Recently in the Republican bubble, instead of the candidates insulting each other, the tables have turned and the focus is on the women behind these filterless men. Since the beginning of this presidential race, and arguably his career, Trump has emphasized that a pretty face is basically the most important thing that a woman can have.

I think that the race to be president should not be based on superficiality. The wives of the  candidates should not be used as pawns in the quest to win votes. However, before the March 22 primaries, there was a campaign ad with a scantily clad picture of Melania Trump with the text “Meet Melania Trump, your next first lady, or you could vote for Ted Cruz.” I think this is a ridiculous way to win votes and is extremely demeaning and objectifying in an age when we are working so hard for women to have equal rights.

A New York Times article confirmed that the ad didn’t come from either Cruz or Trump, it appeared on Twitter, yet Trump was furious. There was then an ad that came from Trump claiming that he would “spill the beans” about Cruz’s wife Heidi. The next day on Twitter he retweeted a picture of both wives matched side-by-side, with the text “no need to spill the beans, the images speak for themselves.” It seems to me that Trump feels his ability to run the country is contingent on his wife being more attractive than the other candidate’s wife. Cruz defended himself and his wife with some unprofessional insults. In the same childish manner that Trump has handled pretty much everything, Cruz rebuttled, on Twitter no less, calling him a “sniveling coward.”

This to me is childish. The candidates should be considering each other’s political prowess and not whose wife is more attractive. I don’t think either of these candidates are fit to run our country if this is how they’re going to act in the public realm. There’s a level of professionalism that we have come accustomed to seeing with the president and people in politics. The oval office is not a place for name calling or insulting the way someone looks. It is for running the country. There is also a level of respect we as a country have for the first lady. Republican first ladies in particular have had major impacts, like Rosalynn Carter and Nancy Reagan. Both of these women were professional and took an interest in the politics their husbands were so dedicated to. Nowadays, it seems that the potential future first ladies are only being considered for their looks, which somehow determines their respective husband’s ability to run the country and I find that ridiculous.

I am upset with these two candidates because it seems that neither of them are mature enough to be president. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time there have been questionable things said from our Republican presidential hopefuls. I think we can all recall the infamous debate where the candidates referred to and compared the size of their “manhood.” That’s just not something the leader of the free world should be doing. Also, we as voters should not turn this into a first lady beauty contest. We’ve worked so hard to try to get women to be treated equally in the public sphere, but judging them on their looks is setting us, the voters as well as the politicians, back many years and that’s not the direction in which this country should be going.

I think it is also interesting to consider Hillary Clinton in this particular race. It is not so much that we vote for her because of her a pretty face, but often when she is mentioned in the media the first thing they address is how she looks or what she’s wearing. Again, I think this sets women back so far because there is so much more than what we look like.

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