Nepotism in the White House

When Donald Trump moved in to the White House, he brought his family with him. Adhering to norms, the media has refrained from talking about his youngest son Barron. Tiffany Trump seems to keep a low profile—which is fine. Don, Jr. and Eric were supposed to stay out of politics and run the family business, but everything the president promised in his not-blind trust agreement turned out to be a lie.

Ivanka and her husband Jared are the two who have been given overt roles in the administration—even though they are ill-defined. Ivanka’s main job seems to be to hold meetings with various groups and then tweet about them in power point-speak.

Of course, part of her job is also to mislead the public.

Growing up in the Trump household obviously taught Ivanka that job number one is to demonstrate total loyalty to dad.

My first reaction was to suggest that comparing Trump to Thomas Jefferson demonstrated that the narcissistic apple didn’t fall far from the tree. But thank goodness there are a lot of people on Twitter who are smarter than me. A couple of them did a good job of setting the record straight.

Ivanka isn’t the only one who has attempted to compare her father to a historic figure. One of the most intriguing I’ve seen comes from Edward Luce.

It takes effort to picture Donald Trump as Alexander VI, the late medieval pope whose notoriety helped trigger the Protestant Reformation. Once you have the image, it is hard to lose…Late medieval Rome was pervaded by three corruptions: simony, nepotism and indulgences.

If you are not familiar with Pope Alexander VI, I highly recommend the Netflix series titled “The Borgias.” What struck me was that Christianity and the papacy were merely the symbolic accoutrements on which the drama of power, money, and family played out. That’s both the oldest story ever told and very applicable to the Trump family.

There are those who would suggest that the good news is that it was the corruption and depravity of the Borgias that led to the Reformation. But then history tells us that the battle between Catholicism and Protestantism was particularly bloody. We need to be much more thoughtful about what happens when the Trump family leaves the White House.

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Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly. Follow her on Twitter @Smartypants60.