Melania Trump bemoans ‘mean’ society
WASHINGTON — Even as Donald Trump assails political correctness, insults opponents and draws bipartisan rebukes for racially tinged insults, the wife of the Republican presidential nominee vowed Thursday that she would devote her energy as first lady to reducing online bullying and promoting more civil discourse in American society.
“Our culture has become too mean and too rough, especially to children and teenagers,” Melania Trump said at a small rally in Berwyn, Pa. “We have to find a better way to talk to each other, to disagree with each other, to respect each other.”
Her message, that children should be protected from bullying on social media and that women should be given greater opportunity, provided a counterpoint to Hillary Clinton’s campaign against Trump, which has focused on his harsh rhetoric, particularly toward women and minorities.
To win, Trump needs to make up ground with female voters, particularly in suburban counties like the one where his wife spoke, outside Philadelphia.
But Melania Trump, a former fashion model, has little in common with the working- and middle-class voters Trump is trying to lure. She acknowledged as much as she spoke about her life of glamour and privilege. But she talked about the shared American values — kindness, honesty, respect, compassion — she tries to pass on to her son, Barron, regardless of his advantages. Trump also spoke of her own upbringing in communist Slovenia and the sense of optimism her family felt at the election of Ronald Reagan as U.S. president in 1980.
America, she said, “was the word for freedom and opportunity” in her family. “If you could dream it, you could become it.”
Melania Trump, wife of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, takes the stage Thursday in Berwyn, Pa.