A collage of Melania Trump, the White House in a golden color and scattered diamonds.

Whitehouse/Public Domain

That’s What She Said

Whitehouse/Public Domain

The Deafening Complacency of Melania Trump

The New York Times thinks the First Lady has a "quiet radicalism." But don't mistake her disdain for her husband as an act of resistance.

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Hi Kate Andersen Brower, New York Times best-selling author of the brain-fried op-ed I just read called “The Quiet Radicalism of Melania Trump.” What’s going on, Kate, are you in trouble? Are you being held hostage at the White House? If this is a red herring and you are pulling some kind of 9 to 5 heist, please count me in and I’ll be Dolly Parton. But let’s be honest, Kate. You are not pulling a genius, White-House-9-to-5 heist and I’m more of a Lily Tomlin. I know you are the expert on First Ladies, having written a wildly successful book about them, but what kinda fresh hell is this about Melania?

In your op-ed, you write:

“She may not be progressive. She may not be political. And yet Mrs. Trump may end up doing more than any of her predecessors to upend our expectations of the slavish devotion a first lady must display toward her husband.”

Maybe it’s me, maybe it’s Maybelline, but yikes, Kate. I agree that Melania Trump is a groundbreaking First Lady in that she continues to dig her python-skin pumps into the festering shithole soil of America while the literal monster that is her husband fiddles and futzes with Twitter and nuclear codes. Have you been shakily eating soup and continuously dropping your napkin while watching the Doomsday Clock tick like I have, Kate? Just a reminder that there are no best-seller lists in hell, Kate. And if there are, “I’m GREAT” by Hitler is No. 1 all the way forever and you know that book is gonna suck and we shouldn’t have to read it because Donald Trump blew up the Earth and Melania watched.

Kate, are you saying Melania is an inspiring, independent woman because of her silence, her apathy, or her misery? Melania’s gonna break waves when it comes to being a First Lady, huh? I mean sure, the two of them inhabiting the White House is a fucking tsunami if we’re talking wave-breaking. They are selfish, nationalist trash people, even the Dalai Lama agrees. Okay, I added the trash people.

Just because Melania is singing “Slavishly Devoted To You” to her diamonds and internalized misogyny instead of her putrid gargoyle husband doesn’t make her like a cool, rebellious woman, if that’s how you’re trying to sell her.

Staying married to an abusive husband isn’t radical, it’s awful. I have some empathy for Melania (because in 2018 I am trying to have more compassion for all humans, like the Dalai Lama would want me to, even though please remember he thinks Donald Trump is a selfish Nazi who is ruining the Earth/mankind etc). I think Melania doesn’t know how much she hates herself and all women but my empathy for her is very limited. My empathy and actions are better directed toward the millions of people she continues to harm by being infinitely complicit in this torturous administration.

Has she done anything to help anyone ever? Are you praising the indulgent dragging of her bejeweled feet and the silent pouting of her pretty mouth? She shut her mouth and took a photo with a Marine? That’s a radical act? Are you Amish? She didn’t go to Switzerland on their anniversary because she haaaates him. She swats his hand away in front of all of us and looks miserable all the time because she HATES him and IS miserable! Her physical body has reached an undeniable tipping point and recoils at his touch. Of course it does! This isn’t revolutionary, Kate. Have you seen or heard Donald Trump? He’s a goblin and I have empathy for this sick fucking goblin because the Dalai Lama wants me to, but do we all have to die because his dad never loved him? Shouldn’t he try to be better, His Holiness? Why do I have to try to be better if none of the scumbags will?

You dive right into the Trump love story, which is a dystopian harlequin romance novel penned by Senator Kid Rock :

“With the exception of the Clintons, there has not been a more complicated first couple in modern history: Mrs. Trump is the third wife of a man who once told the radio host Howard Stern he would “give her a week” to lose the baby weight after their son, Barron, was born. During the 2016 campaign, she was put in the position of defending him after a 2005 “Access Hollywood” video showed him bragging about groping women.”

