In July 2016, Melanie Trump gave her convention speech, she began by discussing how nothing us more valuable than hard work and honesty. She stated, “From a young age, my parents impressed on me the values that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say and keep your promise; that you treat people with respect,” (Wilke 1). Now this all sounded just fine until a journalist, Jarrett Hill had recognized this line from somewhere else. In 2008, Mrs. Obama, said, “From a young age, my parents impressed on me the values that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say and keep your promise; that you treat people with respect”. The Article “Melanie Trump Plagiarized Her Convention Speech From Michelle Obama”, discusses how Melanie Trump’s speech was in parts almost copied line by line from Michelle Obama’s 2008 National convention speech.
Regardless of where you stand on the political spectrum, it is fair to say that when Melanie Trump gave this conventional speech, she was “wearing the ring of Gyges”. The Ring of Gyges is ultimately a story of a magical artifact that gives someone the power to be invisible. Plato tells this story through Glaucon and Socrates to prove that for the most part humans will participate in unjust actions if they know they can get away with it. Melanie Trump is a great example of someone who was metaphorically wearing the ring of Gyges in today’s society. Melanie believed she could get away with using Mrs. Obama’s previously successful speech. While Mrs. Trump may have been publicly shamed for a few days on the news, she did ultimately get away with plagiarizing this speech. For students in college we take the concept of plagiarism quite seriously, especially because it can potentially get you kicked out of school. Mrs. Trump however was wearing the ring of Gyges, in a sense that she knew she could get away with this act, or at the very least not suffer from any severe consequences as someone without money and power would. It is interesting to think, would Mrs. Trump have approached this speech differently if it would of lead to her husband losing everything he has when it comes to current election? From the public’s eye, Melanie was wearing the ring of Gyges when she willingly gave this plagiarized speech and knew she would get away with it.