The Republican presidential campaign we thought could devolve no further has once again proved us wrong.
“This is a sad state of affairs when we have someone who is running for president who makes derogatory and insulting comments, repeatedly, against women,” says Alice Stewart, a Cruz spokeswoman on March 24th, commenting on the Twitter war between the candidates over their wives.
True, it is pretty depressing when presidential candidates attacking or defending spouses in 140 characters is the front-and-center story in a week when:
- Terrorists attacked a European ally, and Cruz responded that we should “patrol and secure” Muslim neighborhoods.
- The North Carolina legislature took a bill from start to finish in one day that bans some citizens, but not others, from using public restrooms.
- Indiana’s governor signed into a law a bill that would require all people having an abortion to cremate or bury the remains (and to pay for that), and would ban any abortion performed because a person has learned of a genetic anomaly, even if that anomaly means that the pregnancy is not viable and could endanger the health of the parent, or if, after birth, a child might live only briefly and in excruciating pain.
Prediction: the focus on wives and families won’t go away any time soon.
But that won’t be because we shift the conversation to discuss how “patrolling and securing” people because of their religious beliefs violates the constitution and paints a target on the backs of the people who are often assumed to be members of that faith because of their attire or skin color.
It won’t be to discuss how banning people from using the bathroom because of assumptions about their genitalia, or that requiring someone to show their birth certificate to justify why they have elected to go in one bathroom over another, is a fundamental violation of very basic human rights that should not be constitutional, and ignores and erases the very real threat of violence to those the bill targets.
And, it certainly won’t be because we finally have an honest conversation about a person’s fundamental right to determine whether or when to have children, and why letting legislators and governors play doctor is dangerous, humiliating, and just plain wrong.
No, we’ll be focusing on wives and families because good old Republican family values mean that stories of Ted Cruz’s infidelity, or infidelities, as the case may be, will continue to develop.
Our country isn’t willing to be honest about the fact that Republican policy and legislation goes way beyond “derogatory and insulting” when it comes to women. It goes straight to dehumanizing and dangerous. And now, thanks to Ted Cruz, we are being forced to play that battle out instead in conversations about politicians’ wives, families, and marital fidelity.