Stop Calling Trump “Toddler-in-Chief”. He’s Not Throwing a Tantrum. He’s Trying to Overthrow Democracy.

The temptation to liken the president to a child has been irresistible for too many journalists who’ve reacted to his threatening behavior like bemused, annoyed parents, rather than fierce defenders of democracy in peril. The public needs the press to change its lens.

Lu Hanessian
Breakthrough

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Lu Hanessian

Photo by Rosie Kerr on Unsplash

When I was eight, a classmate invited me over for a playdate. At her request, I brought my freezer baggie stuffed with all my hand-made beaded bracelets and necklaces. An hour later, when it was time for me to go, she slammed herself against her bedroom door as a human barricade, and began to scream at me. As I scrambled to gather my things, she suddenly dropped to the floor, wild and breathless, clawed two fistfuls of my beaded crafts…and hurled them across the room.

I remember this story now not because I’m thinking of a grown man acting like an eight year-old who’s barricading the exits. But, because of the way journalists are dangerously inclined to explain his behavior: the current president as big, pouty baby. Framing this president’s seditious, authoritarian…

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Lu Hanessian
Breakthrough

Adjunct Professor, Journalist, Former NBC Network Anchor/Discovery Health Channel Host, Host & Exec Producer of “The Foreseeable Now” podcast.