The following is a letter-to-the-editor appearing this week in The Northern Virginia Daily, whose readership is located in the northern Shenandoah Valley. The area is mostly quite conservative.
In this LTE, I talk about what I interpret to be a “coded message” that Melania Trump is sending to the nation.
The perceptive reader of my letter will discern that my letter, too, is something of a coded message.
My appreciation for Melania Trump has increased over time.
As most people probably know, Melania has taken on the issue of cyber-bullying as a focus for her role as First Lady. It’s an important issue, one that she seems to genuinely care about.
But it seems that every liberal commentator mocks Melania for saying she cares about bullying, while never criticizing her husband for his bullying. (As is widely noted, President Trump has publicly bullied his opponents, those who work for him, America’s allies, and various U.S. citizens he finds it useful to attack).
I think that mocking is quite unfair. It’s entirely unreasonable to expect any First Lady to publicly criticize her husband, the President. But beyond that, it appears to me that Melania is telling the nation how she feels about her husband’s bullying in the only way she can. Why else would a woman married to a bullying president choose that issue from among the many worthy causes suitable for a First Lady?
As I have lately come to understand it, Melania has here shown some creative intelligence: in her choice of issues, she has found a way to send a coded message to the nation. (Perhaps it is simply a criticism, but perhaps also she is signaling something about her own private experience in her very public marriage.) If there is a better way she could have accomplished that, I don’t know what it is.