If you look closely at the latest video of Ivanka Trump attending the G20 women’s summit in Berlin alongside Angela Merkel and Christine Lagarde, the awkwardness throughout is palpable. The conversation is nothing short of bizarre, especially when Ivanka is booed and hissed while defending her father against accusations of sexism. Many call it unprecedented to see a political leader sending out his daughter to conduct foreign policy, with one German politician stating on Twitter, “Am I the only one who thinks it is utterly absurd that the chancellor is now doing foreign policy with the daughter of Donald Trump?”
Watching Trump Junior defend her father was like being stuck between two oncoming trains. As much as she is not the one in the wrong, the moment we feel sorry for her we are accepting this bewildering case of political nepotism. It begs the question why a father would choose to expose his daughter to such public scrutiny when he knows very well that she would be thrown under a bus.
Let’s take a look at her experience in the political sphere to get a good understanding:
She attended Georgetown University for two years, then transferred to the Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania. Ivanka also appeared as a boardroom advisor in Donald Trump’s TV hit The Apprentice. She went on to serve as Executive Vice President of Development & Acquisitions at the Trump Organisation and since her father took office she has taken a formal role as adviser to the President.
Then there is her fashion line, which is apparently being quietly sold off. By focusing on stellar relations with Chinese officials, Ivanka has been awarded Chinese trademarks for her business by the government itself. Indeed, since Ivanka stepped into the political spotlight, U.S. imports, almost all of them from China, shot up an estimated 166 per cent last year. Apparently, both her and husband Jared Kushner are superstars with a legion of fans amongst young Chinese people.
In summary, Ivanka Trump has zero foreign policy experience to bring to this esteemed position of speculative foreign emissary, unless you count ‘trade’ and entertainment. How interesting it would be to be a fly on the wall in President Xi Jinping’s room when he retires after an evening of entertainment at Mar A Lago, courtesy of Ivanka. Or equally in Angela Merkel’s private cabinet meetings after the G20 summit. They must be having a falling over backwards. And what a field day ethics lawyers across the US must be having when faced with countless accusations of cronyism and nepotism by the most powerful man in the world. Some voices on the Left are already shouting for Donald Trump’s impeachment.
Ivanka has said of Trump’s presidential ambitions in the past, “As a daughter, it’s obviously more complicated.”
A recent Morning Consultant/Politico Poll found 50 percent of voters disapprove of Ivanka Trump serving in her father’s administration while 35 percent strongly disapproved of her position.
So whilst this ‘family business’ charade rages on in front of our eyes, we can only sit by as Ivanka and her husband take advantage of the most powerful office in the world for their own advantage. Is it ok for Ivanka to sit next to experienced politicians such as Angela Merkel, Christine Lagarde and President Xi Jinping?
Only time will tell.
This article was written by Ari Stein, editor of 52 Insights. His opinion is his own and does not reflect the magazine.