Irony behind Melania Trump’s anti-bullying agenda

Griffin Jones, Graphics Manager

President Donald Trump is known for his eager and aggressive demeanor as well as his very public opinions and criticisms, many of which have made their debut through his Twitter feed. Many people  his behavior to be too aggressive, non-presidential, and/or harassing. This conceptually brings out a great irony considering First Lady Melania Trump’s agenda on fighting cyberbullying.

Cyberbullying has proven to be an intense form of harassment over the last few decades, as it had affected all kinds of people from celebrity status to secondary school students in small towns. No one is safe from these faceless oppressors.

A serious result of bullying is mental illness and possible suicidal thoughts and attempts. However, cyberbullying’s effects are particularly nasty compared to other other types of bullying.

A famous and truly heartbreaking example of the effects of cyberbullying is found in Amanda Todd. Todd was a 15-year-old girl from British Columbia who committed suicide on October 12, 2012. Prior to this tragedy, Todd released a video on YouTube telling her story via flashcards of how she’d been blackmailed, bullied, and physically assaulted by people her age. The blackmail included the circling of inappropriate images of Todd to students, teachers, and parents of multiple communities, even as she switched schools repeatedly to try and escape the torture. The video Todd released went viral only after her death.

If anything, Amanda Todd’s story is proof that cyberbullying should be taken as seriously as any kind of bullying, especially now that social media and the internet are so accessible to anyone.

Now, in 2018, the prospect of Melania’s mission is inspiring. The fact that a person in such a public and impactful position in the United States has taken up the initiative to pay attention and help those affected by cyberbullying is a huge step towards putting a stop towards this online threat.

However, it seems as though her eyes are set on the bigger picture, not on  what’s right in front of her. Donald Trump, beyond his role as President and celebrity, has proven to be remarkable in the demeaning remarks category.

From calling Mexicans “rapists” and “criminals” or calling African nations “sh*thole countries” to insisting that his fame allows him to grab women by their genitals, this man has said just about everything that could be considered deplorable. In fact, his personality is so full and proud, his Twitter makes up more of himself that his toupee covers his baldness.

As an example of Trump’s gutsiness (or rather immaturity), he inferred that Kim Jong-Un was “short and fat” in a tweet he made after the North Korean dictator said Trump was “old.” So what we’re down to is two international heads duking it out like 6-year-olds.

A man who insults entire ethnic groups and genders, and basically threatens an aggressive dictator daily is somehow looked over by Melania Trump’s agenda against cyberbullying. ‘The Donald’, beyond his policy and fame, is a bully who’s aggressive behavior is helping to create international turmoil as world leaders either dislike him or fear him, along with their citizens. Donald Trump as a politician is one thing. However, Donald Trump as the President of the United States has proven to be another thing, as he uses his position to undermine the bonds formed with international governments over the last 243 years and the relationship between government and the people.

Although, as his behavior has shown, the man is not dumb. Donald Trump won’t just start nuclear war with North Korea willy-nilly. He won’t completely ruin the bonds between the US and other countries.

That is not to say, however, that Donald Trump is not a threat. Like any bully, Trump wants a reaction out of his victims. He’ll keep pushing on Kim Jong-Un and he’ll continue his tirade on other countries and people of particular ethnic background. He’ll keep being the man that 63 million Americans voted for in 2016.

A bully is someone who uses strength or power to harm or intimidate those who are weaker. The First Lady has the opportunity to stop her husband’s aggressive intimidation tactics and flat out rude demeanor and she can do something to help. If Melania Trump wants to make a difference in the fight against bullying, she needs to make a point and tell it like it is: Donald Trump is the definition of a bully, only he has his finger on the nuke button.