President Donald Trump’s eldest daughter — and White House adviser — Ivanka Trump sounds like Marie Antoinette as she lectures out-of-work Americans to “find something new” for themselves to do.
Financial Times columnist Edward Luce compared Ivanka Trump’s remarks to the French queen’s infamous — and likely apocryphal — quote, “let them eat cake,” and said she and other U.S. elites shared many characteristics with France’s doomed aristocracy.
That the initiative was announced on July 14 — which France marks as Bastille Day to commemorate the anniversary of peasants storming a fortress to free political prisoners in the early days of its revolution — only heightens the comparison to King Louis XVI’s wife.
“The awkward part for many of America’s anti-Trump elites is that the first daughter and first son-in-law are not so far removed from who they are,” Luce wrote. “Ms. Trump and her older brother, Donald Jr., were admitted to the University of Pennsylvania after her father had pledged a $1.4 million gift. Both were legacy students — their father went to the same school.”
Ivanka Trump’s husband — also a White House senior adviser — Jared Kushner was admitted to Harvard after his father donated $2.5 million, and a recent study showed 43 percent of that Ivy League university’s white undergraduates were legacy students, children of donors or staff or athletics scholars.
“America’s hereditary meritocracy spans all elites — liberal and conservative,” Luce wrote. “What marks Ms. Trump out is the scale of her platform to offer life advice to the world.”
Ivanka Trump, despite her scanty qualifications, has a platform to deliver inanely well-intentioned advice — be kind to strangers, practice meditation, pray or find another outlet for your talents — to the public, while also advising her father, the president.
“Her role extends far beyond U.S. workforce training,” Luce wrote. “After the tear gas had cleared from Lafayette Square last month, Ms. Trump took a Bible from her $1,540 Max Mara handbag and handed it to her father. Amid America’s most tense racial protests in years, the photo-op captured an administration that had no grasp of how to address the country’s divisions.”