his now legendary adroitness at tweeting and hell-raising on the microphone, it
appears Donald Trump is less gifted with the written word. All his campaign,
what defined the presidential flag-bearer of the US Republican Party is hubris
and certain superiority complex. But an opponent, Mike Rubbio (who he
condescendingly put down as “Little Rubbio”), made a huge joke of
Trump’s lexical inadequacy early in the day by publicly exposing the syntactic
chaos in his tweets. In many instances, the billionaire jumbled his spellings.
Things dramatically reached a head Monday at the much-awaited Republican
Convention at Ohio when Trump’s spouse, Melania, was invited to deliver a
much-hyped speech. Daintily clad, she sashayed to the rostrum. Throughout, her
speech was punctuated by cheerleaders planted around the convention ground
acting on cue. But the applause soon turned howls of disapproval.
Transcript of her speech would reveal massive, bare-faced theft from the
address the incumbent US First Lady, Michele Obama, had delivered under the
same circumstances way back in 2008. In cannibalizing Michele’s 2008 speech,
Trump’s lazy hirelings probably thought the world had forgotten. So dumb, the
Trump people did not seem to realize that the etiquette of a casino is
different from that of literary transaction. The way you trick a guy off his
wallet at the roll of a dice inside the Trump Casino is not the same way you
handle the owner of an intellectual treasure outside in line with the literary
theory. The least expected of you is credit the originator of the phrase or
idea. Otherwise, that is stealing. And you stand accused of the felony of
Having committed the literary equivalent of shop-lifting, one had expected the
Trump camp to be contrite. Instead, they began by only admitting that Mrs.
Trump had worked with a group of paid writers for the speech. That hardly
absolves the crime still. Later, they said English language is not the native
tongue of the Slovenian-born jewelry-designer and former model. But she owned
it. When that would not fly, they finally set up a Fall Guy on Wednesday among
the speech-writers who claimed responsibility for padding Melania’s copy with
stolen verses from Michele. His resignation offer was cynically rejected by the
Trump team on the grounds that people “make innocent mistakes”.
Ironically, there is no invective or foul word Trump had not used against
Michele’s husband in his divisive campaign rhetoric until now. So, how cool is it to
steal from the Obamas they already tried to discredit?
What is particularly galling is the straight face they initially kept after
their hand had literally been caught in the cookie jar. Now the billion dollar
puzzle: if it took Trump and his people almost eternity to try to come clean on
little things like this, how do they expect to be trusted on bigger matters?
Revulsion at Trump is not only over stolen phrases and verses. There has been
thunders as well over unauthorized melodies. After riding the waves of some
discontents at the opening ceremony, the Republican candidate waltzed onto the
Ohio stage to the Rock music of ‘We are the Champion”. But the echo had
not faded when the copyright owner, Queen, fired an angry statement not only
denying authorizing Trump to use the song but also disclaiming his polarizing
message to the United States and the world.
Said Brian May, Queen’s co-founder: “I can confirm that permission to use
the track was neither sought nor given. We are taking advice on what steps we
can take to ensure this use does not continue. Regardless of our views on Mr
Trump’s platform, it has always been against our policy to allow Queen music to
be used as a political campaigning tool.”
Before Queen, Trump had equally been told off by a couple of artistes whose
songs were rendered at his rallies without authorization. They include
British-born, multiple award-winning Adele, R.E.M. and The Rolling Stones. Neil
Young scoffed at the use of “Rockin in the Free World” at another
outing, labeling the Republican candidate “misogynist and racist”.
So much for the all-knowing guy who wants to “make America great