Transforming plagiarism into fantasy land

Published 10:52 am Thursday, July 28, 2016

Last week, Melania Trump plagiarized her speech to the RNC from a speech given by Michelle Obama in 2008 at the DNC, which nominated Barack Obama for president.

I don’t like plagiarism, but something else bothered me just as much – something I haven’t read about or seen addressed.

Here’s one of the plagiarized bits of Mrs. Trump’s speech: “From a young age, my parents impressed on me the values that you work hard for what you want in life, that your word is your bond, and you do what you say and keep your promise, that you treat people with respect because we want our children in this nation to know that the only limit to your achievements is the strength of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.”

That sounds very nice. They were very good American parents, instilling good morals in their children and introducing them to American capitalism and decency.

Okay, that was originally from Mrs. Obama talking about her parents in Chicago.

But Mrs. Trump was born in 1970 in Slovenia, then part of Communist Yugoslavia, which was under the Soviet hammer of oppression. It was a violently anti-capitalist nation.

She grew up under Communist rule in the ‘70s and ‘80s when the Soviet Union was still going strong.

She got some education in Slovenia – though, according to Wikipedia, she did not get a degree.

She was lucky, however, because she was very pretty and could make a good living as a glamour model at age 17. Then she joined a modeling outfit in Italy before coming to the United States in the 1990s.

When I was watching her give the speech last Monday night, I was fairly impressed…but then she hit the spots that were later discovered to be plagiarized. When she was giving the speech, I found it very odd that her parents were giving all this great advice about being democratic, moral, and capitalist.

She was raised in a Soviet dominated country. It wasn’t as bad in the ‘70s as it had been under Stalin, but it was still under the thumb of the Soviet Union.

Maybe I’ve read too many spy novels and history books about how bad it was under Soviet rule, but when she was giving the speech I was thinking, “No way!”

If anything, her parents would have been saying, “Do whatever they tell you without question, keep your head down and hope they don’t notice you, and don’t make any Communist party official mad.”

When she was giving the speech, I figured she was just lying about her parental advice growing up. That was based solely on my idea about what it would be like growing up in a dictatorial Communist country.

Turns out she was. I didn’t learn those parts of her speech were plagiarized until the next day. So I went to bed thinking her speech writers had just made up an All-American Girl speech to play to the Republican audience, whom I believe live in fantasy-land anyway. They actually believe Donald Trump cares about working people even though his policies are all about helping the rich get richer.

And they deny science at every turn, rejecting climate change, evolution, coal is dirty, and anything else that goes against their view of the world.

Like Mrs. Trump and her speech writers, they just make it up as they go along.

Watch the DNC this week. I can’t vouch for the absolute truth, but I can guarantee you’ll get more than you got last week.


Keith Hoggard is a Staff Writer at Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact him at or 252-332-7206.