Many people may not know this about me. But I actually had a very similar upbringing to that of Barron Trump. Very similar. Like totally the same.
When I was a kid my uncle owned a few car dealerships on the south side of Chicago. My Dad worked for him. And also appeared in the television commercials to promote the business. So it’s really no wonder I’ve had such television success of my own. Appearing on WGN morning news. Once.
Donald Trump had his reality show. My Dad starred in his used car commercials. I know the difficulties of growing up in the public eye.
Donald Trump is known for his trademark, “You’re Fired!” slogan. My family, too, was known for their slogan, “If Anyone can, O’Connor Can”. I know what it’s like for tens of people to yell this at you throughout your childhood.
Now let me preface that this was the eighties. And there were only a handful of television channels to begin with. And these commercials normally ran in the middle of the night. But where I come from this made us celebrities. Just like the Trump children.
When we were little it was really fun. We were proud to have a dad who was a policeman by day, car salesman by night, tv star by middle of the night.
And then just like Donald Trump, my Dad turned from television star to politician.
My Dad ran for Congress and was a State Representative all while I was in high school. I can remember him sitting us down and telling us his plans to run for office. I was less than impressed.
I said, but what if you lose? It will be so horrible. For me.
I was mortified when flyers were sent out all over the damn district with my picture on it. Holding a fork. At the dinner table. Like I didn’t have enough issues with my self-esteem.
My parents weren’t exactly the picture taking types. So when they needed a pic it was the only recent one we had. And it happened to be one of my family gathered round a buffet at a restaurant.
Perhaps had I known it would be used to embarrass the life out of me, I would have put my utensils down. And smiled with my mouth closed. After swallowing the contents in said mouth. But we didn’t take many pics back then so I didn’t know I had anything to worry about.
And that was long before social media. This was when I could only be totally humiliated through the US Postal Service. I can’t imagine what it would be like now.
That’s why I feel bad for Barron Trump. He’s a little boy. Just ten. I have a nine year old son. There’s no way he could stand on stage in front of the world. In a suit. No way. It’s not a normal thing for a young boy to do.
Barron Trump didn’t ask for any of this. Just like I didn’t ask to live in that fishbowl back in the nineties. He should be off limits to the press. Like we were.
Katie Rich, a writer on SNL, was recently suspended indefinitely for posting to twitter a snide comment about Barron Trump. Kids have notoriously been off-limits in politics. Even way back in the heated 35th district congressional run back in ’93. We were shielded from the press. The way it should be.
No one should be commenting on a young child. His life is hard enough without having to read mean tweets about himself. That being said, I also feel for Katie Rich.
She made a mistake. She wrote something regrettable and was taught a lesson. A big one.
I’m wondering if Katie Rich has kids of her own? Her comment was something I probably would have tweeted before I had kids. So let’s just thank the dear Lord there was no Twitter back then. Because before I had kids, I didn’t understand how it’s just not okay to make fun of one. Ever.
Being raised in the spotlight isn’t for everyone. I worry about my own kids growing up with a celeb parent. I know it must get cold here in my shadow. But then I think, I turned out fine. Just freaking fine.
And if everyone in this country could just remember to choose kind. We’d all be fine. Just freaking fine.