Our kids are asking and we have no easy answers
It is not always easy for parents to answer their young kids' questions. I'm not talking about the typical questions about the birds and the bees, or where babies come from. Rather, I am talking about more specific and unconventional questions. The most recent one, which was quite timely, went something like this: what is wrong with the Democrats, why do they hate the president, and why are some encouraging their followers to fight with those who support the president?
How are we, as parents, supposed to answer such questions? On the one hand, it is obvious that not all Democrats promote, or engage in, such conduct. Some are smart and open to discussing matters in an intellectual manner. These Democrats make it easy when talking to our children. We simply explain that they are good, nice people who don't agree with some of the president's policies and who have different views and perspectives about different issues.
Sadly, the old-school, traditional Democrat is no longer easy to find. Rather, the Democratic Party has been redefined. These days, many members of the party share a dangerous hatred of the president. Some in the party have publicly called for "engagement." Some opponents of the president have kicked patrons out of bars simply because they wore MAGA clothing. Others have mocked or confronted members of the president's staff or his supporters while they peacefully ate at a restaurant or attended a movie.
Conduct of this nature and calls for socialist-type behavior by some new and younger Democrats make it difficult to answer our children's questions. Our children see the hatred on television, hear it in their schools by some of the very teachers who play a role in shaping their minds, and experience it with their classmates and friends.
Not too long ago, a child was being harassed by one of his "good" friends and some of their mutual friends because of his political affiliation. The child was a Trump-supporter and was quite conservative. He was being laughed at, ridiculed, teased, and ostracized by several kids who came from liberal homes and whose parents had brainwashed them to think the president is a terrible human being. Despite efforts to speak with some of the parents, nothing was done!
Not all Democrats are like this. Some are kind, smart, and receptive. Sadly, as this story shows, some aren't.
This did not make much sense to the child. On the one hand, the kids who teased him consistently used terms like "kindness," "compassion," and "acceptance." On the other hand, they acted in a manner that did not coincide with this message. They were mean, angry, unaccepting, intolerant, and foolish. They weren't being taught how to intelligently discuss points of disagreement. Rather, they were being taught to hate and talk down to someone simply because they did not agree with him. This is a dangerous precedent and is a classic example of poor parenting.
Considering these things, how do we as parents respond to our children's questions? Do we tell them we really have no explanation? Do we tell them that those Democrats who engage in such hateful rhetoric and conduct are not a reflection of the Democratic Party as a whole? Do we tell them the truth, which is that many in the party simply hate the president so much that they are willing to go to any lengths to see him lose?
There is no easy answer that can explain the behavior that we are witnessing. What is even more worrisome is that kids are asking such questions at a young age. When many of us were younger, we spent most of our time playing outside, riding our bikes, going out to eat, and having sleepovers. We did not discuss politics.
These days, we have no choice! Teachers improperly discuss and impose their personal political opinions at school, parents brainwash their children that the president and his supporters are terrible people, kids discuss politics at school and team up against those with opposing views, and the biased news networks consistently demean the president of the United States.
Kids are impressionable. They emulate what they see and hear at home, at school, and with their friends. In answering the questions above, parents might be better served by taking the high road and putting extra emphasis on teaching respect, kindness, strong values, and the ability to intelligently discuss items of contention. By doing this, parents can show them the right way to act. After all, isn't this what they should be learning as kids?
Mr. Hakim is a writer and a practicing attorney. His articles have been published in World Net Daily, American Thinker, Sun-Sentinel, and other online publications.