May 8, 2018


Melania Trump trolls her husband (Karen Tumulty, May 7, 2018, Washington Post)

It may be that the most effective way to strike a blow against a Twitter bully is to be a deft troll. In choosing and unveiling the child-welfare platform she plans to champion, first lady Melania Trump proved she has a well developed sense of irony.

"I do believe children should be both seen and heard," she said on Monday in the White House's Rose Garden. "And it is our responsibility as adults to educate and remind them that when they're using their voices, whether verbally or online, they must use their words wisely and speak with respect and compassion."

There is no reason to doubt either her sincerity or her commitment to fighting a very real problem for young people. But the first lady managed to also draw everyone's attention to the fact that the worst imaginable role model for those values happened to be the man sitting right there in the front row. Every time she brings up the subject, she knows the commentary will certainly include references to her husband's abusive comments on social media and in his tirades against his adversaries.

"I am well aware that people are skeptical of me discussing this topic," Melania Trump had acknowledged in March during a White House meeting with tech executives and Internet-safety advocates.

But then again, who better to do it? Who else can shame Donald Trump? Who else can he not afford to attack or belittle, at a time when the country is transfixed and disgusted by reports of his extramarital dalliances with a porn star and a Playboy centerfold?

When he has reached for her hand at photo opportunities, she has sometimes replied with a swat, knowing the cameras will bear evidence to her humiliation and her anger. And now she has done it by putting a spotlight on a cause guaranteed to remind people of his character flaws.

Posted by at May 8, 2018 7:55 PM


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