Politics

Goodbye, Ivanka

Ivanka Trump, walking down a hallway in the White House, with her father.
President Donald Trump with his daughter Ivanka Trump in the East Room of the White House on June 26. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Whereas once I expended anger upon you, now I am simply glad never to be forced to think of you again. Whereas many have contended over the years that you acted valiantly, if secretly, to mitigate and ameliorate the cruelty of your father, the evidence suggests that you instead acted corruptly, if secretly, to coat his viciousness in silky pink pearlescent influencer goo.

Surely it is unjust to have been born to perform one task: moving Trump product, hawking the Trump brand, filling the Trump coffers, endlessly pitching and selling and managing the Trump units that filled the Trump warehouses, and the Trump wine bottles, and the foreign Trump factory storerooms full to bursting. That was the destiny you should have been left to fulfill, with its empty slogans of feminism and faith, equality and motherhood, globalism and environmentalism. But of course, feminism and faith, equality and motherhood, globalism and environmentalism are real values. When not just being repurposed to help you hawk midpriced kitten heels, each demands the arduous work of justice. Humility, I understand, is not on brand for Trumps but attempts at any of these fundamentals of justice without humility is actually just shilling.

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If and when you look back at your life, maybe you will realize that this is where it all went wrong: You were superb at the pitchman stuff, and maybe if your creepy dad hadn’t decided to run for president, you could have stayed in that branded plastic world of warehouses and factories and skyscrapers. But transactional justice words pressed through gauzy Instagram filters are not the stuff of democracy or morality, equality or faith. You’ve had great fun with this whole governance lark, to be sure, but frankly, the pain and suffering your dad so relishes make for bad influencer vibes. And in the end, when things became desperate, you committed fully to his side, changing your position on abortion and even voting itself. You would preserve your proximity to power at the expense of American democracy. Despite all the years of breathy talk of equality and dignity and empowerment, you—like your dad—think justice is the thing you alone are owed.

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Unfortunately, the Trump™ brand now includes family separations, environmental denialism, global degradation, needless pandemic deaths, LGBTQ affronts, and petulant, truth-free grievance, none of which can just be shipped out and sold like last year’s sagging merch. The shattered shiny detritus is littered everywhere, and the cleanup work will take years. And though it may be a designer fragrance, the smell of complicity lingers. Even at its glossiest, the Trump™ catalog was never all that interesting. Please, oh please, take me off your list.

This is part of a series of goodbyes to Trumpworld figures. Read the rest here.

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