Melania Trump and the 'mulligan'

Melania Trump is skipping the World Economic Forum in Davos this year ("scheduling and logistical issues," said the W...

Posted: Jan 24, 2018 7:53 AM
Updated: Jan 24, 2018 7:53 AM

Melania Trump is skipping the World Economic Forum in Davos this year ("scheduling and logistical issues," said the White House).

Good for her.

Mrs. Trump was scheduled to attend the event to show support for her husband. Her cancellation comes after The Wall Street Journal, citing sources familiar with the matter, reported that Donald Trump's lawyer arranged a payout for pornography actress Stormy Daniels to ensure that she stayed quiet about an alleged sexual encounter with Mr. Trump -- just a few months after Mrs. Trump gave birth to the couple's son, Barron.

Mrs. Trump has not made any public statements since that story broke. Nor should she have to. If the media wants to train its gaze on the important news, it can focus on Mr. Trump's behavior, not his wife: Ater all, she didn't do anything other than decide to skip an overpriced conference after some bad marital news.

It would be great, of course, if Melania Trump could leave him and take half his assets. But she knows who she married, and you can't imagine this comes as a huge surprise (which also explains why it's not a career-ending story -- of course Donald Trump allegedly slept with a porn star while away from his postpartum third wife; that's just the kind of guy he is).

Indeed, Mr. Trump's chief enablers seem utterly OK with the tawdry reports -- and they include the very people you would expect it to most deeply offend: some leading evangelical Christians.

According to Tony Perkins of the right-wing Family Research Council, Trump gets "a mulligan" on reports of cheating and other misbehavior; evangelicals "were tired of being kicked around by Barack Obama and his leftists," Perkins explained to Politico.

As it happens, Trump is also sufficiently misogynist in the ways that matter to Perkins -- opposing abortion rights, for example, and limiting the ability of transgender people to be treated with dignity and equality.

Melania Trump may be drawing from the same rule book; her husband hasn't tried to hide his misogyny or his past infidelities, so it's a little hard to feel bad for a woman apparently willing to trade her good looks and basic respect for her philandering husband's financial largess.

But that doesn't mean she needs to participate in this public humiliation ritual -- to fly to his side in Switzerland and play the role of the silent wronged wife.

Nor does Mrs. Trump have much to do at Davos. She isn't a leader (or, by all appearances, even a thinker) on global business or politics; unlike some previous first ladies before her, she doesn't seem to have any interest in global affairs.

Sure, she would be playing the role of helpmeet wife, but maybe the time for women to play that role while their husbands do the important stuff should go by the wayside. Mrs. Trump doesn't have any good reason to be at Davos. Why should she go?

And for that matter, why do any of us care whether the first lady, a former model who seemed happier in a Fifth Avenue penthouse than holed up at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, attends the World Economic Forum?

Our unseemly laser focus on Melania Trump is pure prurience -- not about her, but about the fallout from her husband's bad choices. Again, she is a symbol of how others (and especially women) bear the cost of Mr. Trump's egoism and lack of self-control.

So what should Melania do? Mr. Trump should go to Davos himself while she spends a few days at the spa. And while he's there, the men and women (although let's be honest, mostly men) of global business, politics and development should treat him with exactly the level of respect a deeply misogynist narcissist merits.

Journalists should demand he answer for the alleged payouts to silence Stormy Daniels rather than focus on an affair. And we should all leave Melania alone.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 314710

Reported Deaths: 7254
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21646260
Hinds20369416
Harrison17949309
Rankin13643278
Jackson13450246
Madison10113217
Lee9986174
Jones8384163
Forrest7689152
Lauderdale7198240
Lowndes6403148
Lamar623686
Lafayette6203119
Washington5341134
Bolivar4802132
Oktibbeha462998
Panola4596107
Pearl River4519146
Marshall4450103
Warren4393121
Pontotoc420872
Monroe4115133
Union411176
Neshoba4031176
Lincoln3969110
Hancock379586
Leflore3498125
Sunflower336290
Tate334784
Pike3327105
Scott316274
Alcorn313368
Yazoo311770
Itawamba300577
Copiah297465
Coahoma295579
Simpson295388
Tippah288768
Adams286982
Prentiss280060
Marion269380
Leake268473
Wayne262841
Grenada261587
Covington259881
George248148
Newton246862
Winston227581
Tishomingo227067
Jasper221148
Attala214473
Chickasaw208057
Holmes189174
Clay185554
Stone182833
Tallahatchie178941
Clarke178080
Calhoun170932
Yalobusha164638
Smith162534
Walthall134245
Greene130633
Lawrence128724
Montgomery127142
Noxubee126734
Perry126338
Amite123142
Carroll121829
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis107133
Tunica105726
Claiborne102430
Benton100025
Humphreys96733
Kemper95828
Franklin83923
Quitman81116
Choctaw76418
Wilkinson67531
Jefferson65728
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 537813

Reported Deaths: 11024
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson791691529
Mobile41177808
Madison35002507
Tuscaloosa25871454
Shelby25076249
Montgomery24549591
Baldwin21290309
Lee15946171
Calhoun14556319
Morgan14364280
Etowah13890353
Marshall12262223
Houston10602282
Elmore10115206
Limestone10031151
St. Clair9890245
Cullman9730194
Lauderdale9449243
DeKalb8853188
Talladega8325176
Walker7259277
Autauga6971108
Jackson6830112
Blount6750139
Colbert6317134
Coffee5546119
Dale4869113
Russell444338
Chilton4343113
Franklin426282
Covington4138118
Tallapoosa4040152
Escambia394577
Chambers3581123
Dallas3564153
Clarke351361
Marion3137101
Pike311977
Lawrence302298
Winston275673
Bibb263064
Geneva252577
Marengo249664
Pickens234862
Barbour231956
Hale223677
Butler217869
Fayette212462
Henry189644
Cherokee184345
Randolph182042
Monroe178140
Washington167639
Macon160750
Clay156957
Crenshaw153357
Cleburne149241
Lamar143035
Lowndes139653
Wilcox127430
Bullock123041
Conecuh110629
Coosa108928
Perry107826
Sumter104932
Greene92634
Choctaw61024
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