There are a lot of different schools of fatherhood. The picket fenced ideal of yore - jocular, stoic, energetic, bad at asking for directions, emotionally distant, decent set of stock options quietly ticking over in the background, occasionally stares at the wall for half an hour - isn't for everyone.
But Donald Trump's just introduced an entirely new mode of parenting altogether: become a non-corporeal being and pretend you had nothing to do with the child's creation at all.
Trump indicates that his drive against vaping came at the behest of Melania. He then describes his son Barron in a very odd way.â€” Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 11, 2019
"That's how the First Lady involved. She's got a son -- together -- that's a beautiful young man, & she feels very very strongly about it." pic.twitter.com/s5wNzUCSmj
After some gibbering about China and the EU and fighting for American companies ("because I see it as jobs") Trump told a press gathering in the White House: "Vaping has become very big business as I understand it, giant business in a very short period of time. But we can't allow people to get sick, and we can't have our youth be so affected... that's how the First Lady got involved. She's got a son - together - that's a beautiful young man, and she feels very very strongly about it."
That beautiful young man would be 13-year-old Barron Trump, who as far as anyone can tell is very much also Donald Trump's son. "She's got a son - together" goes somewhere beyond the passive voice and into the three-months-comatose voice.
This innovative distancing of himself from the action is classic Trump. It sounds a bit like the many times Trump's thrown a number or fact out in the middle of an interview, been challenged on it, and then shrugged and said something to the effect of, "I don't know, that's what they tell me, it's not my numbers".
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