Wednesday, July 20, 2016

July 20, 2016--Melania's Speech

The flap about Melania Trump's speech yields good gossip and obvious material for late night comedians, but it is important in other, revealing ways.

Thirteen months ago when I wrote here about why we should take Donald Trump's candidacy seriously and not dismiss him as a narcissistic comedian, I quoted a friend who told me why he was putting out lawn signs to show his support for Trump.

Though he had never been to New York City he surprisingly knew about Trump's efforts to fix the problems with the ice skating rink in Central Park. How the city government had struggled for years and spent millions to fix it but still it produced slurry and not ice and thus could not be used.

Frustrated, in a few months, at his own expense, Trump repaired it and since that time many thousands have enjoyed it.

To my friend, this was in effect a metaphor for his enthusiasm for Trump--no matter his policy views (and they were as confused then as now), Trump, he was convinced, knew how to get things done and would make our government work again in behalf of all Americans.

Then there was Melania's speech. No matter how it was composed, by Mrs. Trump or a gaggle of speech writers, it in fact does almost word-for-word plagiarize--there is no other word for it--Michelle Obama's 2008 convention speech.

Is this an example of Trump competency?

Who are the hack writers who were hired to produce perhaps the convention's most important speech? The one that was to humanize the Donald, to show his sensitivity to women? In political terms this was to be another ice skating rink. A way to demonstrate that he knew how to do business, to make things great again.

But all it reveals is careless disregard for the public, especially for those who doggedly supported him and waited on line for hours to attend his rallies and cheer him on. Instead, it shows how he takes people for granted and feels entitled to their support and belief in him.

The speech also reenforces another narrative about Donald and the other Trumps: that they are grifters.

People who have made their way and their inflated fortune by duping and in other ways taking advantage of people who look up to and respect them. Or who are symbiotically attracted to the glittering image the Trumps fraudulently project to the world.

Grifters who shamelessly will even steal another person's words.

Whether she knew she was being used or not, ironically grifted, Melania the night before last doomed the Trump candidacy to the proverbial scrapheap of history.

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