Players have been proving RDM is a capable melee for years, and the communities perception on it has not changed. It has nothing to do with what SE releases for RDM or does not release for RDM. It has to do with the fact that there are half a dozen jobs dedicated to just dealing damage, and they are better than RDM.
If that were true, then 2-handers should never really gotten an update. Indeed, two handed weapons were appropriately powerful in the hands of properly skilled players, but
the update made everyone sit up and take notice. Had that update not come, it might have taken forever for everyone to accept 2-handed weapons' efficacy, much like WAR's DD efficacy pre-ToAU.
Likewise, RDM melee has always been perfectly capable in skilled hands... except RDM has never had any updates that made the larger population sit up and take notice.
The only way to make RDM desired for melee roles would be to increase the damage out put of RDM to be on par with these DD jobs, which won't and shouldn't ever happen due to RDM's pile of additional role playing abilities.
Why do we keep giving this overweening consideration to damage classes' standing? BRD, WHM, SMN, COR, SCH and DNC (to include GEO soon enough), run the gamut of support capabilities. What could RDM bring to the table without infringing on these already existing support classes, that are in comparison fewer in number and availability than DDs?
RDM at its core is designed to buff the party through direct enhancements and indirect enhancements in the form of enfeebles. The skill set supports this, the abilities support this and the gearing options support this. Healing, nuking, melee are all secondary skill sets that apply after the buffing/debuffing.
The biggest hurdle for RDM is that it no longer has that unique buffer role, any job can sub RDM and provide support in the buffing sense nearly as well as RDM, the only notable exception being Refresh 2, and arguably Phalanx 2. On the enfeebling side, the fact that spells do not land, or are virtually ineffective when they do (such as paralyze against Iron Giants), is what is crippling the desire to bring RDM. Compounding the issue is the lack of procs for a RDM, it has no procs that make it required, like say a BLU. Even its unique spells in the T2 enfeeble department are left off the list.
I will agree that RDM has always been enhancing-oriented, but the class was never an effective party buffer, unless you count effective as spending MP on each person, one at a time. Since the start, BRD has always been able to offer much of what we do far more economically, and then cam the CORs, DNCs, and SCHs.
The Community Rep's tragically-mistranslated summary underscored RDM's specialty for enfeebling, which we're all aware is something of a joke and, in it's way, was a dangerous mistake. They tried to specialize a job in enfeebling in a game where any genuinely effective
enfeebling undermined the player/monster dynamics they'd intended. In fact, RDM's specialization in enfeebling is of a misnomer, as several other jobs had access to more powerful or unique enfeebles long before even merits were introduced.
RDM's powers may lay in enhancing, but the core of it's design lay in it's ability to take care of itself. It was never a secret that a properly buffed RDM is hard to kill, such that in most party scenarios, no other healer, buffer, or tank (back when we used tanks), would ever really have to worry about protecting the RDM; it left the RDM to stand in where someone went down until they got back up again, or maybe stall adds until the party was ready, or (and I don't feel this was ever fully explored), pull with near impunity.
That's the job's truest strength and function: it's ability to stand on it's own.
Increasing RDM's ability to melee will not make it a desired job, for frontline or backline work. The only viable way to make RDM desirable is to diversify its casting role, and truly make it a party support job that offers unique buffs.
(by unique I mean in terms of magic schools, not unique as in something completely unto its own. Temper being party targeted for example is unique to White Magic buffs, but is a shared buff with a Corsairs roll.)
The only problem here is that what you're insisting on has already been tried: the developers have been prioritizing magic on RDM since the game's launch. It's magic has steadily gotten more attention than any of it's non-magical characteristics. Indeed, it was magic ability that enabled yesteryear's famous solos, it was magic that briefly replaced WHM as healer post-ToAU. Even amid the devs' crusade to humble RDM, more attention has been given to the magic than the melee.
As I mentioned, there remains
the issue of any efficient support addition to RDM infringing on currently existing, and more genuinely specialized support classes. If it's not
efficient, we risk being put back in the shackles of buff cycles yet again.
Leaving aside improvements to enfeebling and combat powers, any return to large-scale events will come when the devs start rewarding game play that caters to RDM's strength.