Rick Wilking / Reuters

Melania Trump may have borrowed some of the words she delivered to the Republican National Convention on Monday. Whether it was plagiarism or simply evidence of speechwriting’s reliance on empty platitudes, we wondered what it would sound like if her husband took the same approach in his acceptance speech on Thursday night.


Hello, Cleveland! Thank you. Thank you. This land is your land; this land is my land. But mostly it is my land. I’m king of the world! Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!

As I was telling my beautiful daughter, Ivanka—look at her, folks: just look at her—the other day: It is the best of times! It is the worst of times! It is the age of wisdom! It is the age of foolishness! It is the epoch of belief! It is the epoch of incredulity! It is the season of Light! It is the season of Darkness! It is the spring of hope! It is the winter of despair! Come with me if you want to live! You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one! Anything less than the best is a felony!

And so, tonight, here in the Quicken Loans Arena, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the Earth. I have always depended on the kindness of strangers, and tonight, those strangers are all of you. You had me at “hello,” and now we are the champions, my friends! The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams! Be the change you wish to see in the world! That change is me. Fasten your seatbelts—it’s going to be a bumpy night. Crooked Hillary—lock her up! Go ahead, make my day! She can’t handle the truth! She’s all lies and jest. (Still, a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.)

Sure, you don’t know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Art of the Deal; but that ain’t no matter. I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. And you’re the meaning in my life—you’re the inspiration. Freedom? Well, that’s just some people talking. Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose. Different strokes for different folks, and so on and so on and scooby dooby doo. Are we humans, or are we dancer? Did you know that I see dead people? I’ll bet you didn’t know that about me. Ronald Reagan. Abraham Lincoln. Eisenhower, great guy, I forget his first name. Kennedy. He was a Republican, right? And Reagan, again. They remind me that I am BIG! It’s the politics that got small. Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango? I got a lot to say, I got a lot to say, I got a lot to say. I can’t remember now, I can’t remember now, I can’t remember now.

Oh, that’s right! I remember now. Melania! What a woman! I’m hooked and I can’t stop staring! Love means never having to say you’re sorry!

And what about my running mate? Great guy! Say hello to my little friend, my precious, Newt Ging— I mean, Chris Christ— I mean, Mike Pence! You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find— I mean, life is like a box of chocolates: You never know what you’re gonna get! I mean, nobody puts Mikey in a corner! I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship! Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer! Brevity is the soul of wit! Fathers, be good to your daughters, daughters will love like you do! Girls become lovers, who turn into mothers, so mothers, be good to your daughters, too! Just look at Ivanka!

In conclusion: This campaign: It’s alive! It’s alive! Also I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore! In New York, we have a problem. Atlanta, we have a problem. Los Angeles, we have a problem. Houston, we have a problem. The years start coming, and they don’t stop coming! Fed to the rules, and I hit the ground running! I grow old... I grow old… I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled! Every man dies; not every man really lives! And so, now, I feel the need—the need for speed. Because there’s no place like home. And greed, for lack of a better word, is good! So tell ‘em to go out there with all they got and win just one for the Gipper. Lincoln, right? Anyway, the point is, we will not go gently into the night! We will not go down without a fight! We will live on. I’ve got all my life to live, and I’ve got all my love to give, and I will survive! Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end! And tomorrow is another day! And I’ll be back! Thank you.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.