Tag Archives: Melania Trump

Melania: most ‘bullied person in the world’? Hardly

Nice going, Mme. First Lady. You have a perfectly noble and legitimate cause upon which to base your first ladyhood and then  you trample all over it with a weird assertion about how you are among the “most bullied” people on Earth.

I could not believe my eyes and ears when I heard about this from Melania Trump.

She told ABC News the following, according to CNN: “I could say I’m the most bullied person on the world,” Trump told ABC News in an interview during her first solo trip to Africa last week … . You’re really the most bullied person in the world?” asked ABC News’ Tom Llamas during the exchange. “One of them, if you really see what people saying about me,” Trump said.

She isn’t among the most bullied people on Earth.

I feel confident in making that counter claim. Mrs. Trump  married a man who would become president no doubt knowing full well what she was getting in the bargain. Indeed, Donald J. Trump has dished out all sorts of bullying insults on his way to the presidency and, of course, since he became the Bully-er in Chief.

The message that Mrs. Trump wants to send forth is designed to call attention to how social media have become a bullying instrument used against children. That is a noble cause and I applaud that effort.

However, for her then to internalize and personalize it in this manner by suggesting that she is among the world’s top victims of this (mis)behavior detracts from the seriousness of a totally serious cause.

I am amazed she would say such a thing.

FLOTUS has a point, however …

First lady Melania Trump makes a lot of sense when she says critics ought to “focus on what I do, not what I wear.”

Mrs. Trump has just concluded a brief solo jaunt to Africa, where she visited four countries while highlighting her concern for children and women’s rights and well-being.

But then she got photographed wearing a pith helmet, the kind of headgear popular during the era of colonization of Africa. Twitter trolls were all over it, criticizing the first lady for her poor choice of hats.

Her response sought to remind her critics that she is trying to do noble work on behalf of children and women. That should be their focus, not the style of hats she wears, which critics said are too much of a reminder of the oppression brought to Africa during the years of European empire-building.

That brings me to an element that fills me with mixed feelings.

The first lady’s staff ought to be dialed in, focused like lasers on the image she portrays whenever she is seen in public. I am wondering why Mrs. Trump’s staff couldn’t foresee this kind of blow back. She wore that jacket that caught people’s attention. It said, “I really don’t care, do u?” while she was touring immigration camps along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Then, of course, we have the first lady’s signature issue: bullying of children, including that which occurs via the Internet. That is a noble cause to promote, but the first lady seems blind and deaf to the bullying that occurs via Twitter — from her husband, the president of the United States of America.

So, the pith helmet outcry seems on the surface to be overblown. Critics ought to concentrate on the first lady’s deeds, not her attire.

Then again, let’s take greater care, Mme. First Lady, to avoid these kinds of pitfalls.

First lady embarks on important mission in Africa

First lady Melania Trump is on a mission in Africa. Her aim is to spread her mission to help children and to protect them from various forms of exploitation.

She also can perform a public relations clean up of a mess made by her husband, Donald Trump, the president of the United States. You see, the president is still trying to live down a quote attributed to him in which he referred to African nations as “sh**hole countries.” I don’t recall him making any distinction among the nations on the continent, just that all the nations on the continent were sending unwelcome immigrants to our shores.

Well, the first lady now is embarked on a mission to promote her signature issue: child protection.

Africa is a good place to take that message.

You’ll recall the terror group Boko Haram, based in Nigeria. Boko Haram kidnapped hundreds of young women, many of them children. They released some of them, but reportedly are holding others in some hiding place. No doubt they are being terrorized and intimidated by their captors.

What the first lady can do to help these young victims remains unclear, but she does occupy an important bully pulpit.  I sincerely hope she uses it to speak truth to the need to care for young people around the world.

As a guest column in the Dallas Morning News notes, Africa has the world’s largest concentration of people younger than 18. Many of them are in desperate straits. They need a powerful ally to speak to their needs. Melania Trump can offer that voice on their behalf.

Read the column by Natalie Gonella-Platts here.

Moreover, she can bring worldwide attention once again to the terrorists acts of Boko Haram and demand once more: release those young women and girls and return them to their families.

Welcome to our ranks, Mr. and Mrs. Knavs

The United States gained at least two new citizens this week.

