Apparently, it wasn’t enough for Melania Trump to plagiarize the current FLOTUS during the RNC. Today, more than three months after that embarrassing moment, Melania gave another speech. This time, her source material included her husband’s second wife: Marla Maples.
Melania borrowed one of Marla Maples hopeful mantras: “if you could dream it, you could become it.” Maples used this phrase in a 2011 interview in which she discussed her childhood. She told her interviewer:
“I was born a dreamer, indeed. Plus my parents gave me as many opportunities as they could to help me find my path. Even though I was from a small town of 500 people, I learned to dance, play clarinet, and play trumpet, all while playing every sport I was allowed to as a southern-born tomboy. I believed if you could dream it you could become it, so I didn’t see life as having any limitations.” (emphasis added)
Much like her plagiarism of Michelle Obama, Melania used Maples’ phrase to describe her own upbringing in Slovenia. Melania said:
“It was a beautiful childhood. My parents were wonderful. Of course we all knew about this incredible place called ‘America’. … America meant, if you could dream it, you could become it.”
A Trump adviser defended the line as a “common inspirational phrase found on posters.”
Trump advisor to @ChrisJansing on shared Melania/Marla line in speech: "This is a common inspirational phrase even found on posters"
— Benjy Sarlin (@BenjySarlin) November 3, 2016
While this is true, after the RNC incident Melania’s speeches are, predictably, subject to much closer scrutiny in terms of plagiarism.
It is bizarre that Melania can’t use her own words in order to describe her own childhood experience, but instead not only resorts to the words of others. In addition, she chooses her source material from those who are not allies of her husband. Maples promised to “tell it like it is” about Trump if he ran for the presidency leading to speculation that she was the source of Trump’s tax return leak.
Melania cribbing a description of her childhood from her husband’s previous wife is not the only strange thing about her speech today. The subject was cyberbullying, one of her husband’s favorite hobbies considering Trump’s Twitter history. Recently, Jon Stewart discussed his “Twitter war with Trump”, which was both amusing and deeply disturbing. Today, Melania said:
“It is never okay when a 12-year-old girl or boy is mocked, bullied or attacked. It is terrible when it happens on the playground, and it is absolutely unacceptable when it is done by someone with no name hiding on the Internet. We have to find a better way to talk to each other.”
While this sentiment is admirable, it is extremely confusing considering her husband used social media in order to “slut shame” a former beauty queen with a false sex tape. While Melania pleaded with the audience for “social media decency,” Twitter users discussed the bizarre disconnect between the focus of her speech and her husband’s behavior.
Dept. of Are You Kidding Me?: Melania Trump's platform would be making people nicer on social media. "Our culture has gotten too mean." pic.twitter.com/DVyPGQAR3b
— Christina Wilkie (@christinawilkie) November 3, 2016
— Charlie Warzel (@cwarzel) November 3, 2016
social media decency starts at home…
— digby (@digby56) November 3, 2016
The Trump campaign is certainly committed to making sure this election cycle is one of the strangest in history right up to the bitter end.