There was a kid I knew, back in the day. Let’s call him Steven. Steven and I were in the same grade at the time, the first, which put us at around five or six years old.
Steven was one of those kids who couldn’t resist being bad. He’d flip-off the refuse collector while standing on the opposite side of the schoolyard fence. He’d steal from our teacher’s desk. He’d flip a desk over, or break something, just because he felt like it.
Each of those behaviors was bad enough on their own. Even my five year old brain knew it. But, in my mind, it was even worse was that Steven couldn’t seem to shut up about his behavior.
He was a braggart; It wasn’t enough to flip-off a stranger, or to flip over a classmate’s desk, to steal, or to do damage to the property of others. Steven also had to draw attention to these behaviors.
But, even at five years old, I knew it was worse still that, when Steve alerted others to these indiscretions, he’d lay blame for them at someone else’s feet.
“Look here, everybody! Someone flipped-off the garbage man. It wasn’t me; it was Sally!”
“Look here, everybody! Someone stole from Mrs. Francis’s desk. It wasn’t me; it was Joe.”
“Look here, everybody! Someone broke the fishtank. It wasn’t me; it was David.”
It was a relief to move on from the first grade, and to move on (and far) from Steven.
It’s for this reason that I found one of today’s many idiotic tweets from Donald Trump so repulsive:
Here’s the thing Steve; I mean, Donald:
You’re the one who inappropriately gave your seat at the G20 to Ivanka.
You’re the one who’s under investigation for “giving the country away”.
You’re the one who’s loud, and rude, and crude.
You’re the one who’s breaking and stealing, left, right, and center.
It’s not Bill Clinton, nor is it Hillary Clinton. It’s not Barack Obama, and it’s certainly not Chelsea Clinton.
You are the problem.
So, like little Steven in the first grade, If you’re going to break stuff, and steal stuff, and trample on the feelings and reputations of others, at least be man enough to own it.
Its the 11th of July, 2017. It’s not a normal day.
Follow me on Twitter at @DecisionLab.