Everything I learned about right and wrong behavior lead straight back to Goofus and Gallant.
Next to Romper Room’s “do-bees” and “don’t-bees,” that dynamic duo from Highlights Magazine served as the guidepost for common courtesy for baby boomer kids, offering them a right way and wrong way of interacting with others.
Long before I could read, my moral compass was set by a smiling Miss Louise who spoke to her virtual classroom on TV’s Romper Room. A popular character on the show was Mr. Do Bee an oversized bumblebee who taught the viewing audience manners.
“Do Bee a smiler… Don’t Bee a frowner. Do Bee a good listener… Don’t Bee a whiner.”
What self-respecting boomer didn’t want to be a Do-Bee!
Getting Along Well With Others
Once I began to read, the Do-Bees were replaced by Goofus and Gallant the recurring magazine cartoon twosome whose example of good and bad behavior offered a template for socially acceptable interactions.
Highlights Magazine was a fixture in every self respecting dentist and pediatrician’s office.
While anxiously waiting to have a cavity filled, I would get a good old fashioned morality lesson from those two illustrated characters whose purpose was to demonstrate acceptable and unacceptable social skills when confronted with the very same situation. “Goofus grabs a toy from others. Gallant asks politely.”
Gallant was always polite, kind, considerate, and mature. Goofus was rude, self centered, disrespectful irresponsible and immature.
The rules on how to behave were as black and white as the drawings themselves.
The choices were clear. No one wanted to be thought of as Goofus.
Well, not everyone apparently.
When it comes to common courtesy and good behavior Donald Trump is Goofus come to life.
Goofus teases those with physical challenges. Gallant helps them cross the street.
Gallant helps the foreign student adjust. Goofus builds a wall to keep him out.
Goofus mocks and bully’s his classmates. Gallant respect’s others opinions.
If you had told me that one day boorish, Goofus would be the presumptive Republican candidate I would have laughed in total disbelief. But that is just what we find ourselves in now. A childish bully who can’t seem to get along well with others is bullying his way into the White House.
Last night on Megyn Kelly had her famous sit down with Trump and when the Fox newscaster tried to ask whether anyone had ever bullied or hurt Trump emotionally, he answered, “When I am wounded, I go after people hard, OK? “And I try to unwound myself.”
No matter how hard she tried to evoke some sense of regret or introspection about his bad behavior he said he didn’t “think it was healthy” to apologize for making fun of John McCain, Carly Fiorina, Heidi Cruz or even Megyn Kelly herself.
“Bimbo?” she asked when he said he hadn’t re-tweeted “the more nasty ones.”
“Ooh, OK, excuse me, Trump said without a hint of apology. “Over your life, Megyn you’ve been called a lot worse.”
Spoken like a true Goofus.
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© Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.