Melania Trump walked confidently out onto the world stage Monday night (sure, there were only a few hundred people present, but the cameras were rolling for the world). This is amazing for many reasons: first, she usually avoids the spotlight, preferring to stay in the background; secondly, because public speaking to a large audience is one of the top five stressors to most people; lastly, because her mission was challenging.
Her mission was to let all the women voters in the US know that her husband – Donald Trump, now the Republican candidate for the Presidential election – is really a great guy. Her husband had repeatedly said dismissive, derogatory, and disrespectful things about several women during his campaign, and had engaged in Twitter-spats with a few (ironically, this includes one female anchor who works for his pet conservative news organization, FOX; you’d think they’d be great friends, but no). Melania’s job was to go before America and convince the women voters that they would be treated well by her beloved husband, and could cast their vote for him with complete confidence that – as President – he would respect and strive to meet their needs.
Then she gave her speech.
Well, partly hers or maybe not, and partly Michelle Obama’s from eight years ago. There was an immediate flame-out on social media, and the news outlets continued for the next couple of days talking about plagiarism while the campaign went on a “whodunit” search to find out how this gaffe happened.
On the run up to this speech the official line was that Melania wrote it herself. Afterward, a staff of speech writers helped her; then two men were pointed at; then one woman offered to resign over it, but was declined. Who knows, and frankly, who cares about the speech anymore? Nobody, really. It’s a bit intriguing to see women on the floor of that convention praising Donald Trump in spite of the speech.
Because women voters were taught something about Donald Trump, if they care to learn.
He knows his beautiful wife avoids the limelight; he knows she speaks English with a cute European accent that she is self-conscious about; he knows she isn’t a political sort by nature. You would think he would have instructed his staff to treat the love of his life like all the gold he owns, to make sure her appearance before the world would be a singular success.
Nope. She was sent out on her mission equipped to fail, to be humiliated, to be dismissed by a cruel public. The scorn she suffers is so intense that when the family showed up yesterday (Wednesday) in support of Donald, she was absent. Either she didn’t want to be seen, or the campaign didn’t want her to be seen, perhaps to avoid reminders of Monday night.
I have only respect for Melania Trump. She is beautiful, smart, eloquent, multi-lingual, dignified, brave, and willing to support her husband. All the things you would want in a First Lady. I’m heartened that she likes Michelle Obama, and treats the sitting President and his wife with more respect than her husband does. Too, that she is free to express her own feelings that might be divergent from her husband’s. Too bad her husband and his staff don’t have respect for her.
Most of the “speech plagiarism hoopla” is not really the main story. It wasn’t what happened, how it happened, or who should be held accountable for the blatant plagiarism. It’s far more important to focus on WHY it happened. It happened because her husband and his staff don’t care enough about her to make sure she would succeed in her mission.
So, women voters of America, if Donald Trump and his campaign treats the most important woman in his life with such disregard and so shabbily, how do you think he’ll treat YOU?
VA 21 July 21, 2016