Melania Trump’s alleged speech plagiarism scandal has made headlines today and clogged Facebook and Twitter feeds with endless memes and witty commentary. However, Melania is only the tip of the iceberg. In fact, her husband, presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, is mired in plagiarism scandals that have somehow avoided becoming as prominent as the allegations against Melania.
His campaign has repeatedly plagiarized sources of voter registration information, from state-level State Departments and local news sources without any attributions. In one instance he copied a local radio station’s article on registration, but the article was four years old and electoral law had changed since it was published, so the Trump campaign’s ‘information’ was totally inaccurate.
The New York Times found that Trump University textbooks virtually copy-pasted 20 pages of text from another real estate textbook. Another egregious example is an op-ed that Trump plagiarized from his from his former rival Dr. Ben Carson. Carson published an op-ed on citizens of American Territories on February 26, 2016, and on March 9 Trump published a strikingly similar op-ed with whole sections of text copied word for word.
The scrutiny surrounding Melania today should not distract from scrutiny of Donald Trump – the actual candidate. He has a demonstrable history of deception and plagiarism that is unacceptable for anyone seeking political office. Plagiarism is theft of intellectual property, and most often committed by those who aren’t smart enough to come up with their own intelligent words. We shouldn’t let Trump get away with it.
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Marisa completed her undergraduate degree in 2013 at the University of Wisconsin with a double major in creative writing and media studies. She is an advocate of progressive policies and focuses her interests on gender equality and preventing sexual and domestic violence.