What US presidential nominee Donald Trump has in common with my four year old

COMMENT          AUGUST 12 2016

Kim Arlington

Like millions of people around the world, I've been watching Donald Trump's bid for the White House with a growing sense of dread and dismay. Partly it's because some of his most egregious behaviour is disturbingly familiar; the capriciousness; the angry outbursts; the preposterous statementsself-contradiction and reflexive boasting. I've resisted the comparison, but there's no denying it – Trump is a lot like my son.

The Republican presidential nominee, real estate mogul and reality TV star is 70 years old. My preschooler turned four last week. 

Both of them
1) Blatantly lie.
Preschooler: A spinosaurus came into our house and crushed all my bones.

2) Are self-aggrandising. 
Preschooler: I am the fastest at running in the history of the world.

3) Possess questionable qualifications for leadership.
Preschooler: I am the only one in charge of the textas because I can take the lids off.

4) Like to name things after themselves. 

5) Form policies on arbitrary bases.
Preschooler: I don't eat beans. They're green, and green is not my favourite colour.

6) Constantly backflip and contradict themselves.
Preschooler: I want Weetbix for breakfast. No, porridge. No, Sultana Bran. Why is this Sultana Bran? I want honey toast!

7) Suggest using violence against those they don't like.
Preschooler: This bus driver is making it super bumpy. Let's throw him to the sharks.

8) Prefer exclusion to inclusion.
Preschooler, to his little sister: No, you can't come into the cubby!

9) Denigrate the physical appearance of rivals.
Preschooler, on his little sister: She is not cute enough to watch Paw Patrol.

10) Believe a large piece of infrastructure can overcome complex challenges. 
Preschooler: If we build this tower super high, we can get to the moon!

11) Will refer to his privates in public.

12) Think insults are a valid response to any criticism. 
Preschooler: You are NOT my best friend!

13) Refuse to apologise for anything.

14) React disproportionately to perceived grievances.
Preschooler: That baby is noisy. Put her in the bin.

15) Exploit fears and vulnerabilities to get what they want.
Preschooler, to his little sister: There's a monster coming! Quick, let's hide!

16) Ignore facts that don't suit them.
Preschooler: It's not dinner time. It's time for hide and seek! 

17) Refuse to accept personal responsibility. 
Preschooler: A whole herd of penguins came in and went 'STOMP, STOMP' all the way to lunchtime and that's why my garbage truck is not working anymore.

18) Are prone to exaggeration and inaccuracy when using statistics.
Preschooler: I had seventy forty one hundred and twenty pieces of birthday cake.

19) Say whatever comes into their head.
Preschooler, next to man at shops: That man is really old. Is he going to die tomorrow?

20) Refuse to respond to questions they don't want to hear.

21) Have small hands.

Of course, there are many ways in which my boy is nothing like Trump. He's curious about the world and cares about other people. He loves books. He is not misogynistic or racist, and has never mocked someone with a disability. He has lines he will not cross and some capacity for self-reflection. He occasionally displays a sense of shame and sometimes you can even reason with him.

But I wouldn't trust him with a tube of finger paint, let alone leadership of the free world.

At least my preschooler will grow up. My hope is that he'll mature into a rational human being who listens to advice, respects and inspires others, and takes responsibility for what he says and does.

Trump, on the other hand, is already fully formed. This is all he is; this is as good as he gets. And if he triumphs over Hillary Clinton in November, anyone who knows the challenges of life with a preschooler has some idea of what the world might be in for.

What US presidential nominee Donald Trump has in common with my four year old
The Sydney Morning Herald