The unfortunate echoes of an address delivered by Michelle Obama that ran throughout Melania Trump’s first speech at the Republican National Convention have ensured every monologue she will make from here on in is heavily scrutinised.
The wife of Donald Trump had another go at campaigning for her husband in Philadelphia, delivering a carefully constructed and deliberately bland speech which loosely set out her mission statement as a prospective First Lady.
Melania's pledges were two-fold: to be an advocate for women and children and to tackle social media bullying. Both were warmly welcomed by the forgiving crowd gathered in the building. Unlike her unbridled husband, she did not veer off script once and occasionally tripped over her lines, appearing uncomfortable. At times, her smiles were strained and her head nods were clearly rehearsed. She seemed unsure how to bounce off the audience.
But it was an otherwise uneventful speech. Melania made some valid points about the pervasive effects of cyber bullying through social media, and there wasn't a pussy bow in sight. Yet something felt a little… off.
Perhaps it was the glaring irony.
“Technology has changed our universe. But as with anything that is powerful, it can have a bad side.
“Children and teenagers can be fragile. They are hurt when they are made fun of, or made to feel less in looks or intelligence.
“Our culture has gotten too mean and too rough, especially to children and teenagers.
“It is never okay when a 12-year-old girl or boy is mocked, bullied or attacked 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, to disagree with each other, to respect each other.”
“We must find better ways to honour and support the basic goodness of our children, especially in social media.
“I will focus on helping children and women, and also about social media.
“In this 21st century, what’s going on, it’s very hurtful to children. To some adults as well, but we need to take care of children.”
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