Melania Trump says that “our culture has gotten too mean and too rough” thanks to cyberbullying on the internet, and if she becomes First Lady, she plans to do something about it.
If you just heard the sound of a needle scratching across a record, you’d be forgiven.
In a rare speech at a campaign stop in Berwyn, Penn., on Nov. 3, Melania Trump highlighted the ills of bullying on social media—with nary a word on her husband Donald Trump’s notorious online antics and the possibility that he could become Bully-in-Chief.
“Social media is a centerpiece of our lives,” she said. “But like anything that is powerful, it can have a bad side. We have seen this already. As adults, many of us are able to handle mean words, even lies. Children and teenagers can be fragile. They are hurt when they are made fun of or made to feel less in looks or intelligence.”
The internet immediately picked up on the irony of Melania’s battle to end cyberbullying, given that her husband, the Republican presidential candidate, mercilessly wields his Twitter account to mock, belittle, or insult anyone he deems an enemy. The New York Times even recently devoted a two-page spread to cataloging every insult Donald Trump has spewed on the micro-blogging site. The total number of targets: 282.
While she didn’t mention her husband’s propensity for hurling insults on Twitter in her speech, Melania was asked about it in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper in October:
“Do you ever tell Mr. Trump not to tweet so much?” Cooper asked her.
“Yes, but that’s his decision. He’s an adult. He knows the consequences,” she responded.
It’s possible Melania finds her husband’s insults more palatable because he proudly puts his name—@realDonaldTrump—on his vitriol rather than tweeting from a pseudonym.
“It is never okay when a 12-year-old girl or boy is mocked, bullied or attacked,” she said. “It is terrible when that happens on the playground and it is unacceptable when it’s done by someone with no name hiding on the internet.”