As you most likely know by now, Melania Trump, Donald Trump’s wife, was caught plagiarizing her GOP convention speech from Michelle Obama. You also likely know that the Donald Trump campaign, and the GOP, are feverishly working to deflect away from this latest example of why Donald Trump should never be elected. The Donald Trump campaign is wrapping the controversy around the notion that Melania Trump’s words “were common words and values” that Melania Trump cares about.
Anyone that has gone unto higher education has seen something akin to a “code of conduct.” The codes of conduct include prohibitions against plagiarism. Melania Trump (Melanija Knavs) states that she graduated from the University of Slovenia, although this is not true. She dropped out after her freshmen year. However, the University of Slovenia has a “Code of Ethics”. In Article 15, the university’s code of ethics states; “research honesty involves consistent respect of authorship, correct recognition and citation of other scholars’ research achievements”.
Donald Trump, for his part, graduated from the Wharton School, part of the University of Pennsylvania. The “Penn’s Plagiarism Policy” is clear: “Plagiarism: using the idea, data, or language of another without specific or proper acknowledgment.”
Basically, using another’s words requires that you give them the proper acknowledgement.
On Monday night, at the GOP convention, Melania Trump delivered a speech. The beginning of the speech was clearly plagiarized from Michelle Obama’s 2008 speech that she delivered at the DNC convention that year. Here are the texts of both speeches:
Michelle Obama, August 25, 2008 at DNC Convention: “Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values: like you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say you’re going to do;”
Melania Trump, July 18, 2016 at GOP Convention: “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.”
Michelle Obama, August 25, 2008 at DNC Convention: “that you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don’t know them, and even if you don’t agree with them.”
Melania Trump, July 18, 2016 at GOP Convention: “that you treat people with respect, they taught and showed me values and morals in their daily life, that is a lesson that I continue to pass along to our son, and we need to pass those lessons on to the many generations to follow.”
Michelle Obama, August 25, 2008 at DNC Convention: “And Barack and I, set out to build lives guided by these values and to pass them on to the next generation because we want our children, and all children in this nation, to know that the only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.”
Melania Trump, July 18, 2016 at GOP Convention: “Because you 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.”
There is no ambiguity, Melania Trump plagiarized Michelle Obama’s speech.
Yes, it is likely that a speech writer, or more, actually plagiarized the speech, but Melania Trump, herself is on the record stating that she wrote most of the speech herself. Even though that many not be true, which would be another lie, the fact remains that Melania Trump delivered the speech.
This is not the only controversy involving Melania Trump’s honesty. On her website, she states that she graduated from the University of Slovenia. The Trump campaign and the GOP have also stated that she
holds a university degree.
Melania Trump does not hold a university degree.
Melania Trump dropped out of the university after her freshmen year to pursue her modeling career.
Donald Trump has not been able to make it through a week without generating controversy. His brand of controversy revolves around dishonesty and racism, not to mention making fun of people with disabilities. As much as Donald Trump and the GOP try to pretend that Donald Trump is presidential material, the facts keep getting in the way.