Melania Trump: the Fascist’s Moll
There’s an adage that behind every great man there is a great woman. And it’s rather frustrating because for every Franklin Delano there is an Eleanor who likely did more but is only remembered in the context of her more celebrated husband. But then there’s the shadowy reflection of the adage where the Eva Brauns, Clara Petaccis, Imelda Marcoses, and Trump women quite literally make their beds.
As far as I can tell such women are not generally in it for the politics really. The allure seems to be the proximity to power and the proliferation of lavish gifts. And I suppose I get that. Sort of. I mean, I do have a few rather ridiculous Pinterest boards. In fact, all the women I’ve mentioned above were very much into looking pretty for the camera and — with the exception of Imelda Marcos — not much else. It seems that Braun and Petacci were genuinely affectionate towards their … whatever you want to call Hitler and Mussolini … and it directly resulted in both of their deaths. Braun committed suicide by cyanide pill and Petacci fled with Mussolini and so was executed alongside him.
It does not appear that either Braun or Petacci had much influence on their … “lovers.” Braun faked suicide attempts to get Hitler’s attention and Petacci kept a diary where she recorded her interactions with Mussolini and what gifts or affectionate words she received from him. Imelda Marcos did seem to be genuinely interested in politics and — forgive me, I don’t know much about her — may have had a far greater hand in her husband’s corruption. She certainly had a few gowns. So for the most part a lot of these women seem to be more or less along for the ride as opposed to the cause of the trouble.
Except, that’s really denying them a lot of their agency. Braun and Petacci had to know what was going on. Marcos definitely did, and while all of these previous women seem to have not been that involved in their men’s malfeasances, Melania Trump clearly is. Early on in Trump’s candidacy a few people tried to pretend she was just an unwilling participant. Her nude photo shoots were passed about in a rather poor response to the viciously racist attacks on Michelle Obama which did fuel a lot of sympathy for her. The joke, during the campaign, was that Melania was a literal princess in the tower awaiting rescue and that her continued silence was a repudiation of Trump’s racism and sexism.
But this ignores the fact that she has always backed her husband in his racist statements particularly in regards to Barack Obama’s birth certificate but hardly ending there and the fact that silence is not repudiation. Silence is silence.
Melania Trump, First Lady of the Whine, is pretty clearly averse to work. Her job as she sees it is to be arm candy and even during relatively intimate family gatherings she is not known for her conversation. However, unlike Trump’s previous wives Melania is very supportive of Trump’s racist and autocratic tendencies. Ivana pushed back and had the temerity to age. Marla tried to be an actual person. Melania though is probably Donald Trump’s perfect match. She is a racist, selfish, self-pitying idiot who has failed in everything she has ever tried to do and is really only in it for the Louboutins.
As Melania’s former best friend pointed out Melania had the world’s biggest platform short of her husband himself as First Lady. She absolutely could have spoken out against her husband’s autocratic instincts and behaviours. Contrary to popular belief, her delay in moving into the White House was not because she was taking care of her son or considering divorce. No, she was renegotiating her prenup. She was making sure that if Donald tried to divorce her she’d get more cash. So at no point in this whole horror show was she in a position where her speaking out against her husband could have endangered her. If she was physically afraid of him she is one of the few wives in the world who had the resources and support to easily relocate temporarily or permanently. She could have been a hero, and instead she decided to make fun of children taken from their parents and kept in prison.
You might be wondering why I’ve gone on about Melania and her tendency to be worn by her own clothes all this time. Well, it’s because she released this statement after the attack her husband fomented on the Capitol. The first third of it does seem like it was mostly written by her, with the majority of it seeming like it was added on by a public relations specialist. But that’s not my problem with it. My problem is that this woman’s husband committed sedition in which 6 people eventually lost their lives and which lead to a COVID-19 super-spreader event in Congress and her big concern is “salacious gossip.” Honestly, if you don’t want people saying mean things about you maybe don’t whine about Christmas, make fun of suffering children, and support a man who is directly responsible for 376,000 American deaths.
Predictably though, rather than finally standing up and not being a truly revolting human being Melania spent her time taking pictures of furniture and rugs in the White House.
For the average person in an average life speaking up is hard. Developing a platform takes a lot of persistence and diligence. Anyone who’s not a celebrity but who has tried to build a platform knows that just getting Twitter followers involves work. But Melania married into a platform. All the work she does is Pilates. (With no offense meant to Pilates. It’s apparently a good workout.) She will not damage her position or her “brand,” by just once being a decent person. But she doesn’t care about that. She, like her husband, is a narcissist. She will support him to the bitter end and at no point will she have the self-awareness to understand that in her silence she is truly complicit.