Our daughter finished second in the costume contest held by the organizers of the horse show she participated in the weekend of Halloween.
Of the several ribbons she won that weekend, this recognition was the one of which I was most proud. Why? Because Ella‘s costume directly connected with the work of my wife and I.
She did not dress up as a princess or some other Disney character. She did not wear something scary or spooky. And, to this father’s content, she did not try to pull off a costume that advanced her age into the teens I am so dreading.
Ella dressed as Peggy Schuyler, a relatively minor character from the Broadway phenomenon “Hamilton.” Peggy is the youngest of the three Schuyler Sisters (Elizabeth is Alexander Hamilton‘s wife, while oldest sister Angelica is portrayed as a possible love interest). The trio is introduced in a lively, empowering song “The Schuyler Sisters” with youngest sister Peggy elbowing her into the action with the line ” …and Peggy.” The line feels like so much of a fun afterthought that it became something of a meme.
In this era of Donald Trump and an ethos of amoral, graceless leadership, a child’s choice of role models and heroes could be a nightmare for parents. And for society. Ella’s choice makes her mother and I very happy.
Ella Joyce loves Peggy. Because she is my daughter, Ella soon became obsessed with all things Peggy Schuyler and, to some extent, Hamilton. The only problem with this is that there isn’t a lot of source material about “and Peggy.”
Yet, not surprising given the family business, Ella’s infatuation with Peggy grew into a genuine interest in the presidency and American politics. Turbo-boosted by a mom who engages, supports, and advances her daughter’s interests, Ella Joyce is exiting 2020 with almost as much understanding of politics as I learned during the occasional class I attended during my first year at Florida State.
Michelle and I have not made it a secret our distaste for the current president. The twenty-foot banner in support of Joe Biden hung from the third floor of our home made it clear who we were supporting if it was not obvious long before that. I’d be a fool to suggest that our attitudes about Donald Trump did not seep into Ella’s nascent worldview.
Then again, Ella arrived at her judgments about Trump on her own. When we could still travel to Europe or the islands, she heard from cab drivers and tour guides and waiters that Trump was “tonto.” She saw enough snippets of the news (we did our best the past four years to shield her from TV news) to form something of an opinion. She was scared of the pro-Trump negative ads that popped up on the YouTube Kids programs she watched.
Like many children, Ella had to grow up faster than her parents would have liked this past year. The pandemic and the social unrest forced that. As her parents, we were not shy explaining why wearing a mask is necessary. We were also not afraid to talk to her about why Black lives mattered.
Believe it or not, we also did our best to, at the least, introduce her to views that are opposed to ours. Admittedly, our view of those who want to Make America Great Again will not be as enthusiastic as someone wearing a red hat, but we avoided demonizing those who disagreed with us.
This is all heady stuff for an 8-year-old. But the blessing in disguise of this pandemic is that it has brought some families, ours included, much closer together. The vows made at the beginning of a marriage have been stress-tested. Each of us has done what we needed to do to make it through this time.
In her home, it’s been to talk a lot more about politics than we would have liked.
I really don’t want Ella Joyce to get into the family business. I imagine her a veterinarian or a scientist or an entrepreneur. Anything other than what her mother did and her father still does.
But that second place ribbon suggests to me that may not be the path for Ella. Maybe politics has a gravitational pull on her DNA.
And that’s part of the reason why the past four years have so utterly disappointed me.
They began with Trump’s gross misogyny about what he thinks a man can just grab. It continued with so many deplorable displays of character: dishonesty, selfishness, cruelty, petulance, etc.
I don’t know if there is a single act of Trump’s presidency one can point to and share it with their child as a lesson on how to conduct oneself. There is no George Washington cutting down the cherry tree moment of truth. There is none of Lincoln’s humility. There is no-one of FDR’s perseverance.
Even in Trump’s limited successes, what can you show your daughter or son? I guess if you’re child is on the wrestling team, there’s something to hang your hat on — “Look, boy, that’s how you steamroll your opponent” — but for decent parents determined to raise decent children, the past four years have been something of a horror show.
And so it is no surprise, in Trump’s final act as president, he is reverse-demonstrating a final lesson: how not to lose gracefully.
People close to the president don’t expect him to formally concede to Biden or even acknowledge that he lost the election at any point. While that’s on-brand for Trump, it’s the antithesis of who we are as Americans.
