OPINION: Like father, like son
By Andrew Becker
“What is the son but an extension of the father?”
–Frank Herbert (“Dune”)
Our words say a lot about us – how could they not? – and our actions speak louder than our words.
What’s unique about the world today is the capability of our words and our actions to impact a global audience, for better or worse. Twitter limits our words, posing a unique challenge not unlike the poetic form of haiku or the short story of fiction and non-fiction. This limitation has caused many a one before us to pause, reflect, and reconsider the human condition in a way that surmises our universal truths in an instant of self-expression.
For some, however, this limitation perfectly reflects the complexity of their thoughts and the size of their vocabulary; for these few, Twitter seems a broken levy, behind which their ego all but melts away, and from which the id pours forth.
On Halloween, Donald Trump Jr. hoped for the former and slipped into the latter.
In a single indicative tweet, the president’s eldest son summed up the confused ideology of the Trump dynasty: accompanied by a snapshot of his costumed-daughter holding a half-emptied jack-o-lantern bucket o’ treats were the words, “I’m going to take half of Chloe’s candy tonight & give it to some kid who sat at home. It’s never to early to teach her about socialism.”
I shouldn’t have to tell you that candy isn’t capital: there’s no tax, just snacks. I also shouldn’t have to tell you that “some kid who sat at home” on Halloween is most likely too impoverished, ill, or disabled to participate, even though they would most likely love to do so. And I shouldn’t have to tell you that stealing half your kid’s candy (and most likely eating it instead of giving it to the lazy, candy-less kids he refers to) isn’t ideally how socialism works.
How Chloe got the candy in the first place, however, was.
We can all pretend that dressing in costume, walking around houses, and ringing doorbells is a from of service or labor for which children receive candy as a form of compensation (it certainly bears more resemblance to labor than anything Donald Trump Jr. ever did to deserve his wealth, power, and influence); but, seriously. On Halloween, kids get candy because they were born: it’s given to them, like life, an inheritance of tradition. As a society, we celebrate the fact that we give them enough of what they want, just because we can. Replace ‘want’ with ‘need’ and you’ve got the socialist ideal.
The fact that none of this registered with the president’s son, before using a kid’s holiday and his own daughter as a tool to incite political division and ignorance, should alarm us all. His words and his actions with this one tweet reflects overall for that family and their values, and in the coming years, as future political seats open, we should remember moments like this one.
My only hope is that little Chloe learned to enjoy what candy she did get – just as every child should.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Carolinian, the University of South Carolina Upstate, or any affiliated institutions.
Andrew Becker is a senior writer for The Carolinian. Email Andrew with questions and comments.