I don’t know how parts of Michelle Obama’s 2008 DNC convention speech got into Melania Trump’s speech at last night’s GOP convention in Cleveland. Maybe she deliberately stole Obama’s words. Maybe she looked at Obama’s speech, drew some ideas and phrases from it, and was sloppy in her use of them. I am guessing a speechwriter is to blame. The fact that the Trump campaign has said that Melania spent 5-6 weeks working on this speech with a speechwriter does not help matters.
Whatever the case, I think most of us agree that plagiarism happened last night.
The only exception is the Trump campaign. Here is campaign manager Paul Manafort:
I think its fair to say that Manofort and the Trump campaign deny that plagiarism happened last night.
But plagiarism DID happen last night. The evidence is all over the news today.
This is partly why I signed Historians Against Trump.
Things in the past happened.
Historians use available evidence to inform the public that things in the past happened.
Historians make sure the evidence that proves that something happened in the past is not ignored.
As Joyce Appleby, Lynn Hunt, and Margaret Jacob argued in their book Telling the Truth About History: “something happened out there…and we have the ability, if we have the faith, to learn what that something is.”