Candidates' wives caught in the crossfire

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Kristina Wyman's picture
Maia Campbell

I surprised myself by signing up to write this article because I normally avoid political conversations like the plague. However, I actually had something to say about this subject.

Aside from my feelings about both Donald Trump and Ted Cruz (they are not good feelings, if you were wondering), I just have to ask one question: why?

Why the need to drag Cruz’s wife into the picture, Trump? Also, I think even more importantly, why the need to drag your own wife into the picture? It boggles my mind.

Now, although I do not like Cruz, I agree with the fact that he stood up for both his own wife and Trump’s wife. That was a respectful thing to do.

Yet as someone who has considered being a history major for some time, this scenario rings a bell in my head. How so? Well, because it is exactly the same type of thing that presidential candidates have been doing to each other since the beginning of the United States.

Let me take you back to a time when wigs were fashionable and to when the Whig party was soon be founded (ha-ha? Oh, never mind). In the 1828 presidential race, John Quincy Adams was running against Andrew Jackson. Jackson’s wife, Rachel, was used against him because of her marital history. Adams’ campaign attacked Rachel for having been divorced and accused her of adultery. The press sensationalized all of this, and instead of focusing on Jackson’s character, they degraded Rachel’s character and humiliated her.

I cannot find this funny at all. Look, Heidi Cruz and Melania Trump are two very different women. Cruz is a businesswoman, and Trump is a model. However, their own personal characters are not the means by which the nation should be judging their husbands. Trump is just trying to start trouble, like he usually always is. I think that it is likely that he brought his wife and Cruz’s wife into the mix for the publicity. If he can get the right people and the right amount of people riled up, that’s more coverage for him.

Again, the fact that this happened is not a surprise to me. Politicians have been playing dirty since the early elections of the United States. Candidates have insulted each other personally in the past. It’s nothing new. It’s not kind, but it’s not unprecedented.

I honestly do not want to say too much more about this issue. Yes, we should judge the character of candidates for ourselves, but as I watched Trump attack Cruz’s wife and unnecessarily drag his own wife into the picture, I couldn’t help but think that the whole situation was insane. Nobody is perfect, but we need to have respect for each other.

But hey, it’s American politics. I don’t think I’ll see the day when respect enters the picture.

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