Last week Melania Trump’s speech at the Republican National Convention (RNC) was scrutinized by the media and held up for ridicule because she plagiarized Michelle Obama’s speech from the 2008 Democratic National Convention (DNC). The Donald Trump presidential campaign denied plagiarism, but it proved to be an indefensible position.
Reeling in the aftermath of the humiliation, Donald Trump Jr. thought he would be clever and call out President Obama’s DNC speech for ‘copying‘ his RNC speech from last week. We put the two excerpts side by side, and the answer is clear.
There’s so much work to do. We will not accept the current state of our country because it’s too hard to change. That’s not the America I know. We’re going to unleash the creative spirit and energy of all Americans. We’re going to make our schools the best in the world for every single American of every single ethnicity and background.
What we heard in Cleveland last week wasn’t particularly Republican and it sure wasn’t conservative. What we heard was a deeply pessimistic vision of a country where we turn against each other and turn away from the rest of the world. There were no serious solutions to pressing problems, just the fanning of resentment and blame and anger and hate. And that is not the America I know. The America I know is full of courage, and optimism, and ingenuity. The America I know is decent and generous.
The alleged plagiarism is of a single phrase, “the America I know.” Incidentally, President Obama said, “This is the America I know,” in Dallas just one week before Trump Jr.’s RNC speech. Obama also said, “that is not the America I know,” in a speech on economics in 2010. Did Trump Jr. actually copy Obama?
Our verdict is a resounding no. Both Bush presidents routinely used the phrase, as did renowned radio host Walter Cronkite. Trump Jr. succeeded somewhat in creating a diversion from partisan politicking, but he once again highlighted Melania’s plagiarism and made himself look incredibly stupid. Trump Jr. tried to show that there is a double standard where Republicans are harshly judged for plagiarism but Democrats can get away with it. Actually, the distinction is not who is saying it, but whether or not it was plagiarized.
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.