Those of us old enough to remember the 1980s (and the 90s, to a lesser extent) also remember the characterization of communism in those days. How it was evil, it was wrong; it was a threat to the soul of human civilization and must be opposed by any means necessary. All true, even if the message tended to get boiled down and over simplified for the purposes of propaganda.
The real problems with communism are that it assaults human dignity by placing individuals under subjugation of their government, that it fails to recognize different people for their different contributions, and really, that it robs us of our sacred personal freedom. But the point I want to make right now isn’t so much about why we talked about communism back then, but how much we did. You couldn’t go a day without hearing about it and the perils it represented. Today, our ears aren’t nearly so bruised by the word, and there’s a reason for that: while there are certainly exceptions around the world, for the most part, communism has largely failed and been rejected.
But it’s one of life’s little bright spots that good can come out of even the worst things in the world, and I think this is no exception. The fact that communism has been mostly discredited and defeated means that there are people today who have lived under that system’s cruel machinations, and are now free – putting them in a position to offer unique and wise insights.
One such person is our very own First Lady, Melania Trump, a successful and self-empowered woman who was born under communism in her home country of Slovenia.
Mrs. Trump was born into a world in which her father had to join the ruling communist party because – oh, the irony – it was the only way for him to better himself socially. Her mother, meanwhile, used to work in a children’s clothing factory, one that today (in a triumphant show of hope) houses a successful plastics business. This kind of change is reflected all over Slovenian society, in fact. Where once everyone in Slovenia did as they were told and had little opportunity to make their own mark, today the widely held definition of “success” is private ownership of a home with a garden. This is a goal which most Slovenian people have now accomplished, at rates higher than those of almost any other Western nation.
The people of Slovenia also have a saying: “the wife supports three corners of the house,” meant to express that women have a tremendous degree of influence over their husbands. Mrs. Trump also resonated with the women of Saudi Arabia, she had demonstrated both “strength” and “intelligence”, there’s little doubt that this woman had made a lasting impression on Saudi women, who would have recognized and identified with her projected influence, adeptness, grace — and a timeless wisdom.
Melania Trump is a successful woman in her own right, totally aside from her (also very successful) husband, but their marriage cannot help but give her the ear of the sitting President of the United States. This is to all our benefit, as Americans, because Mrs. Trump understands what it’s like to not be free, which means she also understands – in a way today’s arguably coddled generation perhaps cannot imagine – just how precious freedom really is. We need someone like that in the White House, it is necessary.
Donald Trump is a shrewd businessman, a cunning negotiator, and a seasoned leader, but he is fortunate never to have had to personally live under communism. He has access to that firsthand experience, now, because his wife suffered under the oppression of extreme socialism, and now is free. First Lady Melania Trump’s experiences could well help make America great again, and I think that’s a wonderful thing, not only for her but because it also means that everything the Slovenian people went through during their run of communism was not in vain.