The Trump Kids

November 27, 2017

President Trump’s children from three marriages have gotten more attention than most offspring of a chief executive, especially the oldest “kids”- Eric, Donald and Ivanka, and the other “kid” by marriage, Jared Kushner. If there is a common thread that links the Trump family is that dad named his children from his marriage to Ivana to high profile campaign and later White House positions with vague job descriptions and questionable authority. One year into his presidency and the Trump “kids” have added little of value to their dad’s administration and more importantly are a national embarrassment.

Eric, the so-called smart one, has stayed away from government and is running the family business, which by most accounts has declined in net worth and brand recognition. Donald Jr., often described as the weak one much like Fredo from the Godfather saga, could likely be headed for the big house as the Russian collusion investigation moves forward. Ivanka, the well-dressed one, doesn’t really have a role, except to look beautiful and serve as a good-will ambassador to far away places. Jared, the presidential adviser, has been described by many in and out of conservative circles as the ” worst adviser to a president in recent memory.” Tiffany, the daughter of Marla Maples, is in law school and appears to have no interest in even being shown in photos standing next to deal ol’ dad, and Baron, the son of Melania and Trump, is a real kid, kind of a lost boy living in the White House.

Usually the family members of a president stay out of the limelight or follow their own career caring little to be associated with the mess that is Washington politics. But it is clear that President Trump sees his administration as a family business where his children use their positions to make money. It’s growing increasingly obvious that the Trump presidency is about using government and public policy to increase the bottom line or at the minimum to make friends in the corporate world who will owe their good fortune to Donald and the “kids.”

The Trump presidency and the family business is so much like many of the authoritarian regimes in Latin America,the Middle East and Africa where dictators rely on their gaggle of relatives to ensure trust and obedience in exchange for a cut of the wealth generated by government control and influence. Democratic values are unimportant and a drain on money making; a mix of capitalism and nepotism are what drives government.

What is a problem for President Trump and the “kids” is that although weakened this country still has an independent judiciary and functioning law enforcement agencies led by honorable men and women who still believe in the rule of law. It will be interesting to see how long the “kids” benefit from the power of their dad. It would be nice, though, to see the kids return to real estate and selling shoes.