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Sunday, March 29, 2020

Dept. Of Awards & Accolades – Why Honor Melania Trump?

The Office of the First Lady has announced that Melanie Trump is being honored February 19 as a “woman of distinction” by Palm Beach Atlantic University.

If you are wondering, as I did, what the Slovenian emigré had done to win this accolade, here is what the press release from her office stated:

“The First Lady is being recognized and celebrated for her dedication to improving communities and our country. With her Be Best policy initiative, the First Lady brings awareness to issues that impact children’s lives and highlights programs and treatments designed to overcome these issues.”

Well, who’s to argue with that?

And if you are wondering, as I did, what is Palm Beach Atlantic University, its website tells potential students that “this faith-based foundation will shape your experience and prepare you with the kind of ethical, principled outlook that today’s employers value.”

My first instinct always has been to commiserate with Melania Trump and all political spouses. It is not a role most sign up for when they marry. But look at how so many have risen to the opportunity, embracing the bully pulpit and truly making a difference. I find it difficult to celebrate Melania Trump bringing “awareness to issues that impact children’s lives” when I look at how her spouse’s policies have harmed so many children, like those separated from their desperate parents. And who knows what Melania really thinks about the caging of children or anything else. Like the majority of political spouses, she does not publicly oppose her husband. I continue to hope that perhaps she does disagree with him, at least occasionally, and speaks up for all those who could really use a voice in the White House these days.

Linda Kramer Jenning
Linda Kramer Jenning is an independent journalist who moved to Bainbridge Island after several decades reporting from Washington, D.C. She taught journalism at Georgetown University and is former Washington editor of Glamour.

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