How Ivanka Trump finds time for media appearances, I will never know. Vastly experienced adviser to her presidential sire; mother of three, and wife to Jared Kushner, the yet more highly qualified Oval Office counsellor and person of interest to Feds; a vice president of the Trump Organisation; CEO of her own fashion label; philanthropist (if not towards the Indonesian factory workers, according to a report published today, she employs to make the clothes) – all that to do and more, and somehow this inexhaustible force of nature carved a few minutes to share her pain with Fox and Friends. Was there ever a more aptly titled show, when Trump and Rupert Murdoch are said to speak without fail every day? Which is exactly as it should be. Quasi-mafia family patriarchs, as the old saying has it, flock together.
For Trump megafans like myself, the good news from Ivanka’s interview came from confirmation that the Prez was bigly thrilled with Jim Comey’s testimony to the Senate intelligence committee about his sacking as FBI director. “My father felt very vindicated in all the statements that he’s been making and feels incredibly optimistic,” Ivanka said. Time will tell whether that optimism is literally beyond belief. But for now, phew!
The less good news is that Ivanka (pronounced to rhyme with hunker, not rancour; Fox should give her the weekly show Ivanka in the Bunker) has been caught cold by the persecution of her daddy by less charitable souls than Murdoch and his earthly minions.
“There’s a level of viciousness that I was not expecting,” she confided. “Some of the distractions and some of the ferocity, I was a little blindsided by on a personal level.”
And no wonder, because if Donald Trump made one trifling child-rearing mistake, it was using himself as a human shield to protect his offspring from the viciousness beyond.
You can’t entirely blame him for that. A man must be true to his nature. But he might have foreseen how shocking it would be for his children, brought up inside the hermetic bubble of his Jesus-like sweetness and tolerance, to learn so late in life that others have a capacity to be cruel.
With hindsight, he should have prepared them, as his To Kill A Mockingbird role model Atticus Finch did, for a world in which the vicious taunt the disabled; call female comics “fat disgusting slobs”; caricature the males of a neighbouring ally as drug-dealing rapists; brag about star power conferring the right to sexual harassment; try to restrict the travel of people from Muslim states in which they have no significant commercial interests; libel Muslim compatriots as raucous celebrants of terrorist atrocities; threaten to lock up political opponents in the style of the late Joseph Stalin; seek to rob tens of millions of access to healthcare; flog expensive and worthless “university” qualifications to the terminally gullible; discriminate against black tenants … well, you know the sort of thing.
But Trump was so distressed by the thought of his babies being traumatised by viciousness that he used the saintly example of himself as a shroud in which to wrap them, and safeguard them from poisonous reality.
So it is that only now, finally, does a deafening wake-up call blast through Ivanka’s ears. And she isn’t alone. Also left defenceless to the virus of viciousness, like one of those Amazon Delta tribes that would be wiped out by the common cold, is her brother Eric (the thick, nebbish one; in Godfather terms, the Frodo Corleone of the story).
Eric has been scandalised by a New York production of Julius Caesar in which the Roman is assassinated while wearing a suit and a comical, wispy blond wig. This, says Eric, “crossed the line on standards of good taste”.
Ah yes, that. Being Donald Trump’s child may not teach you the first thing about viciousness. But it doesn’t half educate you about good taste.
I can’t help feeling that theatrical folk looking to Shakespeare for satirical opportunities could do better than Caesar. King Lear seems the best play for that, with its riveting portrait of a crazy old paranoid railing against his enemies, and tragically mistaking himself for “more sinn’d against than sinning” – a line my Bard-Trump translation software renders as: “No politician in history, and I say this with great surety, has been treated worse or more unfairly.”
Lear has a lovely, determinedly loyal daughter of his own, Cordelia, who stays true to her father while others plot to depose him. During Cordelia’s interview on Fox and Lieges, as you Shakespeare scholars will recall, she addresses her father directly with: “Good my lord, you have begot me, bred me, loved me. I return those duties back as are right fit: Obey you, love you, and most honour you.”
It wouldn’t take a yuge leap of imagination to put Donald Junior and Eric in pantomime frocks and cast them as Goneril and Regan, or to find wordless cameos for Tiffany and Barron. The only challenging structural change from the original with this groundbreaking production of King Liar, in fact, is that for obvious reasons, the same actor would have to play both the demented ruler and the Fool.Reuse content