One of the only downsides to studying abroad at this time of year (aside from the inconsistent weather patterns that made packing a very difficult task) is missing election season.
You might’ve already noticed that I live for politics – particularly American politics. I love my country, and being so far away during what will undoubtedly end up being one of the most pinnacle moments for the United States in the 21st century is hard.
But I’ve still been able to keep up with all of the happenings of the election thanks to Facebook, the Skimm, and various other news sites. And luckily for you, that means I’m still able to have an abundance of opinions that I’m ready to share with you!*
This election has made me angry about a lot of things, like women’s rights, income inequality, white privilege, global warming, and many other things that quite a few members of the GOP claim aren’t real.
But my most recent frustration stems from the focus that the general population has been putting on the spouses of the candidates.
I understand that, yes, the role of the First Lady or First Gentleman is seen as important. But do you know what’s more important? The role of the President.
We all know that in the 1990s, Bill Clinton was a dirty cheater. He took advantage of younger women and used his position of power to sleep around. He was a good President (in my opinion), but was not necessarily a good person.
But here’s the thing: I wasn’t there. It’s not my marriage. I can’t possibly understand what happened during that time. And unless your name is Hillary Clinton or Bill Clinton, neither can you.
So it’s time for people to stop bringing up Monica Lewinsky or Gennifer Flowers when debating whether Hillary Clinton should be President.
Not only is it a clear example of a double-standard placed on women, but it’s also almost entirely irrelevant.
I’m voting for Hillary Clinton – not Bill Clinton or Gennifer Flowers. Frankly, I don’t really care about what Bill did in the 90s, because he’s not going to be my President. Hillary is.
And while I can understand that there is a concern of Bill’s character influencing what happens in the White House, please don’t insinuate that Hillary is too weak or naive to do a job without letting the fact that her husband was a cheating asshole 20+ years ago get in her way.
The same goes for Melania Trump.
Again, I don’t understand this marriage. But it’s not my marriage. Do I want Melania Trump to be this country’s First Lady? No. But my fear of Donald Trump becoming President far outweighs any concerns I could have about Melania Trump becoming First Lady.
The image above is another clear example of slut-shaming. Never mind the fact that Melania was a model, so this “provocative” photo is a picture of her doing her job.
Neither Bill nor Melania will ever fill the shoes of Michelle Obama, who is one of my top 10 favorite human beings ever. But that’s a conversation for a different day.
My point is this: let’s focus on what’s important here. The real issues. Qualifications, plans, and experience. The candidates’ spouses’ “dirty laundry” should be the least of our concerns during this election. Once we exhaust every other topic – from healthcare to foreign policy to the environment – then we can discuss the behavior of Bill Clinton and Melania Trump.
If you’ve been following this election and the thing that concerns you the most is the idea of Bill Clinton being the First Mate or Melania Trump being the First Lady, then I would kindly ask you to reevaluate. We’ve got much bigger fish to fry, pals.
P.S. Speaking of Monica Lewinsky, she has a great Ted Talk that you should listen to.
*Denotes a humorous, sarcastic, or facetious tone.