As Ella Joyce might tell you, Alexander Hamilton helped write the U.S. Constitution because the first draft for governance, the Articles of Confederation, weren’t working. As a nation, we had to admit that we were making a mistake and needed to start fresh. And we did. And we prospered accordingly.
From setback, comes advancement. In a zero-sum society like the hyper-capitalist United States of America, it’s as important to know how to recover from loss as it is how to succeed.
Donald Trump is failing our children one final time by not showing them the right way to lose.
Fortunately, our daughter knows better. I hope your children do as well.
November 25, 2020 at 11:35 am
You have to have been given over to a depraved mind to accept the above and deny the following:
WHAT THE LEFT HAS DONE, SUPPORTS AND/OR ALLOWS & ENABLES: ATTEMPTING TO STEAL THE CURRENT ELECTION WHICH TRUMP WON ELECTION NIGHT AND VOTING SUDDENLY STOPPED IN ALL SWING STATES, BUT ONLY IN HEAVILY DEMOCRAT CITIES, ENABLING CORRUPT DEMS TO COMPILE ENOUGH FRAUDULENT BALLOTS TO OVERCOME TRUMP AND GIVE TO BIDEN. THIS HAPPENED IN FL IN 2018 AND THE SUPV. OF ELECTIONS IN BOTH DEM COUNTIES THAT ATTEMPTED TO STEAL THE VOTE IN THE SAME WAY, AFTER THE ELECTION, WERE FIRED. AND:
1. Bullying RNC WH attendees by waiting at the gate, following them to their hotels, calling the women whores and prostitutes and telling them they will rape them. Pushing cops & spitting on, attacking attendees. The D.C. Mayor allowed this as did the D.C. police by letting them gather and wait at the WH gate.
2. Violence for 3 months now injuring, killing cops.
3. Children shot, arson, looting, stealing, destruction.
4. Obama Administration spied on American citizens in an attempted coup to take down this Pres. by weaponizing Intell., FBI/DOJ before and after this election. They still deny this today despite the evidence that has come out. Despite that to date, dozens of FBI/DOJ officials have been fired/demoted/resigned (Comey, McCabe, Strzok, Page, Yates, Ohr. Kevin Clinesmith pleaded guilty to wilfully and knowingly making and using a false writing and document, knowing the same to contain a materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statement before the jurisdiction of the executive branch and judicial branch of the Government of the U.S.
5. The Left attempted to Impeach this Pres. over a phone call.
6. The Left falsely accused a SCOTUS nominee of gang rape not caring it could have destroyed his life, family, livelihood. Blasey Ford admitted she claimed what she did for political purposes that started the whole thing.
7. The Left supports burning the flag that represents the shed blood of our brave soldiers who fought for our freedom. They support kneeling to our National Anthem.
8. The Left supports aborting human babies up to birth. They would not do that to animals of any kind.
9. The Left supports providing welfare and health care to illegal immigrants while taking insurance away from citizens who worked to pay for it most of their lives. Under Obama, my handicapped son paid for his medical/dental care while witnessing folks with passports receive free care.
10. The Left supports dangerous sanctuary cities, open borders, abolishing ICE (calling them the KKK), defunding the police, confiscating American citizens’ legally owned guns.
11. The Left have refused to negotiate with this Pres. almost 4 years now. The same resistance have refused to sign another stimulus bill to help Americans very much in need at no fault of their own only because the Pres. refuses to accept the left-wing pork in their bill that has nothing to do w/COVID.
12. The Left have called my conservative biracial sons tokens, not black enough and traitors to their race. They have falsely accused Trump supporters for 11.5 yrs. now as being racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, causing a chasm and dividing this country in two.
Not to mention the spying by the Obama/Biden Administration. Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe on Tuesday declassified documents (John Brennan’s personal notes) that revealed former CIA Director John Brennan briefed former President Obama on Hillary Clinton’s purported “plan” to tie then-candidate Donald Trump to Russia as “a means of distracting the public from her use of a private email server” ahead of the 2016 presidential election, Fox News has learned.
