For seventeen years – all of their lives – I have strived to teach my children concepts I think are critical to a happy, healthy, charitable and compassionate life. Some of these concepts, like healthy self-esteem and body image, the ability to have difficult conversations, and the self-confidence to stand up for themselves and others, have been particularly challenging because I’ve had to learn them in the process.
As I sit here and read about your latest insult – comparing your wife’s picture to Mrs. Cruz? Seriously? What are you, 12? – I get the sense that you’re trying to undo all of it.
You are showing my son that to stand up to bullies can mean more – and worse – bullying. You are showing him that being insulting, degrading, condescending and threatening is a door to both economic and political success. My son, who is one of the nicest kids you’d ever want to meet, fortunately still sees you for what you are – a bigot and a bully.
You are showing my daughter that it doesn’t matter how smart she is, how hard she tries, how academically superior she may be, how athletically determined she is – if she doesn’t fit the standard definition of “beautiful,” none of those other things matter. She will not be worthwhile. My daughter, fortunately, who is one of the all-around coolest kids you’d ever want to meet, has a good support network to remind her what’s important, and still sees you for what you are – a misogynist and a bully.
You are showing both of my children that this country, founded on diversity, is instead thriving on hatred, divisiveness, misogyny, intolerance and racism. That we no longer live in the greatest country in the world because that country would not be anchored in those principles. My children, who are the future of this country, this year’s election notwithstanding, fortunately still believe in all that is good in the United States, and in fact may feel it a little more strongly than they did six months ago, when they first encountered someone trying to destroy it.
As a parent, I am asking you to stop. Stop trying to undo my parenting … because you’re wasting our time, and – thank God – you’re wasting your own.