Ivanka the Terrible, Part 2
by Ilana Mercer
It’s obvious who the odd one out was at the G20 Summit. Allow me to set the scene:
Two mature women are in the thick of a policy discussion. The two heavy hitters are British Prime Minister Theresa May and International Monetary Fund Director Christine Lagarde.
Their buttoned-up, officious attire fits the occasion. It’s how Theresa May and Christine Lagarde, both born in 1956, have always dressed. The pearls, the tweed and gingham suits: these are as old-school and as dear as Margaret Thatcher’s made-in-Britain, “ten-a-penny” “humble handbag.”
Whether you like their politics or you don’t—and I don’t—Theresa May and Christine Lagarde are sharpshooting, politically hefty women.
May graduated from Oxford, which has a “jealously-guarded admissions process.” In other words, May was not admitted to that elite school for being a woman, and she did not make her way in the word of politics because she was the daughter of a celebrity.
While the French, foolishly, have begun to dabble in American-style affirmative action, France’s constitution disallows such discrimination. Its people won’t tolerate quotas and set-asides for dummies with a perceived genital or pigmental burden.
“Any kind of discrimination on the basis of race or ethnicity [and, presumably, gender] in French higher education would be contrary to all French tradition.” The French speak as one on this typically American preoccupation.
Rest assured. Unlike American lightweights Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the sibilant Kirsten Gillibrand, and first daughter Ivanka Trump—Christine Lagarde, a former anti-trust and labor lawyer who now heads the IMF, has risen to her position because she’s able; she’s an impressive woman.
Again, I have no Fabian fondness for the economic planning and centralization that defines the European supra-state. But you don’t have to like the office (I dislike it) and the office-holder’s role in it (ditto) to appreciate her cerebral ability and drive: Lagarde holds 4 masters degrees. (Yet, these still failed to give her admission to France’s elite university!)
So, who elbows her way into the orbit of these high IQ, distinguished ladies? Why, Ivanka does! The grey-haired, unadorned women form part of circle deep in discussion, when a big-bosomed, lanky woman, in a floral frock butts in, appendages first.
Ivanka has elbowed her way into the May-Lagarde tight circle of interlocutors. She is dressed like an overgrown Lolita. During the G20 Summit she could be seen constantly smoothing her rigid hair down vainly. Now, she is gesticulating affectatiously, as do all America’s tele-twits.
“Yeah,” nods Ivanka, as she bobs her coiffed head, taking care not to shake out the style.
Prime Minister May is saying something to the effect that, “As soon as you talk about the economic aspect of [something], people listen.”
Motioning wildly and grinning asininely, Ivanka offers her made-in-America catchphrases of female empowerment. Something or other is “male-dominated,” lisps the first daughter, in a little bedroom whisper. She then grins. There was no bum note here, she seems to be telling herself. “I did ‘good,’ and I sounded sexy at the same time.”
A lady to the end, IMF leader Lagarde could have briskly disposed of this halfwit. Instead, Lagarde just looks fit to be tied.
Even Margaret Thatcher, a master of the manly art of the parliamentary joust, would have been left speechless at this American girl’s audacious idiocy. Having no empathy for woman-centric whining, The Iron Lady would have hand-bagged Ivanka with that famous little bag of hers.
Ivanka at her serious best is Barbie doll hair, an overbite, Botox and mind-numbing banalities. The two brilliant women she’s preening before are not in the habit of disgorging American-style jargon like “male-dominated,” “intersectionality,” “transsexuality.” Neither do May and Lagarde rabbit on about “women in politics,” “women in business,” women in sport,” “women in this or that.”
May converses in the Queen’s English, fluent and pointed, stripped of the fluffy, social-justice lingo that litters the American vernacular.
Look, other than commandeering the Trump presidency, Ivanka’s greatest achievement is the branding of the anemic, androgynous production that is Jared Kushner. Kushner is like a wax doll out of London’s Madame Tussauds wax museum. Sexually “intersectional,” he’s politically perfect: neither man nor woman.
Take it from this Jewish woman: the first husband in-waiting, the squirrely Mr. Kushner, is not the powerful, scheming Jew his anti-Semitic detractors make him out to be, and his wife needs you to believe he is.
In years to come, books will be written about the branding of Jared by the insipid, glitzy, enormously ambitious, first daughter: Ivanka.
Author Michael Wolff’s take on the Kushners no longer struggles to convince. Accordingly, both Jared and Ivanka have a “self-created fantasy life” of their own.
Ivanka used to speak in a valley girl accent, which “would later transform in the years ahead into something like a Disney princess voice.” Hence the dulcet tones that accompanied her word salad at the G20 Summit, where you’d expect to see the likes of Mike Pompeo in her place.
“[S]ister Ivanka, certainly no native genius, was the designated family smart person.” Wolff captures the essence of Ivanka brilliantly, as an epitome of the effort “among a new generation of [enormously] wealthy women to recast life as a socialite, turning a certain mode of whimsy and noblesse oblige into a new status as a power woman.”
It’s all phony. Ivanka is an authentically savvy businesswoman in the same way that Jared is an able policy wonk.
The more plausible picture is that Kushner serves as a perfect foil for his wife’s Clintonian ambition. Writes Wolff:
“Ivanka, along with her husband Jared Kushner, ‘had made an earnest deal with themselves: if sometime in the future the time came, she’d be the one to run for president (or the first one of them to take the shot). The first woman president, Ivanka entertained, would not be Hillary Clinton, it would be Ivanka Trump.”
Wolff paints a plausible picture why? Because however loud the calls for Ivanka’s ouster have gotten—it has been repeatedly said that she and her husband ought to return to their New York playground, as we deplorables didn’t vote for them—however much her policy “achievements” and the nepotism in which she wallows are scorned; Ivanka just digs those stilettoes in. She won’t be budged. She refuses to take a hint.
And the Kushners were, still are, detested by prominent individuals who campaigned and shaped the original, populist platform upon which Trump stood for president. Steve Bannon, for one. The couple has progressively purged the populists around the president, so that only Stephen Miller is hanging on to his position by a whisker.
President Trump himself has been dismissive of his son-in-law, the relationship between them having been described as “tense.” “I could have had Tom Brady [as a son-in-law]; instead I got Jared Kushner,” the president once griped.
Why, then, would President Trump entrust his signature campaign issue, immigration, to a man he is purported to have grown “to dislike and distrust … through his first year in office”?
Here’s a solid surmise: Trump dare not cross his daughter who is intent on riding on his coattails to things far greater. Ivanka has aimed her vainglorious ambition at the presidency. She wants it. And what Ivanka wants, Ivanka gets.
Telling, too, is that, although Deplorables were promised that after winning the presidency, Daddy Donald would dispatch his campaigning kids back to New York to run the business—this has not transpired.
Instead, like limpet mines, the oddly plastic-looking Kushner couple has suctioned itself to the West Wing and is blowing up the Trump agenda (with pater’s permission, of course.)
Ilana Mercer has been writing a weekly, paleolibertarian column since 1999. She is the author of Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa (2011) & The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed” (June, 2016). She’s on Twitter, Facebook, Gab & YouTube