"The Trump team swears that Mrs. Trump wrote the speech and didn’t mean to plagiarize the current First Lady."
Yesterday, the Republican National Convention kicked off in Cleveland, Ohio. One of my friends predicted it would be a spectacle of epic proportions, involving pyrotechnics, all-female military drills teams reminiscent of Ghadaffi’s personal guard, and jungle cats. Just big freakin’ leopards and panthers on the stage. RAWR.
That didn’t happen. Sad.
After a scuffle on the convention floor in the afternoon where delegates really, really, really wanted to change the rules so they could vote for their favorite candidates instead of presumptive nominee Donald Trump, everyone settled in for an evening of speeches.
The headliner for the night was Melania Trump, The Donald’s wife. She took the stage to give a keynote that delivered some great points about the value of hard work, keeping your word, and raising kids to follow their dreams.
Unfortunately, those points were made, nearly verbatim, by Michelle Obama at the Democratic National Convention in 2008.
The Trump team swears that Mrs. Trump wrote the speech and didn’t mean to plagiarize the current First Lady.
Ok, let’s get real. Mrs. Trump did not write that speech without help. No one writes political speeches without help. When you try to write your own stuff without a pro to help you out, you end up sounding like, well, Donald Trump.
What I think happened was that the speechwriter assigned to help craft this speech looked at a bunch of past First Lady convention speeches to find out what works. They clipped the best parts and tried to rewrite them make them sound more like Mrs. Trump.
Only they didn’t go far enough in altering the sentiments — and we got the Mel-chelle moment we saw last night.
While the whole episode may be understandable, it’s not really forgivable. Plagiarism, even of only a small percentage of a larger work, would get a college student hauled before an academic review board and could result in suspension or expulsion.
Because copyright protections are a thing and using someone else’s creative work without crediting them is a crime.
Plagiarism of a speech given by someone who’s ostensibly your political enemy will get you lampooned on social media. Maybe for the rest of your life.