Crooked Hillary. Sloppy Steve. Little Rocket Man. Dickey Durbin. Al Frankenstein. Little Marco. Psycho Joe. Low I.Q. Crazy Mika. Lyin’ Ted. Low Energy Jeb. “Loser.” “Idiot.” “Dummy.” “Moron.” The list goes on.
No, these are not insults overheard at a middle school playground. Rather, these are just a sampling of the immature name-calling used against opponents by America’s most notorious cyberbully: The President of the United States.
In his ascent to the presidency, President Donald Trump ushered in a standard of personal conduct lower than anything witnessed in modern American politics. Instead of focusing his criticisms on the ideas and platforms of other candidates, Trump chose to personally attack the candidates as individuals, often centering his efforts around physical appearance. In essence, rather than behaving like a mature adult, Trump adopted a different persona: The schoolyard bully.
Surely — given this information — when tasked with the crucial job of focusing on an issue to combat as First Lady, Melania Trump must’ve chosen something like early childhood education or immigration, right? Certainly, Melania could be a powerful voice on these issues to bring about positive change as both an immigrant and mother herself. Nope. Instead, Melania made it her mission to combat an issue she has no credibility on — an issue so near and dear to her heart that it oozes right out of her husband’s Twitter account! Cyberbullying.
Obviously, Melania is not to blame for her husband’s behavior. After all, even Donald’s most highly-skilled political advisers and military generals speak of their inability to control him. Melania is, however, responsible for encouraging his behavior time and time again — taking a stand against cyberbullying only when it’s her family under attack and doing absolutely nothing when its others who find themselves on the receiving end of Donald’s Twitter bombs.
Overall, Melania Trump’s anti-cyberbullying campaign is an absolute joke — a farce of laughable proportions.
When Barron Trump, Melania and Donald’s 11-year-old son, was criticized online by news publication The Daily Caller for his choice of fashion and clothing, Melania quickly came to his defense, tweeting that it is “…so important to support all of our children in being themselves! #StopChildhoodBullying.”
At the United Nations, Melania went a step further, saying that “We must teach each child the values of empathy and communication […] We must remember that they are watching and listening.”
Certainly, with such strongly-held beliefs, Melania must come to the defense of all who experience bullying, right? Nope. As a matter of fact, Melania not only fails to support the victims of her husband’s attacks, she encourages his behavior!
When asked about the video of Donald boasting about sexually assaulting women by grabbing them in personal places, Melania sided against the victims, instead offering that her husband’s comments are just “how some men talk.” Basically, boys will be boys, so…no big deal! In offering this pathetic response, Melania empowered her husband to mistreat women and suggested to him that any form of abuse or bullying is acceptable.
Furthermore, after Donald referred to television host Mika Brzezinski in a tweet as “low I.Q. Crazy Mika” and (falsely) accused her of “bleeding badly from a face-lift,” Melania gave her husband’s cyberbullying attacks a free pass. Instead of condemning Donald’s shameful, disrespectful conduct and taking a stand for what is right, Melania’s office released a statement claiming that “When her husband gets attacked, he will punch back 10 times harder.” Essentially, anything goes.
In recent months, as Donald has continued his vicious online attacks against political opponents, media members, and other individuals, Melania, with her supposed strongly-held beliefs about cyberbullying, has remained silent.
All in all, Melania’s campaign against cyberbullying is nothing more than a hollow, meaningless hoax, a mockery of what an actual campaign against cyberbullying would look like. If she really cared about cyberbullying, she would actively support all of its victims, not just those in her immediate family. If she were really serious about confronting this worthy and serious issue, she would consult anti-bullying organizations, as well as tech and education experts. She would speak up for children harassed online because of their skin color or sexual orientation.
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Instead, all she has offered are platitudes about the importance of kindness and being everyone’s friend.
Rather than use her immense platform as First Lady to extinguish cyberbullying, Melania Trump has only added fuel to the fire. Through a vile blend of hypocrisy, cluelessness and ineptitude, Melania has let down America’s youth. If children are truly watching the White House, I hope for our future’s sake that they look away.
David Weinberg ([email protected]) is a sophomore double-majoring in Journalism and Political Science.