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Presidential posteriors

Ann Bailey

Ann Bailey

Ann Bailey, Summerville High School

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August was a big month for America—Chicago chalked up its bloodiest month in twenty years with 472 shooting victims, NASA’s new spacecraft Juno photographed Jupiter in its first flyby, and perhaps the most momentous incident of the month took place when Malia Obama played hookie with the Democratic National Convention to her flaunt her keister at Lollapalooza.

Satire sprouted from every crevice of the internet. People mocked President Obama and wrote conversations they thought he would or should be having with his daughter. Many Americans found themselves disappointed in Malia and the way she represented the country during the DNC, and many of these critics were Republicans.

Despite their candidate’s wife’s naked-as-a-mole-rat appearances in British magazine GQ and French magazine Max, the Grand Old Party managed to denounce Malia, a legal adult who will be attending Harvard, for showing some cheek. However, the hypocrisy goes both ways. Democrats post Melania Trump’s nude portraits online, accompanied by captions with varying wording but identical rhetoric—“Look at who our first lady will be if Trump gets elected.”

It’s easy to condemn one’s political opponents by attacking their families, but it’s also classless and cheap. A presidency isn’t endured by one person alone; the President’s family is held under almost as much scrutiny as the Commander in Chief. Family members face similar pressures to present themselves in a certain manner because not only will it impact their family life, but it will also impact the country in some way.

Unless the USA is looking at a family of politicians who could influence the country as a team, similarl to the Clinton and Bush families, the activities and whereabouts of the president’s family should remain irrelevant. There’s a large disparity between missiles and mammaries, taxes and tushes, and laws and lingerie. Family matters are family matters. Personal matters are personal matters. Presidential matters are Presidential matters. Only in special circumstances should the three overlap.

It is far from constructive to scrutinize politicians because of who they are related to and who they love. Most people wouldn’t run for office if they knew they would be defined by their drunk uncle who always starts fights at Thanksgiving. The slandering of Malia and Melania is misogynistic (a classic example of women being shamed for their sexualities), unprofessional (shouldn’t citizens be concerning themselves with their candidate’s policies?), and unfair (they didn’t sign up for the presidency). We need to talk policy. We need to talk laws. We need to talk reform. We do not need to talk sex (at least not in the context of our politician’s families’ personal lives). We are better than this.

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