Chelsea Clinton has an important message to people criticizing Barron Trump: Stop.
One 'first kid' stands up for another.
Chelsea Clinton was just 12 years old when her family moved into the White House.
On Jan. 20, 1993, the daughter of Bill and Hillary Clinton joined an exclusive club of "first kids" that included Amy Carter, Susan Ford, Luci Johnson, Caroline Kennedy, John F. Kennedy Jr., and a handful of others.
It's hard to imagine what it must be like to grow up with the spotlight of the highest office in the land fixated on you, but for a select group of presidential children, that's life, and it's not always easy.
With a new member entering the exclusive club last week, the former first daughter shared an important request with the public.
On Friday, Donald Trump became the 45th president of the United States. The real estate tycoon-turned-leader of the free world has five children: Donald Jr. (39), Ivanka (35), Eric (33), Tiffany (23), and Barron (10). And it's fellow White House tween, Barron, that Clinton's advice concerns.
Even if you disagree with a president's actions, words, or policies, there's no reason to take it out on a child.
Just days after her father was elected in 1992, conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh attacked Clinton on his somewhat short-lived TV show, comparing her to Millie, the outgoing White House dog.
In 2014, Elizabeth Lauten, then-communications director for Rep. Stephen Lee Fincher (R-Tennessee), took a swipe at Malia and Sasha Obama (ages 16 and 13, respectively) for their appearance during the White House turkey pardoning ceremony. "I get you're both in those awful teen years, but you're a part of the First Family, try showing a little class. ... Dress like you deserve respect, not a spot at the bar."
Those attacks were wrong when they were directed at the children of Democrats, and they're just as wrong when they're directed at the children of Republicans — like Barron Trump.
On Friday, SNL writer Katie Rich tweeted (and quickly deleted) a joke about the youngest Trump, writing, "Barron will be this country's first homeschool shooter."
#SNL Writer Deletes Tweet Saying Barron Trump Will be America's 'First Homeschool Shooter' https://t.co/d4yDGbfSwp https://t.co/SPuEn5nUTU— Mediaite (@Mediaite) 1484957040
In November, Donald Trump's longtime nemesis Rosie O'Donnell tweeted a message suggesting that Barron was autistic: "Barron Trump autistic?" she wrote. "If so — what an amazing opportunity to bring attention to the AUTISM epidemic." Days later, after much criticism, O'Donnell issued an apology to Barron's mother, first lady Melania Trump.
This goes beyond slogans like Michelle Obama's "When they go low, we go high." This isn't about "winning" elections or losing. It's about treating others how you'd like to be treated.
Barron didn't choose to be born into the Trump family any more than each of us chose to be born into our families. In many ways, to be sure, he lives a charmed life — riches beyond most of our wildest imaginations and the son of one of the most powerful people in the world. But he's not responsible for the type of campaign his dad ran or the types of policies that will be implemented under his dad's watch.
Not only is it wrong to attack an innocent child, but as Clinton's Facebook post suggests, we must not get distracted from what really matters: how Trump plans to run the country.
There are many valid criticisms to be made about any politician — whether you're discussing Donald Trump, Barack Obama, or anyone else — but taking aim at their young children should not be among them.