I don’t know how she does it all! This weekend Ivanka Trump could have been partying in the Hamptons but, selflessly, was politicking in Hamburg instead. On Saturday the first daughter was spotted taking her father’s place at a session on African migration and health at the G20 summit, while President Trump stepped away for another meeting.
One might think that Ivanka’s efforts to aid the afflicted in Africa would have been applauded, but no. The special assistant to the president immediately faced a barrage of vicious criticism, with losers and haters accusing her of nepotism and being unqualified to practice diplomacy at such a high level.
Maxine Waters, for example, a Democratic congresswoman, told MSNBC that it didn’t make sense that Ivanka was at “a very important meeting that she knows nothing about.” Waters said: “She cannot in any way deal with those members who are there representing those countries. She doesn’t know anything about these issues.”
Now, I’ll freely admit that I’ve been critical of Ivanka in the past. I’ve found it troubling that America appears to be becoming the Saudi Arabia of the West, with nepotism running rife. I’ve accused Ivanka of hypocrisy for constantly claiming that she wants to empower women – all the while standing silently by as her father takes funding away from organizations like Planned Parenthood and launches vicious personal attacks on women via Twitter. And I’ve expressed concern that Ivanka occupies such a powerful position in the White House despite being unelected.
Nevertheless, I think it’s unfair to say that Ivanka was unqualified to take her father’s place at the G20 Summit. In my opinion she was more than qualified to do so. You see, Ivanka is rich and in today’s world – a world where eight people have as much combined wealth as half of the human race – money is the only qualification you need.
The Trump administration, for example, is the wealthiest in modern US history and the president has justified this by explaining that it simply doesn’t make sense to have “a poor person” in charge of the economy.
Money and politics have become indelibly intertwined. The G20 may be an official forum for world leaders, but dollar-driven diplomacy is happening all the time, in less formal settings. Last weekend, for example, Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner were at a shindig in the Hamptons, drinking cocktails with the likes of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and billionaire George Soros, who is one of the most vociferous critics of President Trump.
It seems that while the ultra-rich may have their political differences they are still bound together by their money. The 1% is its own political party: entirely unelected but incredibly powerful.
Everyday we’re seeing the Trump administration’s actions become normalized. There may have been outrage about Ivanka’s high-profile appearance on the world stage but the amount of wealth concentrated in the Trump Administration means that they seem to have carte blanche to do as they please.
Even Angela Merkel was quick to defend Ivanka sitting in for her father. According to reports by Bloomberg she said: “The delegations themselves decide, should the president not be present for a meeting, who will then take over and sit in the chair.”
Last weekend’s Hampton’s party was hosted by Lally Weymouth, who is the former owner of the Washington Post and currently a senior associate editor there. The Washington Post’s motto is “democracy dies in darkness.” It’s becoming increasingly apparent that democracy doesn’t die in darkness. It dies in the glittering lights of Hamptons cocktail parties.