For centuries, the current First Lady of the United States has had a specific cause or initiative to tackle while her husband was in office. Dolly Madison was the original first lady to really get involved while her husband, President James Madison, was in office from 1809 to 1817. And, when President John Quincy Adams was in office, Louisa Adams was passionate about women's issues back in 1825. And, of course, everyone remembers that Michelle Obama wanted to tackle children's health and nutrition. Now, it's Melania Trump's turn and she has decided to make her issue something that truly needs to be addressed: cyber bullying. So, after Melania Trump condemned bullying in her United Nations speech, how does she actually plan to help kids?
Well, the answer is a little complex. Speaking at the UN on Wednesday, the first lady explained that it was up to adults to set a positive example for children to follow. "By our own example, we must teach children to be good stewards of the world they inherit," she said to the audience, according to The Hill.
Of course, many have gawked at the irony of the first lady wanting to address bullying considering some of the remarks her own husband has made over the past two years. However, Melania Trump seems extremely dedicated to the cause, despite her husband's behavior.
During her speech, the first lady emphasized how important it is for adults to exhibit kindness and compassion to each other so that younger children can witness the proper way to interact with one another. According to The Hill, she said:
We must remember that they are watching and listening, so we must never miss an opportunity to teach life's ethical lessons along the way. As adults we are not merely responsible, we are accountable.
Certainly, the first lady is correct in that statement, however it's still unclear how exactly she plans to implement her cyber bullying initiative. The founder and CEO of the Family Online Safety Institute, Stephen Balkam, told Think Progress that he hasn't heard anything from the first lady about working on her cyber bullying initiative. "We have consistently said we’d be willing to work with her," he told the news outlet. "But I’m not sure if anyone has publicly heard from her or her office."
Furthermore, The New York Times has tracked a total of "366 people, places, and things Donald Trump has insulted on Twitter," just since he announced his candidacy — and that's only on Twitter. That's not counting in-person insults the president has tossed around ("nasty woman!" anyone?) since 2015. So, where is Melania Trump's anti-bullying initiative when it comes to her husband? How can she stand by while he tweets out videos of himself hitting Hillary Clinton on the head with a golf ball?
Well, according to the first lady's spokesperson, "when her husband gets attacked, he will punch back 10 times harder," according to CNN. I don't know, call me crazy, but that doesn't exactly scream "leading by example" to me. Of course, children really do need positive role models in their life, so Melania Trump is certainly correct in that regard. She continued her speech, according to The Hill:
I hope you will join me in recommitting ourselves to teaching the next generation to lead and honor the golden rule, do unto others as you would have do unto you. Which is paramount in today's society, and my focus as first lady.
Hopefully, President Trump will take a few cues from his wife and learn how to treat others the way he wants to be treated. Because while I might not personally know the president, I'm pretty sure he wouldn't want to be called a "dummy" or "clown" as he has reportedly called others. So maybe, just maybe, he could start to lead by example — as the first lady suggested — and show all of the world that bullying is not the answer.
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