Interesting hair. Ridiculous comments. A bizarrely large ego. Any guesses as to who I’m talking about? Am I talking about my young son, or Donald Trump? From his skewed perception of reality to his penchant for shocking statements and one liners, I haven’t been able to look away. I’m talking about Trump, by the way. I noticed, after watching him on political debates and late-night talk shows, my exuberant and mischievous kid was surprisingly similar to the presidential hopeful.
They both say things that make me do a double-take. They both seem to care very little for what people think about them. And they both make me laugh, even if they don’t mean to. I really wanted to see what it would be like to try out some of Trump’s best one-liners on my son for a day. Would he laugh or find it weird? Or, in true Trump fashion, would he simply not care how weird I sounded using these quotes in everyday life?
After coming to this realization, I thought it’d be fun to put my newfound discovery to the test. Were my son and Mr. Trump really as similar as I thought? I wondered if my son could even comprehend the bizarre nature of the quotes. Plus I was eager to find out how others would react to hearing this little soundbites out of context. And, who could say the bizarre quotes better: Trump, or me? There was only one way to tell: I’d get on my son’s level and respond to him using only Trump’s best one-liners. Armed with ample material (thanks, Trump!), I couldn’t wait to get started. To add even more fun to the mix, I got my husband involved, too. Sometimes he played the role of audience member and sometimes he decided who’s comment was better.
“They Run And They Run And They Win And Sometimes They Lose. Most Of Them Don't Know What They're Doing. They Just Keep Running.”
The context: Trump was referring to how he feels about politicians when he made this remark.
Me? I was responding to my son who was busy vocalizing at the top of his lungs while running laps in the house. He glanced back at me when I said this, shrugged, then threw his hands up in the air and yelled, “Yeah!” for a solid minute. I had pulled about a dozen or so of the more hilarious or odd quotes from Trump and this one immediately sprung to mind when I was watching my son set the record for longest time running indoors. I found it almost too good to be true that this quote fit so appropriately here. Though I thought the one-liner worked perfectly in this context, my son couldn’t have cared less about it. Much like Trump, my kid gave very little attention to comments made about his life choices. Points for enthusiasm and style, though.
“When Mexico Sends Its People, They’re Not Sending Their Best. They're Not Sending You. They're Not Sending You. They're Sending People That Have Lots Of Problems. And They're Bringing Those Problems With Them. They’re Bringing Drugs, They’re Bringing Crime.”
The context: I’m pretty sure we all know this quote by now.
I chose to use this one in probably the best situation ever. After my son gets home from nursery school, he always begs to watch TV. Sometimes I let him, sometimes I don’t; it really depends on how intense he’s being. On this particular day, he got it in his head that he needed to watch Dora The Explorer.
The problem was that Dora was neither on live TV nor was it On Demand. So after his 100 plea to watch it, I blurted out this hilariously apropos quote, much to my husband’s concern. I quickly reminded him about the whole Trump one-liner thing and then we had a good laugh — which is how most people respond to hearing the actual quote in its original context, too. It felt odd, though, saying this quote in such a light-hearted way. I’m sure my husband’s immediate worry was along the same lines, too. This one-liner, in its original context is downright offensive and an inaccurate representation of Mexican people. While this sparked a heavy conversation between my partner and I on racism in America, our son was still impatiently waiting for TV.
“We’re A Nation That Speaks English.”
The context: I’m not even going to go into why Trump said this one, but you can probably guess it was something pretty ill-informed and racist.
I, however, had a similar thought come to mind when my little dude refused to take his paci out of his mouth to speak. Most parents I know have dealt with this, and at some point. I’ve also heard that it’s more common for boys to have more difficulty with speech than their female counterparts. Even still, it get’s a bit frustrating when he’s managed to find an errant paci (we’re weaning him off) and I can barely understand anything he’s saying. Needless to say, my husband, the scorekeeper, ruled in my favor when I hollered this one out after our son sounded like he had marbles in his mouth when he spoke. (He didn’t really have marbles in his mouth. He just mumbles a lot.)
Though my motive for saying this was for more benign than Trump’s, I think the frustration might actually be similar. Though he may be upset that he’s constantly having to deal with different languages, I can get aggravated when I have to ask my son 20 times to take the paci out so I can understand what he’s saying. I should add that I was quite relieved I said both this and the Mexico quote in the privacy of our own home. I’m all for pushing the envelope, but there is no way I would want to give the wrong impression especially living in Florida.
“We’re Dying. We’re Dying. We Need More Money.”
The context: Trump was referring to the current state of the economy in the U.S. when he made this hyperbolic statement.
