I had this thought while watching the Democratic convention Wednesday night:
Are the young Trumps watching? Do they hear what Michael Bloomberg says about their patriarch?
Do they watch President Obama skewer their benefactor, their teacher, just about he did at that press dinner in 2011?
How do they react to the gentle jibes of Tim Kaine?
What do they think when Donald J. Trump asks Russia, invader of neighboring nations and clandestine drug pusher to its athletes, to hack the emails of Hillary Clinton?
Does the word “treason” cross their minds?
By genetic definition, these offspring don’t have all of Trump’s wiring – the disabilities that do not allow him to take in information, that make him lash out. Certainly the spouses do not. But have they absorbed Trump’s mind set?
Do all those Trump mothers’ genes kick in and make the next generation fear the rampage he is on?
Do they know right from wrong?
Is there room for embarrassment when the Clinton commercial is repeated on the tube, showing children watching and listening as Trump makes fun of women’s bodies, of a reporter’s condition?
(Serge Kovaleski is a friend and colleague, a terrific guy, who has a condition called arthrogryposis, which limits the motion of his arms but not his work, his life.)
Do they ever try to bring up these ugly acts to Trump – or would he cut them off without a dollar, as if they were a vendor who had done honest work for him?
Are they touched by the church ladies who have known tragedy up close but at the convention spoke of love and forgiveness while calling for gun control?
What do they think when Vice President Biden refers to his late son, and talks about how the Obamas have become “family?” Can they imagine feeling that way about other people -- or other people feeling that way about them?
What do the Trump scions feel when Michelle Obama reaches the whole world with her speech?
We have been told that one member of the Trump entourage admires Mrs. Obama – Melania Trump, who used several chunks of Mrs. Obama’s speech in her own talk at the Republicans’ fearful convention. Or was that a weasel way of explaining amateurish plagiarism?
Are they touched by Mrs. Obama’s intelligence and dignity – or do they carry the same racist contempt of the Obamas that can be found under the rock of the Internet – and, oh, yes, in Congress?
What do the young Trumps really think when Michael Bloomberg refers to their meal ticket as a serial welcher and cheapskate, who got his start with a $1-million loan from his old man? Are they impressed with Bloomberg’s billions-of-dollars charity, or do they think to themselves, “chump?”
The cliché is that the Trump kids seem okay, that they don’t have the bullying tactics of the old man. One reporter went hunting with the two older Trump sons and found them not obnoxious or repellent.
But is there room in their hearts for self-awareness? For shame?
David Vecsey's sweet tale of distant love before the Web, now NYT Podcast, narrated by Griffin Dunne. Please see:
George Vecsey is Hofstra University's Alumnus of the Month! Read a Q&A with George here.