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THOMPSON: The trouble with Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner

August 24, 2020 - 12:00 PM

 


OPINION


President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner - husband of First Daughter Ivanka - reflects perfectly what ails America right now.

In the past three-and-a-half years, Kushner - senior adviser to daddy-in-law President Trump - moves around the White House with the freedom of a general manager surveying his private country club. He goes anywhere...anytime.

There are several offices in the West Wing of the White House, and Kushner chose his based not on size but on the old real estate axiom...location, location, location. And so it is with Kushner’s office...adjoining Trump’s private dining room...where the president spends a couple hours each day. 

No one...absolutely no one...not even First Lady Melania or First Daughter Ivanka...hold more sway over Donald Trump than Jared Kushner. That alone should scare everyone just a bit. Because the 39-year-old Kushner - an investor, real estate developer and former newspaper publisher by either inheritance or daddy’s or daddy-in-law’s generosity - has few real accomplishments in life.

Despite his age, Kushner actually calls his father, “daddy,” which reinforces my feeling - and I’m being as kind as the situation permits - that he’s odd in some undefinable way. Rather than any aura of credibility and competence...there’s a certain creepiness about the man. Maybe it’s his Adam’s Family pallor...or the voice that know one can imitate or even recognize yet doesn’t seem to match his tall, thin, slightly frail appearance.

Kushner has been given more assignments by daddy-in-law Trump than those given Agent 007...all of them. But unlike James Bond...almost every Kushner assignment ends with a self-inflicted wound and no girl...not even Ivanka...who in public acts more like a cousin than a wife.

Kushner - in just three-and-a-half years - has been responsible for negotiating peace in the Middle East, diplomacy with Mexico and China, solving America’s opioid crisis, reforming the entire criminal justice system, reorganizing and solving the problems facing veterans and reinventing the entire government and making it run like a business, and most recently, a testing plan that was supposed to bring the COVID-19 pandemic under control. Missions accomplished? Hardly.

It should strike anyone with a grain of sense that while almost all problems and challenges in society are solved by those with extraordinary expertise...Kushner has none...absolutely none. Daddy-in-law Trump assigned him challenges - any one of which would consume the hours and energy of any one of America’s most competent men or women - solely on the basis of control...a perverse one-way street of loyalty.

Like Trump, Kushner has a chequered real estate and investment experience...including paying $1.8 Billion for a building at 666 Fifth Ave. in Manhattan in 2007 that depressed daddy’s company earnings for a decade. Like Trump, he had an overbearing father who dictated his son’s so-called success.

Those who know Kushner - former Cabinet officials and aides - say he shows no sign of brilliance in his abilities or capabilities in meetings or negotiating deals...something else he has in common with Trump.

Donald Trump doesn’t trust anyone...but himself...something he has actually said on camera. But what Trump has with Kushner and any others unfortunate enough to work in his administration...is leverage...a means of exacting revenge if you fail not your job...but fail to please Donald Trump.

Only “yes-men” live long in the Trump Administration...they’re so few women in high-level positions I intentionally avoid “yes-women.” Competency, expertise and knowledge are reviled in this White House...“brown-nosers” survive...hoping against hope for a permanent stay of execution. Surely, their mantra is: “The Emperor is wearing new clothes...the Emperor is wearing new clothes!”

Like Trump, it’s difficult to determine exactly Kushner’s and Ivanka’s income...reporting documents allow wide variances and make deception easier than it should be...but last year, the couple made at least $135 Million. Some income sources are suspect...like the $4 Million to Ivanka from the Trump International Hotel near the White House...a violation of the emoluments clause, according to virtually every recognized Constitutional scholar in America.

The Trumps and Kushners live by certain rules...they don’t follow the rules that govern all other Americans. They mock the system that fails to govern their ethics and reign in their corrupt nature. I - like millions of Americans - can hardly wait until the courts force honesty on Trump and family members in the coming years.

I can’t imagine why ignorant Trump supporters...most of whom don’t have wealth or anything in common with this corrupt family...cheer them...and believe they are serving anyone’s interests but their own. Trump fans are - I have determined - by any measure...simply stupid.

Does anyone really believe Jared Kushner - an average high school student who went to Harvard only because daddy gave the prestigious school $2.5 Million - is talented enough to bring light to darkness in any field of endeavour? Remember, he almost bankrupted the family business had it not been for some undisclosed Saudi involvement...you know, the folks who murdered American journalist and Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi.

How is Kushner spending his days right now? He talks daily with Kanye West...an emotionally unstable celebrity...about running for President in Wisconsin and getting on the ballot in as many states as possible to try and draw black voters from Biden in November.

Sadly, it’s not just an ego-maniacal Donald Trump that is destroying America...and making the world a worse place...it’s all the evil folks in his administration that don’t grab headlines...flying below the radar.

The concentration camp guards in Nazi Germany weren’t famous like Adolph Hitler...they just did what they were told. Were they good people? No, and neither are Trump’s minions. And those who read this and don’t like my Nazi analogy...I don't care. There’s too much at stake to pussyfoot...a word my father used and boy does it fit here.

The really insidious aspect of all this nonsense is that Jared and Ivanka - another less than bright shining star of achievement - are ingraining themselves in American Wrong Wing politics. They have bought - or rather their daddies have bought - their ways into a Republican Party that mirrors their families’ corrupt natures.

Americans have to overcome a lying, cheating president and his corrupt political party that are doing everything possible to suppress voting on Nov. 3. Then, Americans must ensure that Ivanka and Jared never have the opportunity to roam the White House again...ever.

— Don Thompson, an American awaiting Canadian citizenship, lives in Vernon and in Florida. In a career that spans more than 40 years, Don has been a working journalist, a speechwriter and the CEO of an advertising and public relations firm. A passionate and compassionate man, he loves the written word as much as fine dinners with great wines. His essays are a blend of news reporting and opinion.


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