[EDITORIAL NOTE: The following article first appeared in New York Post. It was reprinted on February 15, 2017 in News Corp. It also appeared in Post Digital Network’s DECIDER. The author has taken considerable material from a US Weekly article. We re-print it, acknowledging all of the aforementioned sources. We took our manuscript from the internet and will assume it is in the public domain unless otherwise notified.]
Melania Trump is secretly miserable as first lady, a new report claims.
Private, self-conscious, and smarting from some harsh, even mocking press, Melania is “struggling with the realities of her new role and the scrutiny that comes with it,” US Weekly says in its Feb. 27 cover story, citing family sources.
“This life wasn’t her dream. It was Donald’s,” a Trump family friend, stylist Phillip Bloch, told the magazine.
THE PRESIDENT AND FIRST LADY
“Truthfully, it’s a lot to cope with.”
Since Inauguration Day, Melania has spent almost all her time hiding inside the “gilded cage” of the family’s lavish, $100 million Trump Tower penthouse on Fifth Avenue — where treasured son Barron, 10, has a whole floor to himself.
And she won’t be pressured into giving up her privacy.
Recently, the White House team begged her to come to Washington and give her husband a PR boost by presiding over the traditional first lady tours at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue — and posing for press photos, sources told US.
“She was told, ‘All you need to do is show up on one day and take photos,'” one family source said. Melania declined.
Melania couldn’t even be cajoled into accompanying the Japanese prime minister’s wife, Abe, on the traditionally first lady-hosted Capitol tour for spouses of visiting dignitaries.
Negative scrutiny from late-night hosts — Jimmy Kimmel quipped last week that she’s “trapped like Rapunzel” in Trump Tower — and from her libel suit against the UK’s Daily Mail have not helped.
In the much-covered lawsuit, Melania sued the Mail for implying she’d once worked as a high-end escort, an implication that the newspaper later retracted.
Celebrities and fashion designers, critical of her husband’s policies, have publicly shunned the Trumps, another blow.
US WEEKLY COVER
And while she’s fluent in five languages, Melania is self-conscious of her heavy Slovenian accent, US claims, an accent that has also been fodder for late-night jibes.
With pickets surrounding her building, she’s even given up her chauffeured trips escorting Barron to and from his private school.
After school, they both stay in, with Barron doing his homework and watching cartoons, US said.
She’s happiest at Mar-a-Lago, the Trump estate in Palm Beach, Florida, where she joins her husband on most weekends.
But while she did entertain Akie Abe in Florida — smilingly posed for the requisite photo op at Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens in nearby Delray Beach — it was a struggle.
“Don’t let her smile [in the photographs] fool you,” the source said. “She hates this.”
The source added, “Melania is unhappy with how her life ended up. She is miserable.”
l.. MILTON HANKINS
I’d be the last person to question the literacy of a president–under normal circumstances. But, in the Trump era, nothing seems too outrageous. Frankly, evidence suggesting that the president may have literacy issues is piling up.
This is not a fly-by-night, conspiracy theory concern, i.e. as Obama’s citizenship. In the July 30, 2016 issue of The Times of Israel, Michael Jaffe bluntly titled his article “Does Donald Trump have a literacy problem?” Jaffe said, “Almost all of the words he utters are no more than two syllables. Given his authoritarian, narcissistic personality and thin skin, one can imagine a collective reluctance among his entourage to set Trump straight. … This and Trump’s difficulty with stringing sentences together might be an indication that Donald Trump’s language faculty, more specifically his literacy, may be lacking.”
In The Daily Beast, Matt Wilstein headlined his article “Samantha Bee Is Convinced Donald Trump Can’t Read.” Wilstein pointed out that Canadian political commentator Samantha Bee (host of Full Frontal) has “produced significant evidence…that Donald Trump may be, in fact, illiterate.”
Bee said in a recent segment, “[I] began by reviewing tape of a recently unsealed deposition in which Trump was repeatedly asked to read from legal documents and refused, first saying he didn’t have his glasses and then using the excuse that he’s not a lawyer.”
Bee continued, “How can you expect someone who isn’t a fancy-pants lawyer to read words? At first, I thought Trump was lying, but then it hit me…You heard it here first: People are saying Donald Trump can’t read.”
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP
Wilstein continued: “Over the next six minutes, she [Bee] meticulously laid out the evidence, including the fact that the only book title Trump can recall when people ask him what he’s read recently is All Quiet on the Western Front and his unnerving practice of shouting things he wants to tweet at his staffers during the day. Even his signature is suspiciously missing recognizable letters.”
In the Washington Post (July 17, 2016), Marc Fisher wrote, “As he has prepared to be named the Republican nominee for president, Donald Trump has not read any biographies of presidents. He said he would like to someday. He has no time to read, he said: ‘I never have. I’m always busy doing a lot. Now I’m more busy [sic], I guess, than ever before.'”