Former FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith pled guilty to making a false statement which is just the beginning of the fallout from U.S. Attorney John Durham’s review of the Russia investigation. Clinesmith a “corrupt FBI attorney,” was part of former FBI Director James Comey’s “very corrupt FBI.””That’s just the beginning, You’ll be hearing more.”The Department of Justice charging document states that Clinesmith “did willfully and knowingly make and use a false writing and document, knowing the same to contain a materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statement and entry in a matter before the jurisdiction of the executive branch and judicial branch of the Government of the United States.”
To date, dozens of FBI/DOJ officials have been fired/demoted/resigned confirms that the swamp is being drained!!!! Much ink has been spilled in detailing the machinations of Comey, McCabe, Strzok, and Lisa Page, as well as other former DOJ officials such as Loretta Lynch, Sally Yates, and Bruce Ohr. Shockingly, Ohr’s wife, Nellie Ohr, worked for the Clinton-financed Fusion GPS—the firm behind the infamous anti-Trump dossier.Thanks to three brave Americans, we now know that Joe Biden has long misled the public about his involvement with his family’s foreign business entanglements while he served as vice president. At considerable personal risk, former Biden family business partners Tony Bobulinski and Bevan Cooney, and computer shop owner John Paul Mac Isaac, have come forward with tens of thousands of primary-source documents — internal corporate records, emails, and text messages — detailing years of business dealings that centered on trading on the Biden name. This material suggests that, despite Joe Biden’s insistence that he knew nothing about his family’s business deals, he was well aware of his son Hunter Biden’s business ventures in China, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and elsewhere. These new troves constitute hard evidence of Biden family corruption, and confirm our reporting dating back to our 2018 book “Secret Empires.”
How about the Biden family pay for play scandal? Thanks to three brave Americans, we now know that Joe Biden has long misled the public about his involvement with his family’s foreign business entanglements while he served as vice president. At considerable personal risk, former Biden family business partners Tony Bobulinski and Bevan Cooney, and computer shop owner John Paul Mac Isaac, have come forward with tens of thousands of primary-source documents — internal corporate records, emails, and text messages — detailing years of business dealings that centered on trading on the Biden name. This material suggests that, despite Joe Biden’s insistence that he knew nothing about his family’s business deals, he was well aware of his son Hunter Biden’s business ventures in China, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and elsewhere. These new troves constitute hard evidence of Biden family corruption, and confirm our reporting dating back to our 2018 book “Secret Empires.”
Amy C Roberts
November 25, 2020 at 11:35 am
Really well written thoughts that should be on a lot more peoples minds when choosing a President or anyone representing the best best interests of a society. Your “and Peggy” is the gift that will keep on giving with such loving guidance. Happy Thanksgiving.
November 25, 2020 at 11:38 am
OBAMA AND THE LIBERALS HAVE CALLED MY CONSERVATIVE BIRACIAL SONS NOT BLACK ENOUGH, TRAITORS TO THEIR RACE AND TOKENS BECAUSE THEY SUPPORT TRUMP. DON’T PREACH TO ME FAKE, LYING, CORRUPT, WILLING TO BREAK THE LAW TO GET WHAT YOU WANT DEMONS. RACIST OBAMA IS NOW REFERRING TO HISPANIC “FOLKS” THAT VOTED FOR TRUMP. HE ATTENDED A CHURCH 20+ YRS. THAT SPEWED HATRED FOR JEWS, WHITES AND AMERICA. DON’T PREACH TO ME. YOU ARE DEMONIC.
Lindiesue Is a Big Dummy
November 25, 2020 at 11:51 am
Wow. Lindiesue hit all the talking points of stupidity. Well done, Lindiesue. We can only marvel at your ignorance and cross our fingers that you don’t pollute the gene pool.
November 25, 2020 at 12:18 pm
We really need to move on. Mr. Trump will be gone soon. The toxic fumes he leaves will continue to poison those parts of our society that choose to inhale them. Tragically for many young folks this was their introduction to the presidency. Trump is a reflection, not an original creation, so if we want better we have to change ourselves.
November 25, 2020 at 3:27 pm
Thank you thank you! We are Americans! We do! We make mistakes! We change! Damn I love this country!
November 28, 2020 at 9:33 am
Ella will cherish these words forever. From a father’s heart.
November 28, 2020 at 6:34 pm
EFF YOUR FEELINGS.
November 28, 2020 at 8:36 pm
Lovely essay, spot on. FYI, my wife/mother and “me”, not “I”.
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