Planet Earth to Ivanka Trump: the Power of Persuasion

Of all the reasons to be alarmed and upset — and these days there are many — top on my list is global warming. Fresh evidence streams in: 2016 is on track to be the hottest year ever; vast ice sheets are thus melting at an alarming rate; therefore, sea-level rise threatens coastlines. As seen via the King Tide last week, which flooded lawns, roadways, and parking garages along the Atlantic coast. It’s happening, folks.

The World Meteorological Organization released the latest findings on November 14.

2016 is set to break even the temperature records of 2015. Long-term climate change indicators are also record breaking. Concentrations of major greenhouse gases in the atmosphere continue to increase to new records. Arctic sea ice remained at very low levels, especially during early 2016 and the October re-freezing period, and there was significant and very early melting of the Greenland ice sheet.

No responsible leader can ignore these facts, and until the Election, none of them did. Now we have a President-elect who has proclaimed global warming a hoax, and who is set to appoint men to high posts who are avowed enemies of the transition to clean energy that’s already underway.

We all have good reason to be worried.

On the other hand, maybe President-elect Trump will change his mind.

Before you boo, please hear me out.

The heroes of history make substantial changes to plans on the basis of others’ input, Al Pittampalli reminds in Persuadable:

Persuadability: the genuine willingness and ability to change your mind in the face of new evidence. Being persuadable requires rejecting absolute certainty, treating your beliefs as temporary, and acknowledging the possibility that no matter how confident you are about any particular opinion — you could be wrong. It involves actively seeking out criticism and counterarguments against even your most long-standing beliefs. Most important, persuadability entails evaluating those arguments as objectively as possible and updating your beliefs accordingly.

It would be ideal if our President-elect could change his mind and lead based on the facts provided by true expert advisers. Impossible, you say? I have an idea on how we get there, and her name is Ivanka.


Everyone knows that mothers are fierce when their offspring are in danger. And for all the straight white men surrounding the President-elect, seen whispering in one anothers’ ears and jockeying for position in the new cabinet, I can count three women who have Trump’s ear on matters of state. Their names are Melania, Kellyanne, and Ivanka. All of them are mothers.

I pick Ivanka. Just have a look.

Here she is bringing her daughter to vote.

Chip Somodevilla via

Behold the body language: her mother’s reassuring hands clasp the small girl’s shoulders from above and behind, assuring her security. Can you remember the last time somebody did that for you? It felt great. It was phenomenal. It made you feel confident, loved, and safe. That person cares deeply about you and wants you to be your best self, really happy. We all need more of that. And that’s what mothers do.

I’m sure the six degrees of separation idea applies here. Who knows Ivanka? Who can take her for coffee, who can take her pulse? Is she open to a conversation on climate change? Does she have questions about the science, the health impacts? Could we arrange a meeting with one of our nation’s great minds, perhaps a university professor, an author, a filmmaker, a sage, or even a fellow lithe blonde mom (whose husband supported Donald Trump) who understands the facts?

It’s a simple equation after all. Ivanka strikes me as a smart woman. I feel sure she’d get it. Not only that, she’s influential. Why wouldn’t she speak up to her father, and others, once she grasps the urgency we all know is essential. If Ivanka decides to use her powers of persuasion, then maybe, just maybe, we can avoid the gruesome delays that have us collectively wincing in anticipation of every news cycle.

Isn’t this worth a shot? (Insert hopeful-face emoji)

Ivanka Trump would not be the first daughter in history to change her father’s mind, and she could become one of the most heroic for doing so.

If that fails, we could pin hopes on Arabella. After all, kindergarten girls are formidably persuasive. And it looks like her daddy is going to have a big job soon, too.

“I’ve said throughout the campaign that I am very passionate about certain issues,” Ivanka Trump told Lesley Stahl on 60 Minutes last Sunday:

“I want to fight for them. Wage equality, child care: These are things that are very important for me. I’m very passionate about education. Really promoting more opportunities for women. So you know, there’re a lot of things that I feel deeply, strongly about.”

Let’s start right here:


Originally published at on November 21, 2016. First posted via Moms Clean Air Force November 18, 2016.