My husband, our son, and I were in line at Starbucks when he started losing his mind. You’d think we never feed the kid by the way he was acting. (We do. A lot.) He pulled the classic “wet noodle” move when I tried to pick him up off of the floor. He really wanted a Frappuccino Cookie and I, a horrible mother, wouldn’t let him have it. At this point, my husband was down at the other end of the line waiting for our drinks while I attempted to satiate our mini monster.
My husband gave me a, “What’s happening?” glance and I called out to him, “We’re dying. We’re dying. We need more money.” I’m pretty sure the customers and my husband were equally confused. My husband stared silently at me for a hot minute while two older women made a noticeable effort to put more space between us and them. This definitely gave me a chuckle even if I did feel a bit awkward at first. In a way, the quote was pretty accurate, though. Our son felt like he was dying without the cookie and I didn’t have my wallet with me. Not sure if there was a winner here.
“I Would Build A Great Wall. And Nobody Builds Walls Better Than Me, Believe Me.”
The context: The solution to immigration issues is a giant wall, according to Trump.
My partner has a full-time, Monday-through-Friday job and I work part-time, mostly from home. Even though our son goes to nursery school, I’m usually the one home with him during the day. One of our favorite things to do when it’s just us is to turn the living room into what my husband calls, The Stunt Spectacular. My son and I were trying to outdo each other with our fort-making skills so I informed him that, not only would I build a great wall, but nobody can do it better than me. Then he jumped on my head from his much taller fort. Score one for my kid.
This was another occasion where I felt like the Quote Gods were at work because this just worked so perfectly in this context. Sure, Trump may have been talking about an impractical way to solve the immigration crisis, but I was happy to find the humor in an otherwise bleak statement. Thankfully, with the relationship my son and I have, I don’t really have to explain much of my silly or weird behavior because he’s a toddler and everything is pretty funny to him at this stage.
“The American Dream Is Dead.”
The context: Trump spoke on America’s future and said he could bring the American dream back to life.
Sometimes I think I should be a writer for Saturday Night Live or some type of comedy show, because my timing is downright genius — on occasion. This day was no different. My son and I were roaming the aisles of Target while my husband looked at movies or gadgets or whatever hip dads are into these days; your guess is as good as mine. Without thinking, I realized we had gotten dangerously close to the toy section. My kid currently has approximately 9,672 toys, and he uses less than half of them. So after trying to grab every single toy within his reach, I explained that we couldn’t get him one today. When he asked why, I stared him straight in the eyes and said, “Because the American dream is dead.”
Feel free to use this one, by the way. He certainly didn’t understand the meaning, but he definitely stopped asking for more toys. I definitely don’t think he grasped the meaning behind this one, but my serious tone and deadpan delivery got the point across. Although it took him a minute, he was eventually distracted by something colorful and forgot about wanting toys. Maybe that’s been Trump’s goal, too: make a somber, somewhat scary statement and hope that it will distract Americans long enough for them to forget what they originally wanted.
“Tiny Children Are Not Horses.”
The context: Sure, he was expressing his anti-vaxx stance, but this is hilarious regardless of context.
If you’ve ever set foot in a playground, daycare, or children’s play area, you know you’ve just been awarded a glimpse straight into the apocalypse. Some days I wonder if I’m watching a live performance of Mad Max: Fury Road or if a group of kids is experiencing a sugar-induced frenzy of energy. One thing I do know about young kids is that the part of their brain that controls impulses is about as functional as my first generation iPod mini. Both from my work with children and from studies like this one from Stanford, I’ve learned that the region of the brain in charge of impulse control isn’t even fully until the beginning of adulthood.
So when you get a group of tiny tots together, there’s a plenty of “I have feelings and must act on the immediately!” situations happening. As my son attempted to use a smaller child as a step-ladder to reach a slide, I informed him that tiny children were indeed not horses. One mom laughed as I said this and pulled my son off of some poor kid. Though my words did little to stop his impulse to get on that slide by any means necessary, at least it made one person laugh even if she didn’t know it was a quote. Well played, Mr. Trump, well played.
Were Trump’s One-Liners The Secret To Parenting?
As much as I tried not to let my left-wing bias influence this experiment, I actually had a lot of fun. It was cool to feel like I had this secret, inside joke that no one really got except me. Besides my husband — and even then, sometimes he was in the dark — no one knew that my bizarre comments came directly from Trump quotes.
To me, it only served to further highlight just how absurd some of things he says are. Mexico only sends criminals? Building a structure on par with the Great Wall of China? Whether it’s being said at a conference viewed by thousands or in a living room with a confused toddler, these statements are laughable either way. The importance of having a good sense of humor was the one thing I really took away from all of this and I think most Americans might feel the same way, too.