For me, Trump has become something like a real-life R-rated movie. I manage my intake of his latest goings-on by sorting the good from the bad, the policy implications from his personal behavior. As much as possible, I do it away from my young children, because I have no interest in encouraging them to speak cruelly, publicly humiliate peers, or use vulgarities.
Of course, the challenge is that as much as I try to shield my daughters from the news, that wall is permeable. Even if I don’t turn on cable news, listen to talk radio, or discuss politics in their presence, other adults aren’t necessarily so reticent when my girls are within earshot. I can’t really blame them either. After all, Trump is a public figure, and not just any public figure. One tweet from him can drive the national conversation for days.
Obama enjoyed palling around with celebrities, but Trump has given the celebrity-presidency a whole new meaning. His official role means he monopolizes the part of our brains that focuses on current events. But since Trump often acts like a shock jock or reality TV star, he occupies the entertainment section of our brains too. It’s like a TV show that plays on every channel, at all times, making it hard to miss, especially if you live in the D.C. area (as we do).