If you haven’t heard yet, Donald f*in Trump is the next president of the United States. I’m sure many would agree that this is some bullsh*t, but I’m going to stop there. I think I’ve a more poignant point (pointnant?) that rings oh so loudly.
You see, I’m a teacher. As such, I’m on the forefront of the future. This is not me bragging or patting myself on the back, I’m simply stating that children are said to be our future and teachers work with children, ergo I get to see what may be a norm in the generations to come.
I gleaned what may well be a new cultural standard in the coming years from a recent conversation with a talkative, precocious first grader with long, scraggly blond hair. I was in the library at a local elementary school when this insightful ragamuffin voiced his gaiety that Donald Trump will be our next president.
Of course, in my head I’m thinking kid, we need Donald Trump as president about as much as we need an enema (entertaining when it happens to someone else); but I held my tongue, and I’m glad I did because his next comment both frightened and amused me.
As if trying to sell me on Trump as president, he very casually said,
“He only lies a some of the time, not as much as he used to.” I guffawed. He reacted as if it were a statement of fact, not meant to inspire comedy.
It occurred to me then that honesty has been compromised. It’s no longer about lying or not lying. It’s about who lies the least and/or who’s best at covering it up. Shouldn’t the expectation be total transparency from our elected officials? Will this become a party slogan in the years to come? “Vote for Justin Bieber (I can conceive of this happening now), he tells 40% fewer lies than his opponent.” Or maybe, “research indicates that one out of every four statements made by Trump in the 2016 election was found to be a lie. Justin Bieber vows to lie only once for every five statements*. That’s a 20% reduction in zingers coming from your commander in chief. So a vote for Justin is a vote for more honesty (not too much though).”
Anyway, I’m getting off track here, the point is the ethical landscape of our culture is overgrown with lies and deceit without a standard of decency to maintain it. The boy can’t be faulted for his opinions, he’s only 7 or so; but do his words ominously predict a future of “honest enough”? Or am I overanalyzing something a child said?
*This statement may or may not be true.