It’s not complicated, he’s a piece of shit. It’s very simple, Kate, he’s a subhuman, abusive, narcissist-prick. He’s evil, Kate. It isn’t complicated. They are not a complicated love story, Kate. They are rancid Big Gulp slushies from 7-11 with floating rat turd sprinkles. He is orange, she is purple, they’re made of chemicals and they kill poor people. Ah yes, of course, the Access Hollywood video of him “bragging about groping women.” What a clean shave, crew cut way to describe that incident. Kill me, Kate. Yes, I remember the video where he vividly described his method of perpetually sexually assaulting women. Yes, I remember Melania and many other white women giving him a pass, looking for the good in him (Dalai Lama, I have to say I am very conflicted on the looking for the good in abusive, sociopathic shit goblins, seems like it negatively affects the Doomsday Clock!).

Speaking of abusive shit goblins, Lyndon B. Johnson sounds like one!

Lyndon Johnson could be downright mean to his wife, Lady Bird, upbraiding her in public and comparing her with women he found more beautiful. But when he was upset about negative press coverage ahead of the Democratic National Convention in 1964, it was his wife who cheered him on. In a fawning letter, Mrs. Johnson wrote: “Beloved—You are as brave a man as Harry Truman—or FDR—or Lincoln. You can go on to find some peace, some achievement amidst all the pain. You have been strong, patient, determined beyond any words of mine to express.” It is hard to imagine Mrs. Trump writing anything of the sort to her husband.

Thanks for that little window into Lyndon and Lady Bird’s super-fun, hostile relationship. I can’t imagine Melania writing a letter like that either, Kate, but to be fair I can’t imagine Melania writing anything other than her name in rubies on her mirrored breakfast tray. Perhaps in addition to her name, she would spell out “help me” in torn, wasted pancake scraps and magnolia petals for the servants to roll their eyes at as they bus her hideous, Trump Home, cocaine-mirrored breakfast tray.

At this point in the article, we continue tip-toeing through the spooky Ghosts of White House Girlfriends Past tour:

‘They are expected to be adoring. Nancy Reagan, Ronald Reagan’s biggest fan, wrote in her memoir, “My Turn”: “I’d like to come back as Ronald Reagan. If he worries, you’d never know it. If he’s anxious, he keeps it to himself. Depressed? He doesn’t know the meaning of the word. He’s really as relaxed and hopeful as he appears.”

Oh fun, thanks Nancy, we get to hear how inherently relaxed a rich, straight, white, man is. Nancy, you were a loyal, white supremacist, misogynist werewolf who fed on the corpses of gay people. So thank you for this boring insight, we know you wanted to wear your husband’s skin, you were a sick fuck. Bye, Nancy!

Kate, you then give Hillary Clinton some backhanded compliments, which is, you know, a standard, broken way of talking to or about Hillary and she’s very used to it and it sucks. And then, damn Kate, you compare Michelle Obama to Melania, saying maybe they aren’t so different after all. Kate, what in the actual fuck? Just because Melania’s henchmen plagiarized Michelle’s speech and Melania delivered it like a silky, Republican sock puppet doesn’t make them twinsies. The Trumps steal speeches and cakes from the Obamas and make them ugly and disgusting. Don’t garble Michelle’s brilliant, independent spirit, Kate. Why would you do that? You acknowledge the “obvious mutual affection” of the Obamas and you use a great Vanity Fair quote from Michelle, where she talks about being a human being, loving a human being, and navigating how to stay true to herself while supporting her presidential partner:

“I love my husband. I think he’s one of the most brilliant men I’ve ever met, and he knows that. But he’s not perfect, and I don’t want the world to want him to be perfect.”

Kate, can you imagine Melania saying this about her husband? Oh, right you’ve already praised her for never saying anything so I just don’t get it. Where is the comparison? Where is the common ground between these two women? They both have eaten a vegetable and have legs? Sure, okay. Finding similarities between these two would be a stretch even for the Dalai Lama. He would say something like, “Both of these women have loved and have been afraid of something.” And I would say, “Is Michelle supposed to relate to Melania’s fear of spilling the peasant blood she drinks for dinner on her blouse?”

We are nearing the end of the op-ed and luckily, we finally get a first lady comparison that works:

Mrs. Trump is the most reluctant first lady since Bess Truman (who left Washington to return to her home in Independence, Mo., at every opportunity).

Okay, I will give you this one, Kate. Melania is like Bess Truman because they both hate Jews and don’t want to live in the White House. Is being a silent, complicit, white supremacist the quiet radicalism you were hinting at? If so, I hate to break it to you, there is nothing radical about being a complacent white woman. That constitutional complacency lives in you and me both, Kate. And we can do better, even if the scumbags never do.

P.S. Kate, FYI: Melania was a birther,too.

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