Would President Trump dump Melania?
Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are in a spat right now involving their wives, prompted by a super PAC’s ad that Trump didn’t like. “MEET MELANIA TRUMP,” beams the ad, sporting an eye-opening photo of an unclothed Melania in GQ magazine. “YOUR NEXT FIRST LADY.”
In response, Trump was incensed, immediately blaming Ted Cruz.
“Lyin' Ted Cruz just used a picture of Melania from a G.Q. shoot in his ad,” barked Trump from his prolific Twitter account. “Be careful, Lyin' Ted, or I will spill the beans on your wife!”
It was the usual Trump, though absent the usual threat of a lawsuit. Frankly, I was surprised by Trump’s vehemence. I figured he would brag about Melania’s photo-shoot. He has never been shy in boasting about bagging women (married or unmarried) or expressing vivid verbal admiration of their body parts. The casino-mogul/strip-club-owner-turned-“conservative” surely would normally take pride in Melania’s GQ spread. Why so angry all of a sudden?
Once again, “Lying Ted” seems to have gotten under the Donald’s skin.
But if you want to hear a genuine outrage involving Trump and Melania, go to Trump’s own words. In fact, check out a short Trump audio clip from 2004, one of his syndicated “Money, Money, Money” radio broadcasts. It’s on the importance of having a prenuptial agreement—that is, before he tied the knot with Melania.
My fiancée Melania and I recently set the big date. We're going to get married in January, probably January 22nd and probably at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach. Some people may be surprised that I'm getting married again, but the fact is that Melania is an amazing woman. I know what they say: 'If you want to ruin a relationship with your girlfriend, just marry her,' but I don't believe in that. I have very little doubt that my marriage to Melania will be over; it'll end and I've said that before. And then people say, 'Well if that's the case, do you need a prenuptial agreement?' And I look at them and I say, 'You bet I do.' A prenuptial agreement is a modern day necessity, no matter how good your relationship, no matter whether you're getting along. It's a lot easier to have one than to not have one. And by the way, it helps to buy your very significant other a gift when you're handing over those prenups to sign.
No, I’m not making this up. How could I? Only Donald Trump is capable of this kind of thing. This was the brash deal-maker on the art of the pre-nup.
Really, it’s classic Donald Trump, spoken with the buffoonishness we’d expect from a sitcom character, not a serious candidate for president of the United States. Could you imagine such sentiment expressed by a Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan? This is the kind of spectacle we’re supposed to laugh at while watching Al Bundy on old episodes of “Married with Children.” We’re not supposed to elect it president.
What’s worse, of course, is that this is hardly an isolated outrage from the political carnival that is Donald Trump. No, this is standard operating procedure—and yet it’s the brand-spanking-new standard that millions of new “conservatives” apparently expect and accept.
So much for that family-values stuff we used to toss at Bill Clinton, eh? The Democrats will be informing us that that was a bunch of stinking hypocrisy.
I know that Trump’s defenders will defend this latest Trumpism—and excoriate me for bringing it to their attention—but I find it hard to be sympathetic to the Donald’s rage at “Lying Ted” and his threats against Heidi Cruz when I read statements like this from the Donald himself.
In fact, it makes me wonder about Melania’s status as our possible next first lady. How assured can we be that Melania would remain first lady? Could the Donald pull the plug, ending the marriage during a Trump presidency? He said he’s certain their marriage “will be over.” Again, his own words: “I have very little doubt that my marriage to Melania will be over; it'll end and I've said that before.”
Okay, when? That would be scandalous. Or should we simply not take Trump’s words seriously?
Melania might need to be more worried about the Donald’s words than anything that “Lying Ted” or some super PAC might say.
Dr. Paul Kengor is professor of political science and executive director of The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College. His latest book is Takedown: From Communists to Progressives, How the Left Has Sabotaged Family and Marriage. His other books include The Communist: Frank Marshall Davis, The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mentor and Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century.