Michelle Obama’s Speech Trumps GOP Convention

Who could’ve predicted the words Michelle Obama spoke in 2008 at the Democratic National Convention would again hold us captive? This time the inspiring speech was again met with loud applause and approval despite starring in the mini series that the Republican National Convention has become. It looked like we may have a return to an American version of Camelot. Then the bubble burst.  This election season has been wild, and unpredictable. But this? Not a single crystal ball was tuned into Melania Trump  standing at center stage of the Republican National Convention delivering the words that initially made us fall in love fall with Michelle Obama.
A lot can and has been said about the unfortunate turn of events that lead to Melania Trump borrowing part of her primetime speech from First Lady Michelle Obama. People have pointed out that many politicians borrow, or rephrase messages and content from other politicians. Ok, fine, for the sake of argument we’ll pretend it’s not illegal or fraudulent to steal someone’s original works. It’s theft, it’s fraud and it’s flat out despicable. However; let’s put that little tidbit aside momentarily.

All day long I’ve heard well everyone does it. Ok that’s not really a viable argument but hey shoot your shot. Usually when people “borrow” from other’s speeches a.) they give them credit and b.) if by some chance it’s from an official from an opposing party the borrowing is done to illustrate that even though we have differences there is still common ground between us. That was not the case when Mrs. Trump stood on stage and shamelessly delivered her plagiarized speech. According to Melania she wrote the speech. Granted someone in the Trump campaign let the wife of the Republican Nominee down. Yes, people paraphrase, borrow, and remix speeches. There’s nothing new under the sun and all that jazz. However, this was Mrs. Trump’s opportunity to show America why her husband is so great. This was her chance to show America her chops as a potential 1st lady. Someone should’ve said if you must borrow from a speech make sure you borrow from Barbara Bush, or Nancy Reagan. It says a lot to me when a woman can’t find the words to describe the greatness in HER husband. Melania repeatedly LIED and said she wrote the speech, clearly she didn’t. We were lead to believe these were her words, thoughts, and feelings about her husband Donald J. Trump. If stolen platitudes from the current 1st lady is you can give your husband there’s a problem If your mom and wife can’t say anything good about you without “borrowing” it from someone else you may have a character flaw or two.
The Trump camp opposes, vilifies, and taints everything the Obamas say and do, yet out of all the speeches to ‘borrow’ from throughout the course of history someone in Trump’s camp decided the speech Michelle Obama gave was a great one to steal from. Maybe the Obamas aren’t so bad after all.  Melania stood on a stage in Primetime and told the nation these are my values; this is who we are. The issue is the Trump camp picked the speech of a person whose ideals they say they do not support, or embrace. The chaos of Melania’s speech rings of Donald Trump not Mrs. Trump. I imagine she was told to read it and that’s what she did. I say Donald because if a speech writer had written it Trump’s advisors would’ve said use anyone’s speech EXCEPT Michelle Obama’s.  Something doesn’t add up either you are nothing like our current 1st family as you’ve said, or you’re so similar you naturally have the same speech and thought patterns. You can’t have it both ways. As a writer I take real issue with anyone plagiarizing someone else’s thoughts. Borrow, use it, make it your mantra, and your daily mantra if you want, but give the person who created it credit.
Physicist Bob Rutledge calculated the odds that First Lady Michelle Obama and Melania could come up with essentially the same speech. “I calculate the probability that Melania Trump did not plagiarize from Michelle Obama’s 2008 Democratic National Convention speech is about 1 in 87 billion.” (Rutledge, 2016) In other words, whatever language you speak, whatever your first language is the chances of the wives of two Presidential Nominees from different backgrounds, from different political parties, who grew up in different countries would give the same speech 8 years apart is about the same chance a snow ball would have in the pit of hell.
At the crux of this argument this farce points to a bigger issue. It neatly sums up the fraudulent culture that surrounds Trump. The Republican nominee has been sued numerous times for fraud, and deception. Trump University is a sham. The notion that Melania wrote her speech and accidentally stole portions of Mrs. Obama’s speech is ridiculous at best.  Dr. Maya Angelou has a famous quote that ironically is often attributed to Oprah Winfrey. The quote is, “When people tell you who they are believe them.” That sums up the plagiarism of Michelle Obama’s 2008 speech and more importantly Trump’s bid for the election in its entirety.  Donald Trump has been telling the American people for over a year that he is a small minded, bigoted, racist, charlatan. We should believe him.
cnn.com. (2016, July 19). Comparing Melania Trump and Michelle Obama’s speeches . Retrieved July 19, 2016, from cnn.com:
Ruteledge, B. (2016, July 19). O… THERE’S A CHANCE? Physicist: There’s A 1-In-87 Billion Chance Melania Trump Didn’t Plagiarize. Retrieved July 19, 2016, from digg.com: https://digg.com/2016/melania-trump-plagiarized-speech-proof-obama


Veteran sports and entertainment journalist, Karintha Styles holds court at the intersection of sports and pop culture. Seamlessly she weaves common sense, tough love, and quick wit through her writing and commentary. Currently, she hosts Week N Sports and Styles & Kaikai with Elizabeth Kaikai. You can find the Detroit native’s work on numerous media outlets including Fox Sports, Yahoo Sports, BET, iHeart Media, and Hoops Habit.

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