So the big news from day one of the Republican Convention is plagiarism. I agree almost completely with those that argue that if the Trump people had just publicly admitted there was a problem with the speech and focused their response on talking about how somebody, somewhere, flubbed up, this story would have gone away about as quickly as it began. (Based on students I have encountered over the years, I think there are many people that simply do not know what constitutes plagiarism, so I actually think that whoever wrote the speech, whether it was Mrs Trump or not, may actually have been unaware of what it is. And then I think his people are too inept to have caught it before she went out.) This is not the first time in recent history that something like this has happened, but the difference is all in how you respond to it. The fact that it happened (which is not even the first time in Trump’s campaign), and especially the adamant denials, only reinforce the perception of the Trump campaign as one large con job.
As we know, there has been a lot of comparisons between this year and 1968, and it is clear that Trump ‘s campaign is hoping that what worked for Nixon will work for him (“I’m the candidate of law and order.”) But there’s a good opinion piece in the Washington Times today that argues that Trump likely won’t have the same success as tricky Dick, because as crazy as this year has been, it still isn’t 1968, and the electorate and the parties are different, too.
And while we are talking about political conventions: This month is the anniversary of the first convention for women’s rights in the United States, Seneca Falls. Over on the We’re History site they have an essay today about the event that draws connections between it and our current political environment.
And to tie all these things together: I am glad to see that the Historians on Donald Trump Facebook group has been diversifying a bit with their latest videos. So I leave you today with the words of Professor Ann M. Little, as she makes the argument that Trump is like no other candidate that we have had before, focusing on his “disturbing hostility against women and women’s bodies,” that draws on ancient fears about perfectly natural (but personal) bodily functions.