Poor Barron!

Okay, it absolutely goes without saying that Republicans are operating in bad faith squared with their pearl-clutching horror that somebody actually used Barron Trump’s name (with no reference to him as a person in any meaningful way whatsoever) during the impeachment hearings.  But, I’m a little tired of the liberals who are also either

1) Virtue signalling: oh, this was actually bad, and see what a open-minded liberal I am by saying that we should never say anything about Trump’s kids even though Trump is awful and should be impeached.

2) Those who are all-in on the sacrosanct principle that apparently you cannot say anything about a politician’s minor children.  Obviously, people should not be looking in any way to abuse, belittle, deride, etc., the president’s children, but when the mere idea of wordplay at their name becomes wrong, this, to me, is the over-fetishization of protecting our children that leads to locking parents up for leaving a ten year old at the park and whatever the latest over-reaction is described over at FreeRangeKids.com.

Barron has a name.  I’m pretty sure he is aware that it is also a word that is used a title for nobility.  The fact that someone made wordplay on that fact is presumably far less damaging than, you know, having Donald Trump as a father.

Anyway, as with many things, sometimes satire is best, and few are better than Alexandra Petri:

At last they have gone and done it. They have crossed that last frontier of decency. They have insinuated the unbearable — nay, the unthinkable: that Barron Trump is not a baron.

“While the president can name his son Barron, he can’t make him a baron,” said Professor Pamela Karlan at the House Judiciary Committee’s impeachment hearing. I am chagrined to retype the words, so obviously loathsome are they. To state that a child is not a baronet — this is the worst kind of speech, and one of many reasons we ought to consider tightening up that First Amendment.

People said all kinds of things about the Obama children, but they never stooped to this wordplay. They criticized their outfits. They criticized their facial expressions. They never, not even once, used name-based wordplay to insinuate that they were not titled gentry. They always knew they had better not dare. That was the kind of respect the Obama children were always shown…

The point is, there are some outrages that presidents themselves must bear, but we always hope to spare the presidential children. They are just children, after all. They did not ask for this. This is an area in which the Trump administration has always stood firm. It has done many unsavory things to children — separated them from their parents, left them in not-cages. Even Melania Trump, who now speaks up so heartily for her son, wore a jacket that read “I really don’t care, do u?” to visit the children in their camps. But never, never did Donald Trump insinuate that those children were not royalty. That, he knew, would have been unthinkable.

No, this indignation is entirely justified. To allude to the fact that the president has minor children who are not royalty is the unkindest cut of all, and we must leave them out of it.

This outrage is certainly not trumped up — oh, no, now I have gone and invoked a child’s last name, too. Surely the tumbrel is coming for me.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

One Response to Poor Barron!

  1. Ann Gibson says:

    The untitled boy will have to develop a thick skin and mama’s designers apron strings will have to be undone if he is to survive in the world of teenage male hormones. His parents behavior not his lack of title will be the burden he will carry. Can you hear the orgasmic sounds the guys will make in the teenage hormone charged locker room or reciting extracts from The owl and the Pussy Cat by Edward Lear. Or what about the nursery rhyme George Porgie as Daddy ran away from nato because the boys laughed at him down at the Buckingham Arms oh yes the untitled will be will have to look after himself, Daddy had a bone spur poor man so he couldn’t go to Vietnam and and not forgetting the designer strings plagiarism or don’t care jacket. The untitled one’s parents should look at themselves. They have provided the ammunition to taunt the untitled one. The apron strings and supporters doth protest too much. The professor made a simple analogy which was an error and she apologized a word that does not exist in the untitled one’s family dictionary.

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