On Monday afternoon Melania Trump finally announced an official project that will define her role as First Lady. And it only took her fifteen months. The problem of cyberbullying is very real and many children (and adults) have suffered from it’s worst effects. Children’s lives have been shattered and left scarred. Young adults have have actually resorted to suicide from the pressure put on them by peers. It’s not a joke.
Melania was immediately mocked for her choice of a pet project while serving in the White House. The irony of this particular First Lady taking on the sort of abuse that is often doled out on social media is too rich to ignore. After all, if there were a Cyberbully Olympics Donald Trump would surely win the Gold Medal. He has insulted and assaulted everyone from political opponents to celebrities to even his own cabinet and staff. He seems to delight in the use of infantile name-calling and gets perverse pleasure from throwing around ad hominem insults. That’s quite contrary to the sentiment expressed by Melania at today’s announcement:
Melania Trump: "When children learn positive online behaviors early on, social media can be used in productive ways."
"It is our responsibility as adults to educate and remind them that…they must choose their words wisely and speak with respect and compassion." pic.twitter.com/v8pFevUDZo
— Nightline (@Nightline) May 7, 2018
So the selection of this issue is a curious one. Is Melania sending a message to her husband to shame him and get him to change his loathsome ways? Are the Trump’s trying to muddy the waters and confuse people as to who the highest profile cyberbully in America is? Or are they actually so dense that they don’e see the glaring paradox they’ve unleashed? Who knows?
However, it may be a little unfair to ridicule Melania for this choice. And it becomes apparent that none of her choices were very good when you take into consideration the abhorrent cretin she’s married to. What was she supposed to do? A brief history of the projects taken on by her predecessors reveals the problem:
Lady Bird Johnson launched a beautification campaign to inspire communities to clean up neighborhoods and highways. But this wouldn’t be any better for Melania than cyberbullying. The President vigorously opposes efforts to to clean up our environment, and his infrastructure proposals have all fallen by the wayside – except for his idiotic border wall.
Pat Nixon promoted civic engagement and volunteerism. But Trump has never done a thing in his life that wasn’t for the benefit of himself and his bank account. Nor has he been a supporter of organizations that perform social welfare activities and rely on volunteers for help. There isn’t even a record of him ever having given blood to the Red Cross.
Betty Ford was well known for helping reduce the stigma of alcoholism. Donald Trump is known to be a teetotaler who was influenced by the death of his older brother to never touch liquor. But even with that potentially heart-tugging backstory, when has he ever spoken publicly about helping people who suffer from alcoholism? His most recent remarks on the subject were to insult via Twitter a “drunk/drugged up loser” in a critical news story.
Rosalynn Carter worked on a council on mental health. The only mentions of mental health by this President have been to divert attention away from the effects of easy access to guns.
Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” campaign was directed at reducing drug abuse. And once again, this is an issue that Trump pays only lip service to. Despite his frequent references to the opioid crisis, he has done nothing to help resolve the problem.
Hillary Clinton worked tirelessly to develop a better health care system. This hardly needs elaboration. Trump has spent much of his first year in office deliberately sabotaging health care for millions of Americans. He’s proven to be a callous, heartless opponent of average Americans who need access to quality, affordable care.
Laura Bush launched a literacy program called “Ready to Read, Ready to Learn,” in an effort to encourage children to enjoy literature. But Trump is a notorious non-reader. Not only doesn’t he read books, he won’t read his national security briefings or other information critical to performing his duties. He can’t even take care to spell correctly or use the proper punctuation or letter case.
Michelle Obama famously worked to fight childhood obesity and to promote health and diet. OK, this is just too easy. Our rotund President is hardly an example of good health. He is overweight and addicted to junk food and Diet Pepsi. And if that weren’t bad enough, his personal health plan is to make his doctors lie about the results of his physicals.
With Donald Trump’s past, that is rife with self-interest, it’s impossible to find anything that might suggest some measure of human charity. So what was Melania supposed to do. Any of the other projects that typically consume the time and efforts of Fist Ladies would bring just as much ridicule as cyberbullying due to the President’s total lack of concern for his fellow citizens. So it’s just as well that she picks one and proceeds with the hope that, if she accomplishes something, no one will notice how absurd it is to be associated with that nasty orange creature who keeps trying to grab her hand.
CLARIFICATION: Apparently a lot of readers are interpreting this in a manner I did not intend. This is NOT a defense of Melania Trump. I’m not giving her a pass for her complicity with the Jackass-in-Chief. The reference in the headline to “Leave Melania Alone” was intended as snark.
The point of this article was to address criticism of Melania for choosing cyberbullying as a project. That has been widely (and correctly) seen as hypocritical because her husband is an ass.. But she didn’t have any other better choices. Everything else would also be seen as hypocritical because her husband is an ass. The bottom line being that Trump is an ass.