https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2...lumn/102402728/How conservatives betrayed virtue for Donald Trump
In the 1990s, as President Clinton’s scandals unfolded, conservatives insisted that character mattered and worried deeply and often loudly about the toxic effects of our politics on the culture. What message, they asked, were we sending our children?
So, what is the message now?
Consider the problems of raising children in in an era in which our most famous role model is President Trump. As parents, we struggle to teach our children empathy and compassion. We hope to teach them character, humility, impulse control, kindness and good sportsmanship. We want them to learn how to win and lose graciously, treat others with respect, avoiding name-calling, and tell the truth even if it’s inconvenient.
Good luck with that now.
Young people only need to flip the channel to see what success looks like in America today. Whatever we tell them, young people have a keen sense of what traits or behaviors are rewarded and celebrated. They have an acute sense of the hypocrisy of a society that touts virtue but lavishes fame, wealth and power on people who flout them.
Especially for young men still searching for a model of what it means to be a man, Trump’s behavior will carry significant weight. And why not? He may be a bully, a fabulist, a serial insulter and abuser of women, but our alpha-male president is a billionaire, married to a super model, and has been elevated to the most powerful job in the world. That is a powerful symbol because for many young men, Trump is both liberating and revolutionary: freeing them from the demands of civility and what many of them see as overly feminized hypersensitivity.