By Amy Rudolph
Web Editor

As President Donald Trump rounds out his first 100 days as commander- in- chief, his approval ratings are tanking more than ever. But this article isn’t about Trump, it’s about his family. the Trump family has stood by him for years, even more so during the first few months of his presidency. Before Trump even took the oath of office, his family became a target of ridicule.

Many will defend the right for others to make rude or hurtful comments about his family by citing that they are public figures, which, yes, they are, but they didn’t necessarily ask to be. Ivanka, Tiffany, Donald Jr., and Eric have been in the spotlight since the days before Arnold Schwarzenegger ran “The Apprentice,” so they are used to the public eye and are more equipped to deal with the consequences. Then you look at Melania and her 11- year- old- son, Barron, and you start to wonder if they ever asked for all of this fame and attention.

Barron Trump became a favorite after the Inauguration as people turned his likeness into a meme based on his apparent look of boredom. This behavior isn’t okay, not because he didn’t ask to be in the spotlight, but because he is a child. You can hate Trump all you want for any of his misdeeds, but his family isn’t responsible for anything that he has done.

The same case can be made for Ivanka, Donald Jr., and Eric, but I feel like their situation is different. They willingly put themselves in the limelight years ago and feed off it now. Ivanka’s husband is one of Trump’s top advisers, so judging her for her involvement is different than judging a wife and 11- year- old who are just along for the ride.

Melania and Barron have both tried to stay away from avenues that will leave them open for social ridicule. For them, that is probably the best choice, but it is still a choice they shouldn’t have to make. Ivanka has been outspoken with her favor and opposition to certain situations, even going as far as stating that the gas attacks left her heartbroken. Attention on her reaction becomes a problem when those working close with Trump cite that as a reason for his decision to bomb Syria. I don’t remember seeing Ivanka’s heart as a choice on the ballot when the American people voted.

If Trump family members were more removed from decision making and were not thrown into the spotlight to take the fall for decisions, I could defend their need to remain separate. Every time I see a Tweet from Donald Jr. or Eric Trump, I start to think they deserve the criticism more and more, mostly because they do it to themselves. At this point, the jokes write themselves when it comes to those three, but Melania and Barron haven’t done anything to insight us like that.

My problem with calling out the adult Trump children still rests in the fact that people don’t just do it about their views and what comes out of their mouths, but because of their appearances and how they carry themselves.

I’m an avid SNL viewer and I usually don’t think that SNL crosses any lines, but when they started making fun of the Trump children based on their looks, the humor stopped for me. Making jokes about things people can’t control is something that I never find to be funny.

Sure, it’s Eric Trump’s fault that he says stupid and racist things, but it’s not his fault he looks the way he does, so don’t make jokes about his face.

I feel a bit bad for the Trump children, even the problematic ones, because had their father not been president of the U.S., they probably wouldn’t have gained as much media attention for saying these stupid things. They are guilty by association, which is unfair to them. Yeah, I don’t agree with anything coming out their father’s mouth, but I’m not going to demonize them for it.

It’s not their fault that their father is the most powerful man in the world, and that most of us are terrified of that. It’s not their fault that they got dragged center stage and have fingers pointing at them all the time and their every word scrutinized for political correctness. It’s not Melania’s fault that the man she loves is problematic and it’s not Barron Trump’s fault that he went from fifth grader to celebrity overnight.

Even if these people were already in the spotlight because of “The Apprentice,” they still didn’t ask to be made fun of and ridiculed. No one ever does.

There is a lot that you can blame the Trumps for, but being related to Trump isn’t one of them.

The Elm

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