They are Viktor and Amalija Knavs, natives of Slovenia in central Europe. Oh, yes. They are the parents of first lady Melania Trump.

I welcome them. They likely are fine folks. They will add to the rich texture of this nation of immigrants.

However, there’s this little catch: They became U.S. citizens under the same sort of system that their son-in-law, the president of the United States, continues to rail against.

He calls it “chain migration,” which allows people to enter this country with relatives in tow. You might have heard Donald Trump bellow how chain migration enables immigrants to bring their cousins, in-laws, all sorts of kinfolk. He wants to end it. Trump wants to limit immigration — even those who come here legally — to those who would qualify on “merit.”

I won’t condemn the Knavses for coming here. I welcome them. I know they’ll have a good life as Americans. They’ll be able to be a larger part of their grandson Barron’s life as he continues to come of age in that strange environment within the White House.

However, they might need to toughen their skin as they hear critics who ask aloud why they were able to come here under a policy that conservatives — led by the president — want to discontinue.

Oh, wait …

Tension tonight at Trumps’ dinner table?

I am probably the only American who wants to be a fly on the wall tonight when the president and first lady sit down for dinner.

Donald J. Trump decided to post that moronic tweet in which he blasts pro basketball great LeBron James for saying some nasty things about him. Oh, and he also took a cheap shot at CNN anchor Don Lemon, who he called the “dumbest person on TV.” Racist … perhaps? Yeah. Pretty sure it is.

Oh, but then first lady Melania Trump’s spokesperson said the first lady salutes James for his work to improve the lives of children. “It looks like LeBron James is working to do good things on behalf of our next generation and just as she always has, the First Lady encourages everyone to have an open dialogue about issues facing children today,” said Stephanie Grisham on Mrs. Trump’s behalf.

What has James done? He has opened a school in his native Akron, Ohio, for at-risk children. He has invested a significant portion of his massive wealth to help aspiring students.

Indeed, James has done more for children than the president has done. Or for that matter, anything the education secretary, Betsy DeVos, has done.

Still, the president saw fit to disparage LeBron James with what many — myself included — have construed to be a racist taunt.

The first lady’s minor break with her husband is significant mainly because she has chosen to speak out at all, even if it through her spokeswoman.

There might be a bit of tension tonight wherever the Trumps will be.

POTUS seeks to control news information flow

Donald J. Trump’s reported anger over first lady Melania Trump’s desire to watch CNN aboard Air Force One brings to mind a curious conversation I had with a key staffer who worked for U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry, a Clarendon Republican who represents the 13th Congressional District of Texas.

Trump wants all the TVs on the presidential jet to be tuned to Fox News, his favorite news/commentary network. He considers CNN and other news networks to be purveyors of “fake news.” What makes ’em “fake”? They report news the president deems to be negative. I presume he’s issued the same edict for the TV sets throughout the White House.

So, negativity equals “fake news.” Got it?

OK, back to my conversation with the Thornberry staffer.

We were visiting some years ago. I was working for the Amarillo Globe-News. This individual was talking about a news report she heard. She then told me in a hushed voice over the phone that she heard the report “on NPR.”

Oh, my! Heaven forbid! A staffer for a conservative Republican member of Congress would get her news from National Public Radio! She didn’t want it heard, I guess, by her fellow staffers that she was listening to NPR.

I laughed at her over the phone. She happens to be a friend and we have had a very constructive and productive professional relationship over the years.

I was able to needle her about NPR and the myth that the publicly funded radio network was somehow a progressive mouthpiece for left-leaning politicians.

It isn’t. Public radio reporters and other staffers have informed me over the years about how they were schooled in the manner they should describe public policy. For instance, one NPR news hound informed that the Affordable Care Act would not be referred to on the air as a “reform” measure; “reform” connoted an improvement over the current system. The term that NPR reporters were instructed to use is “overhaul.”

Are we clear? Good!

Try to imagine any other first lady in this pose

High Plains Blogger has sought to refrain from posting pictures such as this one, but in this instance, I cannot resist.

The woman on the right is Melania Knauss, who would become known to the world as Melania Trump. It was published by the New York Post, a paper owned by Rupert Murdoch, one of Ms. Knauss’s future husband’s better friends and political allies. See the Post article here.

