The tragic triumph of childishness

This is why we elected a man-child to the highest office in the land

The author is a retired community college instructor.

If you spend time on Facebook, it’s likely you’ve come across some variation on the meme purveying the idea that though you have to grow old, you don’t have to grow up. Not growing up is often extolled as a good and desirable thing. Lots of people, especially Americans of my generation, seem to think that lifelong childishness is somehow a goal worth pursuing.

But it’s not. Responsibility is the essence of adulthood, and far too many Americans evade adult responsibility whenever it seems too onerous. People brag about not reading newspapers or watching the news. The number of Americans polled who admit to not reading books—any books—is appalling. Far too few take seriously their responsibilities as citizens. Half of us don’t vote, nor do we take the trouble to inform ourselves about issues or candidates. Too many people—left, right and center—vote as if it’s a high school election, a contest of popularity divorced from anything that matters. Many brag that they don’t do “adulting” very well, and aren’t much interested in trying.

That might explain how we elected an overgrown man-child as our president, an overweight and over-age spoiled brat who won’t eat his veggies, plays more than he works, cheats and throws Twitter tantrums whenever he’s criticized or thwarted.

His language skills haven’t developed much beyond fifth or sixth grade (everything is “terrific” or “fantastic” or “great,” unless it is a “disaster”). His understanding of history, our system of government and of the Constitution is characterized by childish ignorance. He is utterly self-centered, lacking empathy for those less privileged. He does not play well with others, and he has a 2-year-old’s concept of sharing. He sees women through the eyes of an arrested-development adolescent, as toys to play with or to demean with “locker room” talk. He tells lies whenever it suits him.

Much was heard during the Obama presidency about the desire for a leader who looked like America. It appears we got one.

And now we’re home alone.