Yes, there are some topics that are off-limits

Date Published: 
Jan. 27, 2017

According to figures supplied by very respectable sources, inauguration crowds numbered in the...


Nah, I’m not going down that road. Nope. Not happening.

There are things that are extremely important right now, and bickering back and forth over the amount of people who watched a president get sworn into office does not make the list. In the immortal words of Queen Elsa of Arendelle, “Let it go.”

And, to be clear, I say that to both sides of the aisle.

There are very real issues surrounding us, and our new president — distractions notwithstanding — has gotten off to a remarkably fast start in a flurry of meetings and executive orders. Like his cabinet picks, there are some I agree with and some I don’t, but you can’t deny the fact that he has jumped in with both feet and appears to be keeping to the promises he made to his supporters during his campaign.

There’s something to be said for getting what you expected from your candidate. Of course, there’s also some reasons for concern if you weren’t a member of Operation Trump.

But that’s for each of you to figure out on your own. I’ve never felt like it’s my job to try to shape the way people think, as much as it’s my obligation to start conversations that require people to make up their own minds. As a nation, we are better when we consider not only both sides of an argument, but all sides of an active discussion. As a community, we are better when we start with common ground and work from there.

So, no, I will not be weighing in with my personal views of issue-based decisions made by our president and national leaders because they are, obviously, my personal views. They’re based on the way I was raised, the things I was exposed to, the books I have read and the screwed-up way I’m wired in the head. I have been disappointed by both major parties at some points in life, proud of both of them at other times and befuddled at others.

But there is one little item from the inauguration festivities I feel needs addressed: The unfair treatment of Trump’s youngest son, Barron.

There were countless memes floating around social media ridiculing the child, people openly pontificating on his mental state and one writer from “Saturday Night Live” stupidly opining that he would be the first home-school shooter.

The boy is 10 years old.

This was not acceptable when people mocked Chelsea Clinton, the Bush twins or the Obama children. It was not funny when people ripped into Amy Carter, or any other children who came before them. It’s repugnant. It’s disgusting. And it’s filthy.

To the people that did, and continue to insult him, are your lives that depressing and pathetic that the only way you can feel better about yourselves is to mock a 10-year-old boy? And, what is the motivation? You think his father is not sensitive, so you attack his pre-teen son?

Give me a break.

When I was 10 years old I was mostly interested in breaking in my new baseball mitt, wondering if Fonzie would make the jump over the school buses or seeing how many crickets I could fit in my mouth at once. If I got bullied, it was by a few older kids in the neighborhood, and I either took off running or stood my ground for a quick, and mostly harmless, beating.

What I didn’t have to deal with was a bunch of cowardly keyboard-warrior losers firing off insults about my appearance or state of mind.

What is off limits? We ridicule spouses and children of famous people, make fun of people’s religious beliefs and question the intelligence and sexual identities of people we’ve never met. Believe me, I get frustrated by the massive over-sensitivity of people all the time, but there still has to be some things that have to be considered blatantly out of bounds, right?

Right?

Look, I know that there are six or seven of you out there who actually read this column, even if it’s just while laying it face-up in your bird cages or while picking crabs on my picture. And I know from my emails that there are some things I write that people agree with, and some things that drive people nuts.

And that’s fine. I attach my name to it so the conversation can continue long after our paper goes to press. I’m a big boy and can take some criticism. But extend that to my family with insults or worse, and you’re going to get called out for it. I promise you that.

President Trump can admittedly get on my nerves with his thin-skinned responses to things and the blustery diatribes against anyone who disagrees with him. It’s just who he is, and I think we all understand that’s who he is. Debate his policies, question his ethics, lampoon him whenever you see fit. He’s fair game, and a grown man.

But leave Barron out of it.

Let him see the world as a 10-year-old boy would see it, at least as much as someone in such a bright spotlight can. He probably has decades and decades ahead of him when he has to deal with adult responsibilities, and other adults. Give him this time to just be a little boy. Let’s muster up enough common decency to at least do that.