Wednesday, April 05, 2017

A Ray of Sunshine on the Trump Presidency

The Kushners
No, I have not changed my mind about the President. I still believe he is an embarrassment to this country. But as I have said before, I do not think he is the disaster I once thought he was. Even while I know that many people still do. And can point to a mountain of reasons why they think that. Many of which fall squarely into a liberal political perspective. Like his pro business agenda. Which led to his repeal of some of the excessive regulations imposed by the Obama administration that killed jobs and hindered businesses. 

While I can understand their feelings and in some instances and even agree with them, I do not see him as the epitome of evil. That he doesn't know how to behave in public, tends to exaggerate or even lie in his retaliatory way about his critics; doesn't treat foreign leaders with the dignity he should, and cares little about how he is perceived by a media he distrusts nor what his political opponents think about him - that does not mean it is the end of the world. One of the reasons I feel that way is his daughter, Ivanka Trump.

I have to admit that I am impressed with Ivanka. I watched an interview with her this morning on CBS. I don’t think anyone could have done a better job of presenting the positive  side of the Trump administration than she did. What her father lacks in poise, common sense, humility and self control, Ivanka has in spades. I don’t think her father has a better asset in his administration than his own daughter. And he knows it. Which is why she was given such a high position in his administration. Her father actually listens to her.

Ivanka is obviously her father’s daughter. She proudly said so. But she also has her own views on many of the things her father is involved with. And they are not necessarily the same. When the interviewer asked her what some of those disagreement are, Ivanka demurred.  Why not trumpet them, she was asked? Her answer was that she is much more effective expressing her views privately to her father than if she would shout those disagreements from the rooftops. 

She said she has absolutely no reservations expressing her disagreements to him. And he listens to her. That doesn’t mean he changes his views every time she expresses a different opinion. But he probably does some of the time. It is very possible that she is responsible for some of the critical changes we have seen in the President’s current agenda from what it was during the campaign. 

I only wish her father would stop behaving badly and listen even more to his daughter. I have a feeling that if Ivanka were President, we would be having an entirely different national conversation right now. Even if her agenda were the same as her father’s. (Which I am sure it would not be. At least not exactly the same.)

Mrs. Kushner was asked about her husband, Jared. How could he be given so much power and responsibility with such a large portfolio when at age 36 he has absolutely no experience in any of them? This is a question that keeps popping up all the time by various mostly liberal media pundits. Usually in a disparaging way that implies how dull Jared’s mind is. 

The image they imply is one of a pretty boy whose father’s money has gotten him as far as it did. That without it, he’d practically be out on the street begging for a job somewhere with no resume. That he continues to do well financially is because he married up. Or because of his father’s behind the scenes expertise.That is really what drives his increasing financial successes. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard these kinds of disparaging comments ridiculing Jared.  

They must all be laughing in the White House at that description of him. It appears that Jared is very bright. But he does not flaunt it publicly - staying out of the limelight. He apparently reserves his views and opinions for the people he works for. Or the people that work for him. As for what he doesn't know, he does not hide it. he is candid about it and relies on the expertise of the various people he has chosen to be on the staff of each of his portfolios.

Ivanka described him that way. And so has anyone else that knows him personally or interacted with him recently. He seems to be quite intelligent. That he is quiet should not be mistaken for being dull minded. He doesn't want - or need the publicity. He is instead focused on doing his job. And probably correctly surmises that talking to the media has no upside. Why bother when the confidence in him shown by his father in law keeps increasing with every new portfolio he is handed.

What is also very interesting about Jared is that his observant form of Judaism confounds all of the antisemites and white supremacists that supported Trump, thinking they had a friend in the White house. What must they think about an observant Jew that is given increasing power by the man they thought was their savior? Well, if you want to know the answer to that here is what the JTA reports: 
“I think that Trump has an absolute infiltrator in the White House,” (David) Duke said Monday on his daily podcast.
 (Neo-Nazi Andrew) Anglin and other white supremacists have posted confused responses to Kushner’s ascent that reflect three theories: 
1. Kushner is just a ruse to hide Trump’s white supremacism.
2. Kushner shows Trump isn’t actually the white supremacists’ guy.
3. Kushner is using Jewish nefariousness to manipulate Trump. 
The article goes on with some additional antisemitic nuggets coming out of the feeble brains of  these fringe group types.

But suffice it to say that with an observant Jewish power couple in the White House along with so many other observant Jewish power players - the Trump administration is probably the least antisemitic administration in US history. Kind of like Trump’s answer Ami reporter Turx in that now infamous exchange in the White House. And that’s saying a lot. (I can already hear all the naysayers disputing that.)

It’s too bad that Trump is such an easy foil for late night comedians or SNL. It’s also too bad that he is involved in so much controversy mostly of his own making. Because many (but not all) of his ideas are actually good for the country if one is of a conservative political perspective. 

One can disagree with him on many – or even all of his agenda items. But that would be no different than anyone disagreeing with the agenda of the President from the political party of which they are on the opposite side of the aisle. 

It’s only been 75 days since Trump has been in office. All the investigations of Trump and his people have really only just begun. It’s hard to know where all that will lead. But I am feeling a bit more optimistic now about our future.