Editor’s note: while there is a certain part of me that wants to sarcastically dedicate this article to all the mainstream Democrats who insist nobody on the left cares about corruption unless it involves a member of the Clinton family and I actually have been meaning to discuss the absurdly open nepotism involved in allowing Ivanka Trump to serve as an official advisor to her father in more detail – I’d like to take a moment here to express my disgust at the fact that multiple large media outlets originally reported that Trump’s daughter was establishing her own charitable foundation; typically with a blithe reference to Trump’s hostile campaign rhetoric about the Clinton Foundation.
Whether this overstatement was on purpose, or simply a mistake committed in mad haste to destroy the swine emperor Trump is largely irrelevant in the current, toxic American political environment; the effect is to obscure the very real political problems Ivanka’s involvement with her father’s government creates and as such is utterly inexcusable from supposedly professional media outlets. With that having been noted, let’s take a quick look at why the things the “First Daughter” actually is doing on behalf of the American government are still a very serious problem in today’s Brief Thought:
Note: Please be reminded that if you’re having trouble reading this info graphic, you can right click on the picture and select “view this image” to pop out a larger version. Additionally, don’t forget to check out my comments after the sources section of this article.
Even setting aside Ivanka’s actual behavior for a moment, the simple truth is that there is no good damn reason for Trump’s daughter to be an advisor to the President of the United States and Ivanka’s recent state visit to Germany perfectly illustrates why. Chancellor Merkel didn’t invite a former teen model up on stage at the Women20 Summit; she invited a senior advisor to president Donald Trump. Jim Yong Kim isn’t talking about opening a development fund for women entrepreneurs with a discount women’s fashion magnate but rather with an official member of the Trump administration.
These are serious goddamn people who are actively seeking to influence US policy across a broad spectrum of issues; because Ivanka is an official representative of the Trump government what might represent a harmless photo opportunity for First Lady (a symbolic role) Melania Trump becomes a legitimate diplomatic situation for the United States when an advisor to the president is involved. At Ivanka Trump’s level of connection with her father, it becomes virtually impossible to separate her roles as daughter, advisor and private businesswoman in any meaningful way and people like Angela Merkel definitely know that; which is precisely why nobody has stood in Ivanka’s shoes since the Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations. Is any of this strictly illegal? No, but it sure as fuck isn’t a very good idea unless you think being the privileged scion of an obscenely wealthy family qualifies Ivanka to engage in impromptu diplomacy on behalf of the country – to say nothing of the brazenly odious optics involved.
Which of course brings us to the problem of Ivanka’s objectively half-assed efforts to disassociate herself from her private businesses in the wake of being named a presidential advisor and her already shady history of using the office of POTUS for personal enrichment. Much like her father, Ivanka Trump is in the business of selling her name to put on products that she largely has little to do with creating and as such virtually every official public appearance the president’s daughter makes serves to enrich her various private interests. Have I mentioned that she’s married to fellow senior Trump advisor Jared Kushner; a man whose network of back-channels with officials from more than two dozen countries caused the Washington Post to describe him as “almost a shadow secretary of state?” Do you think perhaps that foreign nations like China might pay a guy to read the Washington Post from time to time?
While sycophants and apologists will seek to excuse each of these brazen indiscretions one by one, out here in the really real world it behooves us to look at the problem’s Ivanka Trump’s many roles create in context of a Trump administration that is already redefining the concept of a government that’s openly for sale. Aside from representing a convenient way to bribe the President, there’s really no logical reason for Ivanka’s continued presence in the Trump administration. Being an obscenely privileged white woman doesn’t qualify the president’s daughter to be an expert on women’s issues. Being a mother of three who saw some disturbing news footage doesn’t qualify Ivanka to advocate for a cruise missile strike. Rather than praying that Trump has a calming influence on her father’s conduct as POTUS as many liberal media outlets have suggested, you should be bothered by the fact that this stupendously unqualified heiress to the Trump family empire has any significant influence at all.
- Nina Illingworth
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