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marble falls

(59,000 posts)
Thu Jan 25, 2018, 10:01 PM Jan 2018

The Quiet Radicalism of Melania Trump

The Quiet Radicalism of Melania Trump


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Melania Trump on the South Lawn of the White House in November.CreditAndrew Harrer/Bloomberg

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/25/opinion/melania-trump-radical.html

By Kate Andersen Brower
Jan. 25, 2018

On the first anniversary of his inauguration, President Trump spent the day blasting Democrats for the government shutdown, suggesting that women marching in protest of his presidency were somehow celebrating it, and embroiled in allegations that he paid off a porn star to keep her quiet about their relationship. Melania Trump, meanwhile, commemorated the anniversary by tweeting a single photo of herself on Inauguration Day on the arm of a Marine. Her husband was nowhere in sight, and she did not mention his name. A few days later — on what happened to be the Trumps’ 13th wedding anniversary — she canceled her plans to accompany Mr. Trump to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

She may not be progressive. She may not be political. And yet Mrs. Trump may end up doing more than any of her predecessors to upend our expectations of the slavish devotion a first lady must display toward her husband.

Her reasons for doing so, of course, are almost certainly personal. With the exception of the Clintons, there has not been a more complicated first couple in modern history: Mrs. Trump is the third wife of a man who once told the radio host Howard Stern he would “give her a week” to lose the baby weight after their son, Barron, was born. During the 2016 campaign she was put in the position of defending him after a 2005 “Access Hollywood” video showed him bragging about groping women.

<snip>


Maybe Mrs. Trump is more like Michelle Obama than people think. Though the mutual affection of the Obamas was obvious, Mrs. Obama was also the first first lady to challenge people to accept a woman who refused to play the role of the saccharine, adoring spouse. “I can’t do that,” she said in 2007 Vanity Fair interview. “That’s not me. I love my husband. I think he’s one of the most brilliant men I’ve ever met, and he knows that. But he’s not perfect, and I don’t want the world to want him to be perfect.”

Mrs. Trump is the most reluctant first lady since Bess Truman (who left Washington to return to her home in Independence, Mo., at every opportunity). Her apparent antipathy toward the job has made her more willing to ignore the rules and traditions that govern it. This quiet rebellion started with her decision not to move into the White House until five months after her husband took office. It gathered force when she swatted her husband’s hand away on an airport tarmac in Israel last year. By the time the Trumps leave the White House, Mrs. Trump may have done more to change our notions about this archaic position, which has no job description and no pay, and comes with impossible expectations, than most of her predecessors.

Would it have been beneficial to Donald Trump for his wife to stand beside him in Davos and show a united front, as we have come to expect from first ladies? Absolutely. Does she care? Probably not.

Kate Andersen Brower is a CNN contributor and the author, most recently, of “First Women: The Grace and Power of America’s Modern First Ladies.”

Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook and Twitter (@NYTopinion), and sign up for the Opinion Today newsletter.

19 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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The Quiet Radicalism of Melania Trump (Original Post) marble falls Jan 2018 OP
Comparing Melania Trump to Michelle Obama and Bess Truman in any way is revolting. 50 Shades Of Blue Jan 2018 #1
seriously? handmade34 Jan 2018 #2
I get the writer's perspective and that gives context, but JDC Jan 2018 #3
The only way she would be radical....... CatMor Jan 2018 #4
https://www.democraticunderground.com/100210147929 marble falls Jan 2018 #19
Right. Two weeks ago their headline was jrthin Jan 2018 #5
NYT, go back to publishing tRumper's ass licking letters to the editor. ProudLib72 Jan 2018 #6
This essay Ohiogal Jan 2018 #7
what a load of crap No rec lunasun Jan 2018 #8
WTF? No. Just, no. uppityperson Jan 2018 #9
" impossible expectations "??? flotsam Jan 2018 #14
stretch, a big one irisblue Jan 2018 #10
This reads a lot into her tRump hate and avoidance of the public eye oxbow Jan 2018 #11
She is nothing like Michelle Obama ismnotwasm Jan 2018 #12
I saw a video of the moron speaking in front of BigmanPigman Jan 2018 #13
Sounds about right Ohiogal Jan 2018 #15
Her eyes are naturally skinny BigmanPigman Jan 2018 #17
Shh. We're hunting for wewy wewy quiet wadicals. struggle4progress Jan 2018 #16
Not radical at all -- kinda typical for someone who RandomAccess Jan 2018 #18

