Thursday, January 11, 2018
The unceasing debate over Ivanka Trump is whether she is a clueless enabler or a savvy troll, jabbing her father with sly tweets. Whatever the answer to the Ivanka Trump riddle, whether she is a dupe or a nettle, it has become obvious that she serves no useful role in this administration. She has failed to temper any of her father’s worst instincts – of temperament or of ideology. So these days, she mostly deserves ignoring.
Mostly. But her Monday night tweet praising Oprah Winfrey’s Golden Globes speech merits attention – actually, it merits derision – if only because it is such a classic of the Ivanka Trump genre, so brazenly heedless of her father’s behavior and her own complicity.
“Just saw @Oprah’s empowering & inspiring speech at last night’s #GoldenGlobes,” Ivanka Trump tweeted. “Let’s all come together, women & men, & say #TIMESUP.”
Oh yes, let’s.
How dare she.
“For too long,” Winfrey said, “women have not been heard or believed if they dared to speak their truth to the power of those [abusive] men. But their time is up. Their time is up.”
A bit of a pass
Daughters want to respect their fathers, to believe the best of even the most flawed, so perhaps Ivanka Trump gets a bit of a pass when it comes to the allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault involving her own father. Even if the stories are multiple and consistent. Even if they are paired with the “Access Hollywood” tape. Even if the president dismissed the women as liars too unattractive to merit his attention – and then did not follow through with his threatened lawsuits.
But how, how, can Ivanka Trump justify her “you go, girl” Oprah cheerleading with her silence about her father’s endorsement of accused child molester Roy Moore, the failed Republican Senate candidate in Alabama?
Early on after The Washington Post reported the allegations against Moore, when the official position of the Trump White House was that the conduct was disqualifying if true, Ivanka Trump told The Associated Press that “there is a special place in hell for people who prey on children,” adding, “I’ve yet to see a valid explanation, and I have no reason to doubt the victims’ accounts.”
After which the White House decided that a Senate seat was worth a (credibly accused) child molester after all, and the president went all-in for Moore. From Ivanka Trump, silence. There is a special place in hell for people who prey on children, but there’s room for those who overlook such conduct for partisan advantage and for those who tacitly condone such amorality.
And who then seek to position themselves as champions of the very victims whose concerns they have been happy to minimize or ignore.
Spare us the “let’s come together” feel-good-isms, the trite adjectives (empowering, inspiring), the empty hashtags.
Washington Post Writers Group