Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Did Melania Trump plagiarize Michelle Obama?

Image source
So did Melania Trump plagiarize Michelle Obama in the RNC convention, repeating the same thoughts Obama said in her own 2008 speech at the DNC convention? Let us examine the paragraphs in question, taken as is from BBC:
In a section, Mrs Trump said: "My parents impressed on me the values that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say and keep your promise; that you treat people with respect."
Mrs Obama's speech in 2008 carried the lines: "And Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values: that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say you're going to do; that you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don't know them, and even if you don't agree with them."
Mrs Trump's speech continued: "[My parents] taught me to show the values and morals in my daily life. That is the lesson that I continue to pass along to our son. And we need to pass those lessons on to the many generations to follow, because we want our children in this nation to know that the only limit to your achievements is the strength of your dreams and your willingness to work for them."
Mrs Obama said: "And Barack Obama and I set out to build lives guided by these values, and pass them on to the next generations. Because we want our children, and all children in this nation, to know that the only limit to the height of your achievement is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them."In short they speak of values that come from generation and are passed to another, they speak of respect despite differences of opinion (someone should tell that to Melania's husband!). Now is this speech plagiarized? Not in the technical sense of the word, the ideas were the same, the way of expressing those ideas "similar" but there was no literal smoking gun. Paul Manafort, Mr. Trump's campaign chairman said that the plagiarism accusation is "absurd". Still, when a speaker so highly visible repeats the same ideas and almost the way those ideas were expressed, this is a sign of very bad research - Mr. Manafort said Melania Trump was using "common words", which is indeed right, but this does not negate that the words were formulated in a similar way by someone who was holding the same kind of speech as Mrs Trump - meaning on a National Convention to support her husband for the post of the United States.
Is this plagiarism? Technically, no. Is this permissible? Hell, no!

No comments:

Post a Comment