I am trying to fathom the reaction if we were to see pictures of, say, Michelle Obama, Laura Bush, Hillary Clinton, the late Barbara Bush or the late Nancy Reagan in this kind of context.

We live in a new era, dear reader.

That’s all. I’m out.

Trying to imagine how the Trumps talk to each other

This blog post borders on the gossipy. But … I’ll post it anyway.

I cannot yet wrap my noodle around how Donald and Melania Trump spend their off hours together in the White House residence. I can imagine easily, for example, how preceding presidential couples might talk to each other at the dinner table at the end of the day.

Barack and Michelle Obama, George W. and Laura Bush, Bill and Hillary Clinton, George H.W. and Barbara Bush, Ronald and Nancy Reagan, Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter, Gerald and Betty Ford?

They all seemed so, um, normal. The men in those tandems — the presidents — all appeared to many Americans to be so very much like the rest of us. They all seemingly suffered the usual pains of compassion, or empathy over those who bear the burden of the decisions that come from the Oval Office.

I cannot yet figure out what drives the current president. I cannot yet grasp how he tells of his day to his wife. Or, for that matter, whether he even gives a crap about how the first lady’s day had gone.

Am I the only American who has trouble painting this picture in my mind’s eye?

‘Easier to judge quickly than to take time to understand’

Philip Rucker is a first-class reporter for The Washington Post. He posted a Twitter item that stated:

First Lady Melania Trump in speech tonight: “Kindness, compassion, and positivity are very important traits in life. It is far easier to say nothing than it is to speak words of kindness. It is easier to judge quickly than to take time to understand.”

I am blown away by part of what the first lady said.

“It is easier to judge quickly than to take time to understand.”

That’s what she said, according to Rucker. She is correct. Spot on. However, as with most matters involving the first lady, one must feel a bit of pain for her, given that she is married to someone who is too damn eager to “judge quickly” and is so very reluctant to “take time to understand.”

Illegal immigrants, anyone?

Consider what the president of the United States keeps saying about those who enter this country without the proper immigration documents. He is labeling them all with the same epithet. They’re criminals intent on doing serious harm to Americans, he keeps telling us.

The president refuses to “take time to understand” why they’re coming here. Refugees? Escaping crime? Fleeing persecution? In search of a better life for them and their families?

Who needs to “take time” to realize that not all illegal immigrants are motivated by evil intent? They aren’t all coming here for nefarious reasons.

The president is exhibiting a shameful prejudice toward all illegal immigrants and, by implication, almost all of those who come to this country.

If only the first lady’s wisdom could get through to her husband, who remains blind and deaf to the pleas of those who admonish him to cease the cruelty of his views toward immigrants.

It’s a lost cause. A president who makes public policy pronouncements via Twitter isn’t going to heed anyone’s advice. Not even his wife.

‘The Jacket’ shrouds first lady’s actual mission

I think I’ll paraphrase a message that appeared on the back of first lady Melania Trump’s jacket … so bear with me.

I really don’t care about what it said.

What I do care about is that the first lady chose to wear this particular jacket while she was heading toward South Texas to tour a migrant camp that houses children who had been taken from their parents. The message on the back of the jacket read: “I really don’t care. Do U?”

I also care about the decidedly mixed message from Donald J. Trump’s self-proclaimed “fine-tuned machine” that runs the executive branch of government. Melania Trump’s staff said the first lady never intended to deliver a message with the jacket. Then the president himself tweeted something that said, yep, she did intend to deliver a message, which was aimed at what he calls “fake news.”

Message or no message? Which is it?

How about we hear from the first lady herself?

I am acutely aware that nothing gets done spontaneously at this level of public appearance planning. These events almost always are tightly scripted affairs. So, when the first lady is seen boarding a plane en route to South Texas wearing a jacket that sends a troubling message about whether she cares about the kids, well, then we have a problem.

The message itself isn’t all that weird. It’s the context of the first lady of the United States deciding to wear it while preparing to represent the president at an event that has gripped the nation by its throat.

If it is true — and that’s an iffy prospect, at best — that, according to the president, the first lady’s visit to McAllen was “100 percent” her call, then we need to hear directly from her.

Was she sending a “message,” or was it just an astonishingly sloppy display of ignorance about how the “optics” would play?

Talk to us, Mme. First Lady.