No phrase in the English language has gotten more kids out of more trouble than “boys will be boys.”
There seems to be no limit to the mayhem and havoc that a “boy being a boy” is responsible for and also completely justifies.
Boys can play too rough, use colorful language, and even tell little white lies and those who love them will excuse the behavior because, after all, boys will be boys.
It turns out that the same apparently holds true after being elected president or hired to be the White House Chief of Staff.
One of my son’s little friends in the neighborhood is a great example of a boy being a boy.
When we had a stray dog wander into our yard and refuse to leave, we sought the owners. It turns out, Dawit’s little friend knew the owner. He said he had seen a man in a yellow Lamborghini dump the scraggly little Chihuahua in our neighborhood. We knew it wasn’t true, but we let it go.
This friend was also invited to Dawit’s birthday party at our local public pool. On the way to the pool, he talked about what a great swimmer he is and how much he loves diving off the high dive.
We got to the pool and just as I got all of the boys’ towels and shoes settled in a chair where I was going to sit while they enjoyed the afternoon, the friend was standing by me.
“Mr. Kent, the lifeguard wants to talk to you,” he said.
“What happened?” I asked, thinking he had been running or violating some other pool rule.
“They had to save my life,” he said. It turns out that he had never jumped off a high dive and swam as well as bag full of rocks.
Now that we know that there is literally no limit to what he will say in any situation, we use his tendencies to entertain each other.
This weekend, the boys were playing a monster card game. I thought it would be funny to ask him if he had ever played cards in Las Vegas.
“Oh yeah, me and my brother went,” he said.
“Did you win a lot of money?” I asked.′
“I won like a thousand dollars,” he said. Don’t all gamblers claim to win?
“What did you do with the money?” I asked, seeing if there was an end to the story.
“We bought a new car,” he said without missing a beat. I doubt it was a yellow Lamborghini, but who knows?
These tall tales are cute when they come from a 7-year old in the house down the street.
But when they come from the White House, they aren’t as cute.
President Donald Trump entered his second week of Twitter fighting with a pregnant woman who lost her husband in the controversial attacks in Niger. The wife and mother were joined on a conference call by a Florida Congresswoman who is also a friend of the family. Let’s just say the two parties heard very different versions of that condolence call.
Myeshia Johnson says the president’s call only caused her further pain because he didn’t even remember her husband’s name and told her “he knew what he was signing up for.”
Trump immediately said the widow and her friend, Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, were lying about the content of his message and he had proof he would release. Of course, no proof has ever been brought forth.
In order to regain the upper hand, the White House trotted out Gen. John Kelly to tell the tale of his son who was killed in action and, in trying to defend Trump, actually admitted that he told the president what he had been told when his son was tragically killed in action. The fact is Trump was unable to deliver the line with any empathy and compassion.
Gen. Kelly described the events as he was informed about his son: A military official told him his son “was doing exactly what he wanted to do when he was killed,” Kelly said. “He knew what he was getting into by joining that one percent. He knew what the possibilities were because we were at war.”
If the women on the receiving end of the call are to be believed, the president attempted to appropriate that message and failed miserably.
Trump went on to say that other presidents hadn’t called Gold Star families — a complete lie — and that he had called all of them on his watch — another complete lie. Trump is one yellow Lamborghini from being able to compete with our neighborhood tale-teller.
In fact, Trump and his staff didn’t even have contact information for more than half of the soldiers killed in action in his tenure when he claimed to have called them all.
Kelly went on to defend his boss by attacking Rep. Wilson and accusing her of bragging during an FBI facility dedication and he even called her an “empty barrel that makes the most noise.”
It turns out that video of the event exists and Rep. Wilson was able to prove that her version of that story was correct and — at best — Gen. Kelly misremembered that day’s events.
Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee-Sanders says we shouldn’t question a General. I don’t think there is any debate when video exists. Kelly lied. It was purposeful. It was defamatory. It cast a negative light on Rep. Wilson and it also put a Gold Star wife in a bad light.
It’s a good thing Gen. Kelly didn’t kneel for the National Anthem and disrespect military families.
I respect Gen. Kelly and his service and especially that of his son who literally gave all he had for this country. However, when you melt down your medals into political capital to use in an attack to save the reputation of a man who is known to have no limit to the lies he will tell, you are no longer “just a General.” Kelly became a politician when he lied from that podium.
It can be fun to play with Dawit’s little friend to see if there is any limit to what he will lie about. Reading the news every day, I am more convinced that the more he lies, the better future he has in politics.