Mexico City was ravaged by a 7.1 magnitude earthquake earlier this week, killing at least 274 people and reducing many of its buildings to rubble. The deadly tremors follow just a week after an 8.1 magnitude earthquake struck in southern Mexico, killing at least 60. Melania Trump should visit Mexico and lend support to the victims and rescue workers who are working around the clock to pull survivors from the ruins. Her presence would take a step towards mending relations between Mexico and the United States while giving the first lady a chance to assert herself as her own woman.
Tensions between the United States and Mexico have been escalating over the past two years as Donald Trump campaigned (and won) on a promise to make Mexico pay for a wall along the border between the two countries, a promise that has made relations rocky.Tougher immigration policies under the current administration have also upset the Mexican government.
On Tuesday, President Trump addressed the people of Mexico by tweeting: “We are with you and will be there for you.”
Many criticized President Trump for responding quickly to the disaster in Mexico City after it took him several days to reach out to Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto after the more powerful earthquake shook the country earlier this month. President Trump explained the delay was due to Neito’s spotty cell service in the mountains surrounding the region affected by the first, and larger earthquake.
A visit from the First Lady could do a lot to patch things up between the two countries, as Melania is not as polarizing a figure as her husband. She doesn’t dictate foreign policy, but she can be a powerful force to aid those in need. Her presence would draw much attention to the plight of the Mexican people, who require financial support and foreign aid to rebuild their lives.
In the United States, the first lady’s favorability has been surging the past couple of months. A new CNN poll found that Melania is the most popular member of the Trump family with 44 percent of respondents saying they had a favorable opinion of her, and only 35 percent saying they had a negative opinion of her. Interestingly, the data also suggested much of the public has “de-coupled” Donald and Melania, as only 56 percent of respondents with a negative view of the president said they disliked the first lady.
Visiting Mexico would give Melania an opportunity to assert herself as her own woman — a woman who is able to comfort those in their time of need and bolster relations with neighboring countries on her own. Bonus: It would give her an opportunity to sport that “FLOTUS” hat again.
— Rae (@RaeLynnZiegler) August 29, 2017