Ivanka Trump Is Trying Too Hard

*This article of mine is published on Medium.*

You could chalk up Ivanka Trump’s meteoric rise, both on the global diplomatic front and within her father’s administration, to business as usual for the Trump presidency. After all, Papa Trump is notorious for filling key cabinet positions with close advisors and family members. But even for the Trumps, what happened this week is a new low. 

Between the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan and meetings in South Korea and the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) on the North Korea-South Korea border, the absence of actual experienced U.S. officials and diplomats (paging John Bolton) was glaring. Instead, those roles were replaced by the president’s daughter, which led to viral social media hashtags #IvankaIsASecurityThreat and #UnwantedIvanka memes.

In a not so subtle diplomatic diss, the cringeworthy video of Ivanka trying to inject herself into conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Theresa May, and International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Christine Lagarde was posted online by the French government. “It may be shocking to some, but being someone’s daughter actually isn’t a career qualification,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) said on Twitter. “It hurts our diplomatic standing when the President phones it in & the world moves on.”

The Trump White House is shooing away all valid criticisms and concerns, labeling them as “absolutely pathetic” accusations from “haters,” and even attempting to justify Ivanka’s presence at the table with heads of state as some kind of advancement of women’s rights.

“It is sad but not shocking that the haters choose to attack Ivanka Trump, a senior adviser to the president, when she is promoting U.S. efforts to empower women through strategic partnerships with world leaders,” White House deputy communications secretary, Jessica Ditto, said.

Not only are Ivanka Trump’s brand of “diplomacy” and public relations stunts being tolerated because she is the president’s daughter, but also because she is the president’s White daughter.

Can you imagine the reaction if the Obama daughters did one-tenth of what Ivanka gets away with? Can you imagine if Obama had trotted even one of his daughters on the world stage and tried to pass her off as some international diplomat? If it had been Malia Obama mingling with world leaders at the French presidential palace’s lounge instead of Ivanka Trump? Ivanka Trump is taking us to peak nepotism territory all the while exposing the depth of White privilege in her father’s administration.

Ivanka Trump is dangerous not only because no one still really knows what she does, but because she lacks the qualifications, and security clearances, to be a pretend diplomat alongside her dad.

“The fact remains that Ivanka shouldn’t be working in the White House,” Scott Dworkin, co-founder of The Democratic Coalition, said to Newsweek. “And the list of reasons why is endless.”

But for Donald Trump, no reason is a good reason to not deploy perhaps his most shiny PR tool — his daughter. As the president introduced Ivanka Trump during a visit with American troops in South Korea, he shouted with glee, “She’s going to steal the show! She’ll steal it!”

Then as Ivanka and U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, came strutting out on stage, Trump told the troops Ivanka and Pompeo were, “Beauty and the Beast.”

I suppose that’s the most important reminder from this week: The Trump presidency is a show, and his daughter is a star.

*This article of mine is published on Medium.*

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