world, White House Staff, Trump resort staff…all of us. We need to help this man-child grow up and learn that to earn and receive respect deserving of a president, one must give respect. This means showing him that specific behaviors we have witnessed this past year will no longer be tolerated.
Trump lacks essential listening skills. Instead of truly listening, which is an art, by the way, he is so eager to refute or confirm what is being said to him that he interrupts…constantly.
If you find yourself in a conversation with Trump and he interrupts you, put your right index finger upright (don’t point it at him, please, or he’ll be tweeting about that all night) and say, “With all due respect, Mr. President, please do not interrupt me.” Of course, he will interrupt you again because he can’t help himself. When he interrupts a second time, you lean forward a bit and once again put your right index finger upright and say, “With all due respect, Mr. President, I have asked you not to interrupt me.” When he interrupts you a third time, if you have been seated, you stand and give him a gentle smile; if you have been standing you give him a gentle smile, you say, “With all due respect, Mr. President,” and you give him one of those little British head bows we’ve seen in “Downton Abbey” Then you turn and walk away from this disrespectful, interrupting behavior. And you keep walking.
It doesn’t matter if you’re the staff person who cleans Trump’s toilet, his Chief of Staff, or Pope Francis. We must all stick to the game plan and maybe…just maybe…Trump will get the idea that constantly interrupting people is not acceptable.
- NAME CALLING AND INSULTING
President-elect Trump needs to learn that name calling and insulting others in public and in tweets are behaviors that do not earn the respect of others. Like the rest of us, he can have his private thoughts and conversations, but when communicating in public and representing the United States of America, bullying tactics such as name calling and insulting are “yuge” no-no’s. Even Hilary got caught in the “deplorables” controversy and it cost her some votes. My grandchildren are not allowed to call others names and insult them, and my man-child president-elect should not either.
Over the past year and a half, children and adults around the world have heard candidate Trump refer to others as: loser, total hypocrite, crazy, sick, a zero, a neurotic dope, a total phony, goofy, a dumb group, a dumb guy, dumb as a rock, really dumb, a nasty woman, a clown, a total disaster…and on and on and on. The New York Times piece “The 282 People, Places and Things Donald Trump Has Insulted on Twitter: A Complete List” is a horrific reminder of the bullying tactics used by Donald Trump, the Republican party’s nominee for the President of the United States. Take a look at it. It’s an ugly reminder of an ugly presidential race, and it’s a testament that we have a lot of work to do with this one.
So…what do we do if we are called names or insulted by president-elect Trump?
If you are on the phone with him: hang up. Yes, you can hang up on the President of the United State. I’m sure it’s been done before…at the very least by some of their wives.
If you are talking with him in person: turn around and walk away…and keep walking.
If you are in an audience listening to him speak at a public venue: turn your back to him.
If you are in Congress or attending a NATO meeting where he is speaking: walk out.
If such a communication is presented to you in writing (letter, memo, email, tweet): do not dignify it with any kind of response.
Disrespect earns no respect, regardless of job title. Period.
- WHINING AND BLAMING OTHERS
Oh, God…do we even need to go there? Alas, we do. He’s a man-child, remember? We’re trying to turn him into a president…kinda…sorta.
When children whine, parents are advised that this is a form of attention getting. Does Trump need a lot of attention? Oh, right. It’s Donald. Of course he does…thus he will whine and claim things to be “unfair.”
Then parents are advised to think about what might be triggering the whining. Maybe the child is hungry or tired. Maybe the child needs more one-on-one time with Mommy or Daddy. In some instances it is suggested that parents praise the whining child when he uses his “normal voice.”
We’ve got a 70-year-old president-elect here. You know who has to deal with this behavior? Ivanka and Melania. Let’s pass this one on to them. The rest of us have enough whiners to deal with at home and at work. Good luck, gals.
Fact checking, fact checking, fact checking. Surely this presidential election wins hands down for the most required fact checking ever. All candidates were fact checked continuously. Why? Because we, the masses, are pretty ignorant. We hear what we want to hear and we gravitate to ideologies and values that match our own. Add to that the generally held assumption that all politicians lie, and BINGO, it’s game on… not ”To Tell the Truth”…only to make it look that way.
Journalists, scientists, historians, economists and librarians, this one’s for you. Not you, pundits. We’ve been running on spin forever with your platitudes and presumptions, and it is ruining us. We need facts from reputable sources, and even those need to be concretely defined these days. We, the masses, will support the facts when presented, but in general, we are clueless. So help us out here.
Help us show our children and our grandchildren the consequences of lying, the shame, distrust and fear that festers when lies are left unchecked.
The challenge to turn a ridiculous man-child candidate into a respected presidential role model for our children and grandchildren is mammoth. Some would call it impossible. But we can’t give up. We must stand up…all of us…to the interrupting, the name calling and insults, the whining and blaming of others and the lying. We must stand up to the bully and respectfully disengage his immature and despicable behavior whenever we have opportunities to do so.
Some will say it’s too late. He’s 70. He is who he is. Past behavior predicts best. He’ll never change.
That may be, but at least if we stand up to the bully and show him that he can no longer disrespect us or others because as President of the United States such behavior is unacceptable, then we will be the role models the young in America and throughout the world desperately need.
It’s just a shame Donald Trump didn’t have better role models.