The bogus issue of plagiarism

plagiarismmelaniamichelleimrs.phpI think Donald Trump is disqualified to be President because of his cruel rhetoric, his manifest ignorance and his unethical business record.

I wish people who think as I do would focus on what’s true and what matters rather than seizing on every little thing that comes up.

The whole plagiarism uproar, for example.

Melania Trump, in her speech to the Republican National Convention, praised people who work hard and keep their word.  Michelle Obama did the same thing in similar words at the Democratic National Convention in 2008.   I doubt if she was the first person ever to express these commonplace truths.

I remember the late Robert F. Kennedy saying that some people see things as they are, and ask why, but he dreamed things that ever were, and asked, why not?  As I recall, nobody ever blamed him for failing to attribute these words to George Bernard Shaw.

And the late Nelson Rockefeller was fond of the phrase, the brotherhood of man and the fatherhood of God.  As I recall, nobody ever blamed him for not attributing this phrase to the great Unitarian preacher, Theodore Parker.  It’s one thing to plagiarize a whole article or speech; it’s another to use a phrase somebody else has used before.

The reason that it’s wrong to use anything and everything that comes to hand to attack your opponent is that you make it hard for members of the public to separate signal from noise.

Attacking Donald Trump unfairly is wrong in itself and also actually helps him, because it diverts attention from what he really is doing and saying wrong.


Red Star Over Trump by Peter Lee for China Matters.  Another bogus issue.

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