To those Trump supporters, and there are plenty of you (about 47 percent of electors voted for him), I would ask you to evaluate the following issues about your 7-year-old son:
• Your son’s school reported to you (again) that he continues to bully smaller kids, teasing them and calling them ugly names. He especially and relentlessly ridicules girls, kids of color and those practicing other religions. Teachers are particularly concerned about his mocking children whose folks served in the military — some of whom were wounded or killed. Somehow your son heard about the draft during the Vietnam era, and he bragged that there was no way he would ever serve in our military; he claimed that those soldiers were “losers” and “suckers.” Would you tell him that our military, the most powerful in the world, protects our democracy, and it is a noble thing to serve now, especially when there is no draft compelling anyone to do so? You probably would not tolerate this behavior — what would you say to him?
• The school’s science teacher reported that your son has been extremely disruptive in class, bragging (astonishingly) that he knows more than the teachers, the scientists and the professional authors. He refuses to acknowledge the climate change topic; he’s heard that it’s all a hoax perpetrated by China. He also claimed that the current and increasingly deadly COVID-19 pandemic is bogus — echoing reports he heard on the radio and a particular TV station. How would you counsel your son?
• The principal and other teachers also expressed concerns about your son’s inability to compose meaningful sentences longer than four words. He also has difficulty answering questions directly. He bragged about being a “stable genius,” more brilliant than all the teachers. His test scores, homework and verbal skills, however, indicate that his intellectual functioning was barely average.
• Your son recently ran for class president but was defeated by a peer. He claimed that the election was rigged and, being a good parent, you asked the teacher and the school principal to reexamine the ballots, which you personally observed. The election outcome did not change; however, he continued to whine relentlessly about losing, crying foul despite clear evidence to the contrary. You are concerned about this persistent and obsessive screaming and ranting about his perceived gross injustice. Even your neighbors and distant friends have expressed alarm about these temper tantrums; some have even hinted about deficits in your parenting skills. When would you tell your son about his need to simply accept the results and move on, rather than disrupting the lives of others and creating senseless chaos?
• Finally, the school district has recommended that your son be psychologically evaluated because of concerns about his emotional, behavioral and cognitive functioning. Even at his young age, he is exhibiting symptoms of a personality disorder, such as narcissism and antisocial conduct. How would you address these concerns, realizing that failure to do so would create profound difficulties with those who interact with him later in life?