Playing a game of Gotcha

We have made clear our thoughts on Donald Trump as the Republican candidate for president, saying he is a liar and unworthy of the office.

We called Hillary Clinton, the Democratic candidate, a liar as well, but gave her some points for at least being qualified.

We recall this before we proceed with what will be seen as a defense of Melania Trump, who has been in the media meat-grinder for a couple of days now because out of 1,400 words she presented during her speech on behalf of husband Donald on Monday night, a bit more than a handful matched those of Michelle Obama in 2008 when she spoke similarly on her husband Barack’s behalf.

We don’t want today’s Our View confused with an endorsement of her husband.

As a 46-year-old former model who can be found near naked with a Google search, and a beauty married to a billionaire 24 years her senior, Melania is an easy target. So the mockery is expected. But if you think this woman is dumb, we will ask you which of the five languages that you speak would you deliver a speech in front of tens of millions of people when the stakes — leader of the free world — are pretty high.

Melania not only looked smashing delivering the speech, she smashed its delivery, a concession that was even made by those who hoped she would have tripped and fallen flat on her face while entering the stage and again while exiting.

Melania could raise her hand and swear on a stack of Bibles she wrote that speech, and it would only make her a liar like her husband and Hillary. She probably contributed, but the notion that she purposely cut and paste sections of Michelle Obama’s speech is willful stupidity. That someone in The Donald’s camp probably did is worrisome, especially for a candidate who swears he can protect us from ISIS but not from sabotage within his campaign.

But who really cares about any of this?

President Obama is a plagiarist, Vice President Joe Biden is a plagiarist, and those who have spent two days blasting Melania will tell you in their next breath what a wonderful job Obama and Biden have done for seven years and six months. And Melania is only running for first lady, not president, so her role will be to smile, adopt a charitable cause and be a gracious host. On all that, she will be Jackie-O like.

We shrug our shoulders even as journalists who look with disdain on plagiarism, knowing how easy it is to steal another’s thoughts and to camouflage the theft by using different words and rearranging paragraphs. The reality is, as well presented at Melania’s speech was, it was generic, and said little more than my husband is a great guy, he will fix this nation’s problems and you should vote for him.

This attack is illustrative of just how vacuous political discourse has become in this country. If it were a board game, it would be called Gotcha.

You will see more of that tonight as the Republican National Convention resumes, and if you can’t tune in, then next week you have a chance to see it again during the Democratic National Convention, when different words will be used, paragraphs will be rearranged and the message will be plagiarized.

One short on substance and long on personal attacks.