It was November 8, 1960. Election night in the United States. John F. Kennedy vs Richard Nixon for the Presidency. I was eight years old and all in for JFK.
I remember my parents letting me stay up late to watch the election results with them. When Nixon won a state, I dropped an F-bomb in front of my parents. My mom wasn't happy with my verbiage and I think my dad snickered but I know they both felt the same way. I ended up going to bed because eight year olds don't watch election coverage overnight. When I woke up the next morning, Kennedy was President-elect. He was my first real President. Yeah, I had Eisenhower for my very early years but I didn't know him.
John Kennedy was a great first President. JFK and Jackie seemed like a great couple. They acted young and hip which appealed to so many of us. We didn't know they were flawed like the rest of us. We had limited news coverage back then. Even the largest cities had just a few television stations. Cable tv was more than a decade away. The internet was a dream in young Al Gore's imagination. No wonder they seemed so perfect. If we had the outlets there are today, we would have known Jack was slutting around on Jackie with Marilyn and others.
Plus dying the way he did helped to set his legacy. No one could ever be another John F. Kennedy. Certainly not Lyndon Johnson or any of the Presidents that followed. His brother Bobby came close but he was assassinated, too.
I was thinking about all of this the other day when talking about our current President. The four year old age is arbitrary because I know a few people who have children that age, but I wonder what youngsters think about Donald Trump?
We're not in the 1950's anymore. Someone very young is a lot more worldly today than a child born in the era of Leave It To Beaver. Parents may try to hide things like this from them but you know it will occasionally get through. They catch a glimpse of mom watching Rachel Maddow. They walk past dad at the kitchen table and see him reading a story by the New York Times with 45's photo. They hear grandpa yell "FUCK" every time Trump is talking on tv. Then you get to explain two things.
Yeah, kids are definitely hipper and know more than we did back in the now olden days but that doesn't mean it's better.
I know parents are talking to their children about politics and the presidency more than in the past. They have to because these kids have questions...a lot of questions. They have to tell kids what's true and what's a lie. They have to let then know what's right and what's wrong. They have to explain about how this happened. They have to explain Donald Trump.
Parenting under normal conditions is a tough gig. Who would have guessed that Donald Trump would make it tougher?
Related Post: Having a Donald Trump WTF Moment
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