Spare the rod and spoil the child. That’s what they say, right? Set boundaries and enforce them. Kids need to know what the rules are.
Apparently, the rule in this Texas woman’s house is that no one votes for Trump. And you have to see it on camera to believe it, but she actually goes through the staged drama of yelling at her 7-year-old son, packing a bag for him, forcing him out the front door with it, and requiring him to stand on the sidewalk outside holding a sign that reads “My mom kicked me out because I voted for Donald Trump.”
The video is hard to watch. The poor terrified little boy is utterly distraught, sobbing his heart out.
(A language warning adds to the festivity.)
A Fox story on the domestic contretemps captures some of the dialogue:
“Since you voted for Trump, you can get your s—t and get out,” the woman is heard saying to the boy as she records the video on a cellphone. As of Friday the video had been shared more than 200,000 times, sparking outrage and demands that she be locked up. “Uh, uh, the suitcase is packed by the door.”
The boy bawls uncontrollably as he’s shown to the door with the suitcase and a handmade sign that says, “My mom kicked me out because I voted for Donald Trump.”
“Bye Donald Trump lover,” she is heard saying.
Later in the video the boy stands on the sidewalk with the sign and tells the camera he voted for Trump because saw him a lot on TV.
At one point, we see a second boy, apparently the brother of the Trump voter, also weeping hysterically as the 7-year-old is forced to stand alone down the sidewalk, holding his sign and the handle of his bag.
When the Fort Bend Sheriff’s Office inquired into the situation, the mother said it was all a “joke.”
Detective Joe Luera of the Fort Bend Sheriff’s Office told the station that as disturbing as the video is, investigators haven’t found evidence of a crime. He said the investigation was continuing.
Luera told another station, KTRK-TV, that he met the family and saw the boy who appeared to be in good health.
“She explains it was a joke,” he told the station.
The boy was no doubt relieved beyond measure to be allowed back in the house and reconciled to his parent. But I think most people understand he will never forget this, and it will color how he views and interacts with the world for years to come.
This is the kind of thing it’s beyond the capacities of government to deal with usefully. That doesn’t mean this woman isn’t in need of counseling. It does mean that it’s almost certainly not the right move to further upend her children’s lives with a dramatic intervention by law enforcement, or even child protective services. (The boys do look well cared for, and the home tidy and comfortable.)
This is a job for, say, Grandma, or a pastor, or — imagine — a father (whose presence, if there were one in the home, would probably have averted the entire incident. The converse, under slightly different conditions, could have been true as well. Fathers and mothers may lack wisdom in equal measure, but having both is remarkably effective at raising the overall wisdom quotient in the household).
I make these points to stress that I’m not a friend of leaping into busybody interventions by the state. A lot of people will reflexively insist on just that, but I don’t agree.
What I do think we’d all agree on is that it looks like a form of psychosis, to be so overcome by the very idea of Donald Trump that you lose all your perspective as a mother, and put your 7-year-old through such an ordeal. Each of us will have to decide what we think our unfortunate fellow Americans are being whipsawed by, as they riot in the streets, beating up people’s dogs and calling en masse for the assassination of a president-elect and urging the rape of his wife.
Whatever it is, there’s no pretending it away. This is really happening. I am grateful for every comment I see from kind souls who realize that these people need help. We just also need to keep in mind that under no circumstances should they be in charge.