Opinion: This is why everyone who's getting upset about Malia Obama needs to chill the hell out
Recently, Malia Obama, daughter of former president Barack Obama, has come under a great deal of scrutiny from the media, and endured a fair amount of criticism from conservative pundits and commentators. Why? What were her oh-so heinous crimes? Namely, being spotted drinking a bottle of wine while on a college trip.
Then, not long after that, British tabloid newspaper The Daily Mail ran an exposé, in which they showed leaked images of comments made by Malia in which she criticised current president Donald Trump. The 'secret' Facebook page, which hasn't been updated since 2017, shows a picture of a post-it note that reads "Donald Trump is evil" - something which hasn't endeared her to the right.
Her comments have been viewed as shocking by many, but the question is why?
You'd be forgiven for thinking that the furore was a tad overdramatic. Indeed, Malia's comments are 'shocking' not because they're at all obscene, (take a cursory glance at Twitter and you'd find much more vulgar criticism) but because they stand in contrast to the Obama family's usual brand of diplomacy.
Even when the Republican leader continually criticised Obama's leadership and policymaking, Obama himself played it cool. The two men were diametrically opposed on most issues, but when Trump won the election, Obama was happy to meet with his successor and gave him the benefit of his advice - even urging the American public to give the Trump administration a chance.
Taking that into account, it's a little jarring to see Malia voice her dislike of Trump so plainly. But should we expect her to like Trump? Considering the fact that Trump spent the last few years claiming that her father wasn't a true US citizen, it's hardly surprising that she doesn't have much regard for him personally.
What's more, it's not as though she can be accused of making her criticism of the Trump public, considering the fact that the offensive picture was posted to a private Facebook group. These journalists are leaking private citizen's personal information, exposing their private opinions, and it isn't in the public interest. All for the sake of drumming up outrage. Maybe we need to ask more questions about the media's responsibility, rather than castigate a young woman with an opinion...
It can't be stressed enough that Malia Obama is a private citizen. She is a grown adult, and she is more than capable of forming and expressing her own personal political opinions. Whatever you might think of her father and her father's party, it's not as though she was or is in any way responsible for Barack Obama's political choices. To attack her is to attack any innocent youth her age.
We have to take care not to let our criticism of politicians and civil servants turn into mud-slinging and harassment of their families. Chelsea Clinton, the daughter of Former president Bill Clinton, also endured much unfair scrutiny and criticism from the press; which led to a great deal of stress and anxiety in her life. Today she tweeted: "Malia Obama is a private citizen. No part of her life should be anyone’s clickbait." Perhaps we should listen to her. She knows better than anyone the pressure Malia has had to deal with.