Hi Tollie,

I’ll be honest with you—even though this is a humor piece—I debated whether to include my daughter’s question (which was a real question) exactly because of the kind of responses I might get. “How can you say you’re against hate when you’re encouraging your 9YO to hate someone?” Totally valid question.

Here’s my honest answer: My husband and I have never, not once, said that we hate Trump. Not. Once. Have we rolled our eyes and shaken our heads? Yup. Have I said “Ugh” more than a few times out loud? Sure. But we have showed more restraint in our own home than Trump has shown, well, anywhere. We DO want our kids to form their own opinions about any and all candidates. We know that they’re their own people who will need to make up their own minds about the candidates they will eventually elect.

In general, they’re surrounded by a not insignificant amount of bias in this community, a point I make in the piece. In fact, my son mentioned that a lot of kids in his class were complaining about Trump speaking this past week in Burlington (i.e. near us) and his teacher was quick to point out that there’s freedom of speech in this country and he’s allowed to speak. If anything, what I see time and time again here is a willingness to respectfully let others form and express their own opinions.

Lastly, I didn’t actually answer my daughter the way I did in the piece. Again, it’s a humor piece, not an exposé for The New York Times. What I said to her was that we didn’t hate Trump, but we didn’t respect him and we thought he was dangerous and why (because there’s plenty of evidence, from his own mouth)—he’s racist, he wants to bar Muslims from entering the country, he’s a misogynist, I didn’t really need to keep going after those Top 3. He makes the case against him all on his own. Even a 9 year old can see that.

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AMATEUR HOUR (2018) and BUT YOU SEEMED SO HAPPY (2021) | The New York Times, The New Yorker, McSweeney’s, The Cut | kimberlyharrington.me

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