Alex Shepherd wrote in The New Republic, “Donald Trump doesn’t read books.” He points out that following an interview with Megyn Kelly, Kelly sensed “that Trump may not have read a book since sixth grade.”
STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS
Politico’s Jack Shafer has similar concerns. He says “Donald Trump Talks Like a Third-Grader.” In an August 13, 2015 article, he pointed out, “Run through the Flesch-Kincaid grade-level test, [Trump’s] text of [debate] responses score at the 4th-grade reading level.”
Shafter concluded, “…Trump’s verbal deficit, as grating as it may be on the ears of the educated class, has not caused him much political pain.”
No one appears, according to my research, to have seen President Trump privately reading a legal brief, the President’s Daily Brief (PDB), a document, or a book. Not even a magazine! I don’t ever recall seeing him wearing glasses either. It is strange, isn’t it?
TRUMP’S LITERACY REMAINS A PUZZLE
[L. Milton Hankins, the publisher and editor of Columnist with a View writes a weekly column for the Huntington, WV Herald-Dispatch. This article first appeared in the March 13th edition of the Herald-Dispatch. Hankins can be reached at: email@example.com. Comments on articles are also welcome in the webzine. Those who have editorial-opinion type pieces they would like considered for publication in Columnist with a View may submit them to firstname.lastname@example.org or send hard copy to P.O. Box 913, Ashland, KY 41101.]
Tomorrow [January 20, 2017], the 45th president of the United States of America will be sworn in. Never in my wildest dreams did I, nor millions of Americans envision Donald J. Trump in that role.
Millions of Americans, myself included, are scared, apprehensive, curious (add other adjectives at will) how President Trump will act as our nation’s leader. During the presidential campaign and even recently, his behavior has been unpredictable and viewed as racist, misogynist and crass. Looking back in history, it is somewhat comforting to know that more than a few presidents have displayed arrogant, obnoxious or “unpresidential” behavior and our country has remained whole.
Most Americans, even those who admire and support the future President Trump, have no idea of what he will really do. Will he build that wall and who will pay for it?
Will he completely abolish “Obamacare?” One of his promises was to “drain the swamp of political and Wall Street insiders in Washington, but it looks like there are quite a few of those “alligators” circling the White House moat.
But, back to history and past presidents’ behaviors. Writers for the Christian Science Monitor, Pew Research and the New Republic have suggested that our next president has some personality characteristics in common with John Adams (second president), his son, John Quincy Adams (sixth president),
FAMOUS STATUE OF ANDREW JACKSON
Andrew Jackson (seventh President and John Tyler (tenth president). Although these men were viewed as bright and politically experienced, they were seen as temperamental, bull-headed, impulsive and having numerous interpersonal crises.
John Adams’ difficult interpersonal issues were humorously portrayed in the musical “1776” and he was reported to accept advice only from one source–his wife, Abigail. He signed the Alien and Sedition Acts, the former dealt harshly with immigration problems and the latter permitted punishing journalists if they made what was considered malicious or false claims against government officials. According to a biographer, Paul Nagel, John Quincy Adams, the son of President Adams, was “notorious for his harshness, tactlessness and even rudeness,” yet also appreciated for the Monroe Doctrine and ending the War of 1812.
Andrew Jackson was said to be arrogant and involved in brawls, yet respected for his opinions, John Tyler’s wife died while he was president. He then married a much younger woman and bragged about his sexual prowess. He vetoed legislation he promised to sign and five out [of] six of his cabinet members resigned.
Other presidential scholars suggest that Teddy Roosevelt and Lyndon Baines Johnson had some personality traits similar to our newest president. Both were known for their domineering and controlling behavior as well as “earthy” language. Other presidents have been under scrutiny for their behaviors. Richard Nixon apparently believed that any means justified the ends; we know how that saga ended.
PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON
Bill Clinton led this nation through much prosperity, but his sexual indiscretion left a lasting memory. Without accurate evidence and faulty rationale, George W. Bush led us into a war that destabilized the world.
No one in this nation, except perhaps the three oldest Trump children and his son-in-law, have a real understanding of America’s 45th president and what he will or will not do as he takes control of the highest office in the land.
History tells us that our nation has survived numerous past presidents who have made poor choices or had difficult personalities; some have even achieved good results. For our nation’s sake, we must hope that this holds true for President Donald J. Trump and that he will not twitter away his potential for positive effects.
[Diane W. Mufson is a retired psychologist. This article first appeared in the Huntington, WV Herald-Dispatch, where Ms Mufson is a regular contributor. Her email is email@example.com.]