The irony inherent in the Trump White House continues this week. Before 2016, you’d probably never have guessed that a reality television star would ascend to the office of the presidency, and yet here we are. For much of the time since, you’d be hard pressed to find someone to assert that the first lady, wife to that reality television star and perpetual bully, would found a program dedicated to combat bullying. Yet again though, here we are.
Earlier this year, Melania Trump rolled out “Be Best,” meant to explore solutions for an array of issues facing American young people, including the opioid epidemic and online bullying. There does not appear to even have been a focused “Be Best” event yet, but this week, Melania spoke on the issues underlying the initiative at a Maryland summit on bullying.
Opening the 6th Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention Summit, she commented:
‘Let’s face it. Most children are more aware of the benefits and pitfalls of social media than some adults, but we still need to do all we can to provide them with information and tools for successful and safe online habits… [Social media] can be used in many positive ways, but can also be destructive and harmful when used incorrectly.’
She should know.
Her husband — the president of the United States — spends nearly each and every morning going after some political opponent or opponents of his on Twitter. Recently, some of his targets have included John Brennan — who he calls “the worst CIA Director in our country’s history” — and Omarosa Manigault-Newman, who he’s called a “dog” and a “crying lowlife.” He resorted to that language following revoking Brennan’s security clearance and facing the release of former Trump staffer Manigault-Newman’s new book Unhinged, which chronicles her time working in Trump’s orbit.
It remains deeply ironic not just for Melania to be carrying on with an anti-bullying campaign at all, but for her to place most of the responsibility for the “benefits and pitfalls of social media” on young people’s backs. It’s not a teenager or young adult operating behind the @realdonaldtrump Twitter handle. It’s her husband.
He warned her of the criticism she would receive for launching an anti-bullying campaign, according to The New York Times. She has made it clear, though, that she is willing to face the music — what exactly she’s doing about that metaphorical music, though, is still taking shape.
Although “Be Best” hasn’t turned into some massive nationwide program in the time since its announcement, Melania spokesperson Stephanie Grisham insists that the initiative is going well and as planned.
She told The New York Times:
‘It is exactly what she wants it to be, and it has been a success. We look forward to continued success in her mission of helping children.’
That might be the going line from the East Wing, but the reality of the situation tells a different story. Her husband is continuing to drag the nation’s political conversation through the mud seemingly as often as he can, no matter what niceties she puts forward.
Featured Image via YouTube screenshot