President Trump’s apparent (and frankly, understandable) disgust for his male children is one of the more amusing subplots of a presidency sorely lacking in any kind of levity, especially considering how strenuously Don Jr. and Eric Trump have debased themselves in their desperate efforts to win their father’s approval.
No matter how hard they try to publicly defend him and promote his agenda in the media, Trump still treats them with scorn and contempt, most recently seen in the admission from Don Jr. that his dad told him to stop tweeting so much even though every tweet he makes is in support of his father.
The president’s bizarre relationship with his sons was brought back into public discussion on Monday after video began circulating of Trump speaking at the Farm Bureau Annual Convention and Trade Show in Austin, Texas on Sunday.
On an unprompted and deeply uncomfortable tangent, the President asked whether or not there was anyone in the room who hated their children because they were “spoiled, rotten brats.” When nobody raised their hands, he conceded that they were a “pretty good group of people.”
President Trump: "Farmers have a lot of guts. Come on, there's not one person that dislikes their children because they're brats? Because they're spoiled, rotten brats? Ok, well that's a pretty good group of people. That's the farmers for you." pic.twitter.com/nnrCJxqqba
— The Hill (@thehill) January 20, 2020
Trump’s words are clearly projecting his own internal feelings about his children, who are the very definition of spoiled, rotten brats, though it is wildly ironic for him to complain about his children since he himself was also the very definition of a spoiled, rotten brat.
Why the president feels such antipathy towards his male kids is unknown. Perhaps he sees their yearning for his affection as a weakness, seeing as he competed with his father in business and even cheered his father’s death because now he had “got Manhattan all to myself!”
Perhaps he resents them for infringing upon his playboy lifestyle when they were young. “There are certain things you do and certain things you don’t…It’s just not for me” he said when asked if he ever changed diapers. “He wasn’t really interested in the children until he could talk business with them…when they turned 21, I handed them over to him and said, ‘Here’s the finished product. You can take them from here” said his first wife and one of his alleged sex assault victims, Ivana Trump.
Or perhaps it’s that Don Jr. is an imperfect reflection of himself that his ego simply cannot tolerate. Trump infamously reportedly did not want to name his first son after himself in case he turned out to be a “loser” and joked that his idiot sons “were in the back of the room when God was handing out brains.”
No matter the reason, it is so telling and so characteristically Trump that he cannot even conceive of a parental relationship based on love and broadly assumes that most people dislike their “rotten brat” children — and that he is so unwilling to take any responsibility for making them who they are today with his neglect and cruelty.
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.