Complicit’s Widening Net

Had he been my father, I would have moved heaven and earth to stop him from running for president. But is it fair to call only his daughter complicit in this travesty? Possibly, but it assumes she could have stopped him which is doubtful. And now that she and her husband have taken jobs at the White House I suppose we’ll all have a front row seat to whatever this is for all of them.

Her thirty-six-year-old husband has been assigned the task of reimagining various agencies in the government. And now he seems to be functioning as the Secretary of State as well. Even though the actual Secretary of State leaves much to be desired, it doesn’t seem appropriate to insert his son-in-law into everything. I’m certain that he’s educated and intelligent, but by some accounts, his main qualifications are as heir to his father’s real estate empire. My oldest son is also thirty-six and as gifted as he is, he wouldn’t be qualified either. But the difference with my son is that he’d have the integrity to politely decline the offer and continue with his own career.

Instead of governing, the new guy spends an inordinate amount of time still talking to anyone who will listen about receiving more votes than he actually did in the election along with all sorts of nonsense about his opponent, with much of it done on Twitter in the wee hours of the morning. He still has campaign rallies no doubt to offset the fact that he doesn’t appear to have any idea what he’s doing. Sadly, it’s the only place he can get the approval he so desperately needs. He doesn’t seem to be aware that we all know that Lincoln was a Republican and that women know who Susan B. Anthony is. Did he not attend grade school? Is he even an American?

Other than destroying social programs and environmental protections, playing endless rounds of golf, charging the taxpayers for weekly vacays and a separate living arrangement for his wife and son, why again did he want this job? Taking away the security of affordable health insurance from everyone isn’t exactly making this country great again. Removing environmental and worker protections isn’t doing it either.

And I wonder with his son-in-law taking over everything and his daughter’s new position doing who knows what is daddy already getting bored? And as his ratings, I mean job approval numbers, continue to plummet, do we need to worry about retaliation from this narcissistic man-child? I’ve had personal experience with men like him. Anytime I stand up to one of them I wait for the eventual blowback. Because it always happens.

He has other children so I’m not sure why the focus is on his daughter. His two older sons are as involved in this travesty as is their sister, so I’m not sure why she’s the only one targeted here. The complicit label belongs to all of them and everyone else who helped him get where he is now.

But here’s the thing that bothers me about the focus on his daughter. The boys are rightly receiving their fair share of comments, but it feels different somehow with his daughter. We live in a world where women are demeaned, targeted, diminished, and cast aside. It’s easy to dismiss a rich white daughter of privilege without knowing anything about her. In this case, she attended Georgetown, later graduating from Wharton cum laude and although it can be said that she benefited from her father’s business contacts, what parent wouldn’t do that for a child?

Nepotism is an interesting thing. Even the perception of such can create a hostile environment even when it’s not actually happening. I experienced it when my husband and I owned a karate school. He was the instructor when we first began but after three years of training daily, I earned my black belt as well. In fact, I was the only student to achieve a black belt in our school. The training was rigorous and my husband didn’t give away anything. Each belt had to be earned. After testing once in front of my husband/instructor, I retested again in front of a seventh-degree black belt and he reaffirmed my promotion. Even with that, I was undermined and disrespected by people who should have known better but that’s what happens. I got the belt because I was the wife. Not because I trained every day for three years. It was, in effect, a gimmie. Fuck that.

Most of us will never even begin to see a smidgen of the wealth these people have. And maybe people of this level of wealth shouldn’t serve in government at all because of the conflict of interest it clearly creates. How do these folks walk away from their business interests? It’s not possible as we’re seeing now.

At the end of the day, whatever impact his children have on the government and, in turn, the country will be on him. It’s not that we haven’t had other examples of this in the past, but typically the positions are filled by qualified people.

There’s a disconnect with these folks. And I don’t think it’s going away anytime soon. But if we’re going to be bandying about the complicit label, then we’re going to have to cast a wider net because it’s not fair to dump it entirely at the feet of his daughter.

Besides, odds are they won’t be there for long anyway.

Originally published at on April 4, 2017.