Donald Trump “must not be president” warns Kirsten Haglund in a powerful Daily News op-ed today. Haglund, who was Miss America 2008, felt compelled to speak out after Trump refused to back off past insults he hurled at a former Miss Universe.
The op-ed comes just days after Hillary Clinton went after Trump for calling Miss Universe 1996 Alicia Machado ‘Miss Piggy’ after she gained weight after winning. Trump publicly humiliated the then 19-year old by making her do workouts at the gym with television cameras rolling.
When asked to comment, instead of expressing remorse Trump seemed to double down. Appearing on Fox & Friends, he said “She gained a massive amount of weight and it was a real problem.”
For Haglund, it’s personal. She has been open about her battle with a devastating eating disorder, and this sequence of events was too much to stomach. She wrote:
The rehashing of Donald Trump’s cruel, fat-shaming behavior toward Alicia Machado, the 1996 Miss Universe, has wounded me greatly — and convinced me yet again why Trump must not be President. I am a survivor of a fierce battle with an eating disorder. I suffered from anorexia as a young ballet dancer, and after a hard-won recovery, used my platform as Miss America 2008 and since to raise awareness of these complex illnesses.
Trump’s cavalier attitude towards this issue, even now some two decades later, Haglund found particularly troubling considering the actual statistics:
One in five Americans will struggle with an eating disorder in their lifetime, and these illnesses to do not discriminate. They affect people of all backgrounds, genders, races, cultures and ages. They have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness, due to medical complications or suicide. Even scarier is that just one in 10 sufferers will receive treatment due to lack of access to quality care, shame and stigma. To this day, people think eating disorders are on the opposite end of the spectrum from the obesity crisis, when in reality they can be two sides of the same coin.
Many conservatives have lamented the rise of Trump because he appears to play into false stereotypes the left has painted over the years. The “war on women” for example, is much harder to deny when the party nominee refuses to denounce his past language and continues much of it today. Haglund addressed the GOP’s ‘woman problem’ with Trump:
I’ve watched Trump’s attitude toward and comments about women with concern and frustration. A frequent topic of conversation among my strong, smart and young conservative friends — some of whom are Trump supporters — is how the GOP does indeed have a “woman problem,” and that for the future of our party, we’d like to see things change, starting with the language used to depict our sex.
What’s perhaps most incredible is the common pattern in which Trump is confronted with a past controversial statement, yet refuses to admit wrongdoing. It should be an easy enough to say he was just getting tabloid attention and thus more business and ratings for his various shows – but he has yet even yield that much.
Haglund, who is not a Clinton supporter and identifies more as a conservative libertarian, closed her rebuke of Trump with a call for more voices to stand up
For the sake of the future of the party, Republicans with resounding voice must condemn this treatment of women. This is about more than the next election; it’s about the world I want the daughter I’ll have someday to grow up in — one where she’ll be valued for her character and intrinsic worth rather than her weight.