"Mr. Trump repeatedly told the Ukrainian leader, Volodymyr Zelensky, to talk with his personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, who had been urging the government in Kiev to investigate Mr. Biden and his family…” — New York Times, September 20, 2019
While your dad might still have a good safety record colluding with foreign governments, you are nonetheless concerned. You’ve noticed troubling signs. His reflexes aren’t what they used to be. He no longer seems able to collude without threatening to swerve into danger. Now you feel it’s time to have “the talk” with Dad about finally giving it up, but you’re afraid of his reaction and don’t want to wound his pride. Here are some suggestions for a productive conversation and hopefully a smooth transition.
Choose the Best Person to Bring Up the Topic
It may be best to have a close family member initiate the conversation. And who better than one of his own children with direct experience in the twists and turns of colluding with foreign governments? Explain to Dad that if not for your own ignorance of the collusion “rules of the road” you could have ended up in federal prison. But don’t go it alone, everyone should be on the same page and stick to the message of safety while remaining sensitive to concerns of lost independence and new limits to his geopolitical self-enrichment.
Use Specific Examples
Did you find it strange when Dad came home from the flea market one Sunday with that mysterious translucent glowing orb? Or what about the classified memo you found in the glove compartment promising some of “America’s most beautiful military equipment” in exchange for hotel air rights? Wasn’t there a rumor floating around town that he colluded with a foreign government eight times on the way home from the grocery store last week? Using specific examples will make it easier for Dad to graciously accept the truth without getting defensive and attempting to dispute the facts or distort reality.
Listen and Acknowledge Your Dad’s Feelings
If Dad gets angry, you’ll need to let him express himself. Calmly explain that this is not a “witch hunt,” that you care about his safety and aren’t simply being “nasty” to him. Understand that if he threatens to have the Attorney General “dig up some dirt” on you he is probably just blowing off some harmless steam. Let his anger run its course for a while and then consider putting on Lou Dobbs Tonight if that has helped pacify him in the past.
Determine His Collusion Needs and Propose Some Alternatives
Dad may no longer be able to go it on his own anymore, but it is still important to understand his day-to-day collusion needs and plan accordingly. Avoid the mistake of letting one of his friends collude for him, since you can’t be sure if that friend is an even bigger safety risk than your dad. Draw up a schedule of times that trusted family and friends are available to help him collude. What about that big trip you have coming up to Saudi Arabia? Fitting in time for a secret meeting with the Crown Prince about financing for Dad’s new golf resort can demonstrate to him that just because you’ve “taken away the keys” doesn’t mean he can’t still enjoy a lifestyle as vibrant and rich with opportunity as ever.
Any way you choose to approach it, it’s important for you to initiate the conversation. Your dad’s pride is likely too strong for him to self-limit his collusion. If he says something like, “Everyone says my eyesight and reflexes are beautiful, the best, people don’t know that,” then you probably need to introduce the subject delicately. Either way, once you step up and confront the situation you can feel good knowing that you’re addressing it before any real consequences are suffered.
How to Talk to Your Teens About Colluding With Russia.