JDC

(10,225 posts)
3. I get the writer's perspective and that gives context, but
Thu Jan 25, 2018, 10:08 PM
Jan 2018

No f'in way Melania can be compared to Michelle and she is in no way blazing a trail for the future role of First Ladies.

CatMor

(6,212 posts)
4. The only way she would be radical.......
Thu Jan 25, 2018, 10:09 PM
Jan 2018

Is to serve him divorce papers right now and move out of the White House.

jrthin

(4,846 posts)
5. Right. Two weeks ago their headline was
Thu Jan 25, 2018, 10:10 PM
Jan 2018

"Trump Reinvent the Presidency." We get it NYT's, you are complicit in trying to rebuild these pigs images.

uppityperson

(115,687 posts)
9. WTF? No. Just, no.
Thu Jan 25, 2018, 10:20 PM
Jan 2018

"upend our expectations of the slavish devotion a first lady must display toward her husband"?

Yeah. Michelle certainly displayed slavish devotion to her husband.

"Mrs. Trump may have done more to change our notions about this archaic position, which has no job description and no pay, and comes with impossible expectations, than most of her predecessors. "

Again, see Michelle Obama.

"Her apparent antipathy toward the job"???? Wrong. Her apparent antipathy towards the Asshole she's married to.


oxbow

(2,034 posts)
11. This reads a lot into her tRump hate and avoidance of the public eye
Thu Jan 25, 2018, 10:31 PM
Jan 2018

It’s not revolutionary - it’s a survival strategy,
a radical attempt to distance herself/Barron from both him and the reality show he lives in.

ismnotwasm

(42,093 posts)
12. She is nothing like Michelle Obama
Thu Jan 25, 2018, 10:31 PM
Jan 2018

This article doesn’t even make sense. Ms. Trump has done nothing radical, nothing.

BigmanPigman

(51,840 posts)
13. I saw a video of the moron speaking in front of
Thu Jan 25, 2018, 10:31 PM
Jan 2018

a very large audience before he even married her. She was in the audience and he was telling the host that he wanted to be president someday and he had "his future wife and supermodel's support". They turned the cameras to her and she stood up and told everyone that she "would support him and couldn't wait to be the first lady". The NYT is full of BS! She knew who he was and was 100% behind him.

Ohiogal

(32,623 posts)
15. Sounds about right
Thu Jan 25, 2018, 10:49 PM
Jan 2018

She knew full well what she was getting into when she married the Dotard.

I get so tired of the media saying that either of them have "reshaped" or "revolutionized" anything.

They are both unfit for the roles they have ... no warmth, no compassion, no sense of duty

I sometimes wonder if she's loaded with tranquilizers to get through the day, she has that dead eyed look quite often. Being married to that orange creep would push anyone on to drugs!

BigmanPigman

(51,840 posts)
17. Her eyes are naturally skinny
Thu Jan 25, 2018, 10:55 PM
Jan 2018

If you look at old photos but she has had so much filler injected underneath they look skinnier. Also, Botox will keep her expressionless better than Xanax ever could. I have to get injections every three months for daily migraines and it really does keep my forehead from moving even the slightest amount.

 

RandomAccess

(5,210 posts)
18. Not radical at all -- kinda typical for someone who
Thu Jan 25, 2018, 11:05 PM
Jan 2018

is emotionally estranged from her husband and wouldn't be IN the marriage if she didn't have to, for whatever reasons (probably financial).

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