What Not To Wear?

Sorry, Ford Springer, you went too far. Either you don’t have children of your own or you are simply someone who finds fault with everything and everyone.

Springer, a columnist with The Daily Caller, took jabs this week at Barron Trump for wearing Bermuda shorts and a shark logo T-shirt when he and his parents, President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump, were boarding Air Force One to return to the White House from their New Jersey vacation.

Whether you love, hate or just don’t care about the Trump family is not at issue. Taking verbal potshots at an 11-year-old kid for what he is wearing on vacation is ridiculous. Barron’s attire was neat and clean. It was youthful because, after all, he is a young person. He wasn’t attending a state dinner or funeral. He was getting on the airplane that carried him and his parents home from vacation.

Springer claimed Barron’s clothing showed a lack of respect. For what and whom, I’m not sure. Look around, Ms. Springer, and you might see the culture in which we live, a culture redefined over the years by the “I can do anything I want” thinkers. Take a look at kids getting on the school bus or heading to a rock concert. Their clothes are the same for both events. Unless your children attend private schools where uniforms are part of the decorum, the dress code for the rest of the students is based on peer pressure to fit in.

When’s the last time you stepped inside a church on Sunday or visited a funeral home? Few adults and youngsters alike worry about “dressing up” for such events. Somewhere along the way we’ve lost our respect for ourselves and one another. And now you call out an 11-year-old boy for wearing clothes appropriate for his age and circumstance? Give me a break.

Even Chelsea Clinton, who was often criticized when she was the first daughter, chimed in to defend young Trump. She asked that the media leave him alone and allow him to have “the private childhood he deserves.”

I have to admit I have loosened my own dress code when running an errand downtown or to the mall. As a teenager, I wouldn’t have been caught dead downtown in shorts and a T-shirt, but that was 50 years ago. Times have changed and so have the attitudes of the population.

Watching movies from the ’50s and ’60s, you see men wearing suits and ties and women in dresses at baseball games and at concerts. Dressing that way today at such events would probably be cause for second glances by those around you.

We can talk all day about what’s right or wrong with our president. We can debate the protests over taking down statues. We can lament the war in Afghanistan and the terror attacks on innocent people. We can battle over gun rights.

Just leave the 11-year-olds out of it. They need to be clothed in kindness, not disparaging comments.

Heather Ziegler can be reached via email at hziegler@theintelligencer.net.