September 11, 2018

Is the President a Bad Role Model for Children?

Dana Mathewson

The great Dennis Prager writes this article for Townhall. The question is one that is often heard, and Prager answers it decisively.

As someone who has devoted his life to writing and speaking about moral issues and the importance of character, I am regularly criticized for supporting President Trump. Democrats and Republican opponents of the president consider conservatives who support the president to be, at best, inconsistent with conservative values such as tempered speech, commitment to truth, support for European allies and free trade. And those of us who are religious conservatives and support the president are deemed hypocrites for supporting a man who has presumably committed adultery on more than a few occasions and said gross things about women in a private conversation.

Perhaps the most common objection to supporting the president is this: "He is a terrible role model for children."

So, let me address this objection.

As a father and grandfather, I would like every adult man (and woman -- but I'll confine my comments to men) to be a model for younger men. I consider it to be a moral obligation of every man to aspire to be a model for younger men. Perhaps the most meaningful compliment I receive is when a man calls my radio show or writes an email and tells me that he sees me as a "father figure." I always respond how meaningful that statement is to me and always add that this is precisely what every man should aspire to be.

[...]

So then, if I emphatically support the idea that adult men should seek to be models for younger men, how could I support a president who apparently isn't?

The answer should be so obvious I am disappointed that all conservatives do not readily understand it. The role of the president of the United States is first and foremost to be a good president. If he (or she) is a personal role model, that is a lovely bonus -- but it is only a bonus. When I was young, I never regarded the president of the United States as a personal role model. That task fell on my father, my grandfather, my older brother, my uncles, my parents' friends, my teachers, my rabbis and other older males.

[...]

 If your house were on fire, would you be more concerned with the character of the firefighters sent to extinguish the fire or their firefighting ability?

The generation that grew up under one of the most decent presidential moral models -- Dwight Eisenhower -- turned out to be the most narcissistic, morally confused and unpatriotic generation in modern American history. So much for presidents as models for children.

This great article is found at https://townhall.com/columnists/dennisprager/2018/09/11/is-the-president-a-bad-role-model-for-children-n2517711

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