Barron Trump and Chelsea Clinton’s decency.
If a ten-year-old boy had cancer, would it be appropriate to tweet out his condition? Why would a learning disability be fair game?
Life is a mess. In the Trump era, it’s downright messy.
Still, there are beautiful moments that remind us why we must try to be better.
In a characteristic screaming match that defines Trump, he entered an ugly public argument with Rosie O’Donnell. Rosie lashed out by diagnosing Trump’s ten-year-old son, Barron, with autism.
Then on November 22, 2016, O’Donnell posted a compilation video of Barron Trump’s behavior with the caption “Barron Trump Autistic? If so- what an amazing opportunity to bring attention to the AUTISM epidemic.”
Autism Spectrum Disorders involve a complex and heterogeneous set of social, cognitive, and behavioral conditions which challenge even well-trained diagnosticians. Autism requires skilled and sensitive clinical evaluation and treatment. For details, please refer to autismspeaks.org
O’Donnell’s public tweet was clearly meant to hurt Trump. This public message opened the gates to many Trump haters ridiculing this child. Then, Katie Rich, a “Saturday Night Live” writer lashed out with “Barron will be this country’s first homeschool shooter.” This week she was suspended from her position.
Now steps in Chelsea Clinton: “Barron Trump deserves the chance every child does- to be a kid.” She pushed against the online mockery of this kid. As a child of a president now turned mother, she felt the pain of this child. Chelsea was only 12 years old when Bill Clinton took office in 1993.
As a gracious mother and daughter, Chelsea proved herself to be a symbol of decency. In the toxic culture of political hatred, Chelsea raised the level of discussion by
1- Saying a child is off limits,
2- Pausing the political bullying of a child,
3- Exuding grace after her mother, Hillary Clinton, won the popular vote, but lost the much debated electoral vote to Donald Trump,
4- Bringing proper attention to the need of a child to grow up away from public scrutiny, to be able to fail without criticism, what most of us were afforded growing up,
5- Showing that a mother’s love can extend to the rival’s child,
6- Demonstrating that our children are holy, and if they become the target of political stabs then we have defeated the purpose of our very institutions.
We need to pause and thank Chelsea for going high and teaching us the decency of love.