America, we need to talk.

Our fixation with porn star Stormy Daniels peaked last week after she sat down for an interview with Anderson Cooper on CBS’ “60 Minutes.” Over 22 million people tuned into an interview filled with juicy, disturbing details about her alleged affair with President Donald Trump (if you’re like me, though, you turned off your TV after Daniels revealed that prior to sleeping with Trump, he compared her to his daughter Ivanka).

It’s easy to understand why Daniels has become a fixation for the media. She is smart, well-spoken and beating Trump at his own game. There’s also the obvious attention this scandal is getting because it involves infidelity, abuse and possible legal problems involved in the signing of a non-disclosure agreement. However, I think we can all agree that Daniels has received her fair share of air time.

The affair has not hurt Trump’s job performance or caused him to lose any supporters. Just this past week, the Associated Press released a poll that found his approval ratings are up by seven points. This means supporters of the president are not going to leave him over this scandal; they knew who he was when they voted for him.

At the time of the 2016 election, the Access Hollywood “grab ‘em by the pussy” tape had made national headlines, and multiple women had accused Trump of sexual harassment. Trump’s consensual affair with Daniels is not going to change supporters’ view of him. To them, the press’ continued fixation on this story only confirms their beliefs that the media has it out for Trump.

Daniels cannot continue to distract us from  more pressing concerns at hand. According to Everytown for Gun Safety, on an average day, 96 American are killed by guns. This problem is finally being handled because of the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, who are forcing this country to have a conversation about gun violence.

Stephon Clark’s death is also gaining national attention for the issues of racism and police brutality. At a Sacramento City Council meeting on last Tuesday Clark’s brother, Stevante, interrupted the meeting and challenged the council to make real changes after the shooting of his brother.

On Easter morning, the president renewed the debate over DACA when he tweeted, “DACA is dead because the Democrats didn’t care or act.” The jeopardy of hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants hangs in limbo. If President Trump refuses to work on a deal for DACA, then many immigrants in this country could be forced back to a country they barely know.

Stephon Clark’s death, DACA and the movement against gun violence are just a few stories which cannot afford to be deemed as less important because of Stormy Daniels. We need an informed electorate who are alert and involved in the policies and decisions made by our government. This will not happen if we continue to devote time and energy to a story which will not have any real effect on job performance of the presidency.

In any other presidency, this would be important news. But I guarantee that when historians write about the Trump presidency, Stormy Daniels will be a single sentence in this long and chaotic chapter of American history. 

finfrobd@miamioh.edu

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