Donald Trump, a wealthy real estate mogul and reality television star who is seen by many as a misogynistic, thin-skinned, xenophobe was elected president of the United States of America yesterday. As it began to become apparent that Trump would win election, Van Jones CNN political commentator and former Obama administration official delivered an emotional and powerful statement summing up the fears many Americans have of a Trump presidency. Throughout the 2016 campaign president-elect Donald Trump acted like a bully, sounded like a bigot, and at times seemed to "wing-it" and came off unprepared flying in the face of what we tell our kids NOT to do. Van said, "there are parents who are afraid... how do I explain this to my children." Below I try to explain it to my children.
Disclaimer: I do not have kids. This is a fictional conversation.
Princess - Fictional 5 year old daughter
Me - Early/Mid 30's fictional father
Princess: Daddy, why did the mean angry man become our president?
Me: Let me start by saying that it's very complicated, but I'll try my best to explain. Do you know how Mrs. Robertson next door is really crabby sometimes? Do you remember what I told you about that? That she's had a lot of bad things happen to her in her life? Those bad things have made her hopeless and become mean on the outside even though she's a really nice lady on the inside. Well, there's a whole bunch of people that are suffering from the same thing Mrs. Robertson is suffering from. Their actions are really ugly on the outside and they're hiding the nice person on the inside. Some of the people that feel that way think that the bad things that had happened to them are because of the leaders. They blame the leaders for their problems. Do you understand so far?
Princess: I think so. Why does she blame the leaders?
Me: Well, because the leaders are making decisions for all of us. And sometimes they make good decisions that help everyone and sometimes they make bad decisions that help only the leaders and hurt a lot of people like Mrs. Robertson. She now thinks the leaders always make bad decisions that hurt a lot of people so she doesn't like them anymore. Do you follow?
Me: Well, the president is the highest leader of them all. He or she is the leader of all the leaders. Donald Trump told Mrs. Robertson that if she picked him for president, top leader, he would use his power to be mean to all the leaders that have caused her so much pain. Mrs. Robertson believed him so she picked him along with a lot of other people. She hopes that giving Donald Trump the power be mean to the other leaders it will solve her problems.
Princess: So by being mean to the people that hurt her she thinks they will stop hurting her?
Me: Right, but remember in this family we don't fight fire with fire. We aren't mean to people who are mean to us. And we help people as much as we can. We are not mean. We embrace people with love and stand with people who are victims of mean people. Like I said, it's very complicated, but I hope that helps you understand why a mean person just became president.
Princess: But what happens now?
Me: Can you please just go the fuck to sleep?