Friday, November 11, 2016

Why Pick On The Wife?

I don't like the results of the election the other night any more than the fifty-plus million of us that didn't vote for Trump. All of the stuff that was true about Trump before the election remains true now, as far as his record, his views, his stated preferences, and his promises. All of that is fair game for his detractors, and it is legitimate to have concerns, complain, argue, bitch, dissent, issue dire warnings, whatever you want to call it. He's earned it, as does everyone that has ever run for office in this country, be it dogcatcher or President.
But I am seeing one disturbing trend that I don't like, from a lot of people that should know better. Most of us that are not supporters of Trump rightly took offense when Obama's wife was targeted for any number of imaginary offenses, back in 2008 when he was President-elect right up through the end of the second term. And now a lot of the same people that were deeply wounded by attacks on Obama's spouse are engaging in the exact same type of nonsense regarding Trump's wife.
Yes, Trump's wife was a model at some point in her past; that's where he met her. Like many models, not every job she had required the wearing of clothes. There are many people who are somehow trying to claim that this makes her unfit to be the First Lady of the United States. And I have to say that I am appalled and really pissed off that people are bringing this up and making a big deal of it, because whatever one's issues may be with Trump, he is the one that ran for and was elected to the office. Not his wife.
I find this all the more offensive because it has relevance to my life. I have been clean from active drug addiction for eighteen years now--but there are still people out there that regard me and treat me as some sort of deviant because I couldn't stop smoking crack, with all the behaviors that accompany that, two decades ago. And my answer to that has been, for a long time, has been that the life I have led for at least the last fifteen years should be ample evidence that I am not the person I was in 1998. And Melania Trump's modeling isn't on the same level as something like drug abuse or a criminal past, anyway. Who really cares what she did as a model? Do we really think that she is going to be inviting photographers from Maxim into the White House to snap shots of her doing a pole dance in the White House living quarters? Do we think that she is going to be propositioning visiting dignitaries? Grow up, people. Everyone has a resume, a track record. And the fact that she was a model has nothing to do with her being First Lady of the United States.
And this is something that many women should be feeling more keenly than they do. I've dated and lived with several women over the years that have been recovering from drug addiction. They are not addicts any longer, and have become productive, respectable members of society. And there are a number of people, women as well as men, that have judged them for what was done in addiction, no matter how much time has passed since that period of their life. And I know most people think that isn't right, and will not engage in the practice.
So why is it legitimate with Trump's wife?
It isn't. There are enough reasons to complain/protest/fight against a Trump Presidency without having to drag in his wife, who, unlike his children, really isn't involved with his politics. I am sure as sure can be that Melania Trump will do just fine in whatever ceremonial and official duties are required of her as First Lady. Everything I have seen of her to this point shows someone that is somewhat comfortable with the attention, that is devoted to her husband and her family, that knows her limitations as far as political acumen. She has weathered some difficult times with dignity, and if she has said anything intemperate or done anything that would raise eyebrows, I'm not aware of it. And the circulation of pictures and memes of her modeling career as somehow being a reason to prove Trump should not be President is nonsense. He has his own record that is fair game. By attacking his wife for her career is a cheap shot, and those engaging in the practice should be ashamed of themselves.
And more to the point, those doing so are not winning any points with the people that are going to have to change their minds in the last few years to bring about political change. Quite the opposite, in fact. So stop doing it.

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