Talking with your kids about ethics and morality in the age of Trump

Harvey Weinstein has been fired because of mounting allegations of sexual misconduct. Specifically, it seems, his board let him go because the public caught wind of this. The scandal comes to light exactly a year after the President alluded to his own tendencies toward sexual assault went public with the now infamous “grab them by the pussy” tape.

And so I ask this not as a means of offering a passive aggressive partisan statement—though it is no secret that I abhor Trump and everything he stands for—but really: How are you talking with your children about ethics and morality in this surreal modern age? How do you talk with them about restraint, or right or wrong? How is their school addressing these things?

How do you talk about bullying, and taking measured stances, when the leader of our country—and the man who represents our brand—appears to be openly picking a fight with a rogue nuclear power? How do you talk with your daughters about safety when then-candidate openly flaunted his disregard for consent and became the “Leader of the Free World” anyway? How do you talk about virtue and thrift and hard work when “drain the swamp” has come to be a euphemism for rewarding corporate criminals and/or robber barons with even more political power than they already enjoy? I guess it’s a more honest representation of all of the grim realities that were once politely hidden away?

It’s not like these tensions are new. Many parents of black, brown and children of color have to have “the talk,” which details the varieties of ways the world—and particularly engagement with the police—can be more fatal for them than it is for white folks. And damn, I just watched Newsies with my daughter and had to explain the root of class violence, and why the police weren’t always on the side of “the good guys.” Real conversations about real issues can be messy and sad and scary, especially for younger children who don’t yet understand the nuances of adult realities.

But there he is, the Pussy grabbing President. Until he collapses under the weight of his recklessness and hubris—if he ever does without taking us all down with him—he will remind that being decent is not even close to being a prerequisite for ending up on top.

So again, how do you talk with your kids about right action, so to speak, in the age of the all-powerful personified troll president?

Alex Steed

About Alex Steed

Alex Steed has written about and engaged in politics since he was an insufferable teenager. He has run for the Statehouse and produced a successful web series. He now runs a content firm called Knack Factory with two guys who are a lot more talented than himself.