BOSTON (CBS) – This commentary is especially aimed at those of you trying to raise your kids to be kind, caring adults when they grow up, never an easy task when the popular culture is so aggressively confronting them with vileness.
And this presidential race isn’t making it any easier, is it?
During a speech in New Hampshire Thursday, First Lady Michelle Obama hit a nerve when she denounced Donald Trump for his now-infamous recorded comments a decade ago in which he bragged about forcing himself on women, using language, as Mrs. Obama put it, “so obscene that many of us are worried about our children hearing it when we turn on the TV.”
For me, that brought back bad memories of the mid-1990s and the Bill Clinton sex scandals, an era the Trump campaign is eagerly revisiting these days. I remember driving my 10-year-old son and a friend to school one day and listening in horror as they discussed the president’s contention that a certain type of sexual contact wasn’t really sexual contact.
You can and, I’m sure, will make up your own mind about which candidate does or doesn’t have the standing to criticize others for their moral standards. And frankly, as a rule, I don’t look to politicians for guidance on morals. That is the province of parents, grandparents, respected peers, teachers and religious leaders.
But I bet I speak for many parents when I say it would be nice if presidential candidates, Hollywood producers, big time sports heroes and others who play prominent roles in our public life and seek to profit off those roles would spend more time thinking about what they’re teaching our kids.