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Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Ivanka Trump and the Sins of the Father
Daniel John Sobieski
Ivanka Trump and her fashion line are in liberal crosshairs these days and they are making no secret of the fact that this is a form of payback for the triumph of her father, an election victory that derailed progressive dreams of completing under President Hillary Clinton the fundamental transformation of America.
The irony here is that it has been the liberals and so-called feminists who have said that Donald Trump and the GOP are afraid of strong, independent women. Like her father, Ivanka Trump earned her place in the world. Unlike Chelsea Clinton, Ivanka did not benefit from her parents selling their offices to the highest bidder, as occurred under the pay-for-play operation at the Clinton Foundation. Bill and Hillary amassed a fortune without holding a job or running a business. Ivanka had a job and ran a business.
Compare the brouhaha over Ivanka Trump allegedly profiting from her father's presidency to sell her fashion line and jewelry to the firestorm that erupted when it was alleged that Chelsea Clinton's wedding and lifestyle was paid for by the Clinton Foundation. Oh, that's right, there was no firestorm, over the use of charitable donations to Bill and Hillary's foundation to benefit their daughter:
Chelsea Clinton used her family foundation's cash to pay for her wedding, living expenses and taxes on gifts of cash from her parents, according to a bombshell email made public Sunday.
Doug Band, formerly a top aide to President Bill Clinton, griped about the former first daughter's spending in a Jan. 4, 2012, email released by WikiLeaks.
"The investigation into her getting paid for campaigning, using foundation resources for her wedding and life for a decade, taxes on money from her parents…," Band wrote to John Podesta, now Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman.
Last fall, Ivanka was pilloried for wearing one of her pricy baubles during her father's "60 Minutes" interview and promoting that fact afterwards:
Ivanka Trump's company came under heavy criticism this week when it began promoting sales of a $10,000 bracelet that she wore on "60 Minutes." And now, the future first daughter's company is seemingly backtracking after being accused of conflating her father's presidential interview with her own personal business.
A "fashion alert" was initially sent to journalists on Monday by Monica Marder, vice president of sales for Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry. It promoted Ivanka Trump as wearing "her favorite bangle from the Metropolis Collection" on the CBS News show. The bracelet costs $8,800 to $10,800. "Please share this with your clients…" the email said.
That criticism seems fair enough, but it smacks of the snarky criticism of First Lady Nancy Reagan for accepting dresses from fashion designers on loan, dresses and gowns later donated to museums and such. No one seemed to object when Jacqueline Kennedy was a fashion icon. Did the designer fiends of JFK benefit from this free advertising?
Now the target is Ivanka Trump's fashion line. Ivanka was first accused of profitingfrom wearing one of her dresses at the 2016 GOP Convention that nominated her father:
Looking to model yourself after the daughter of the Republican nominee for president? Ivanka Trump is here to help -- marketing her "look" on Twitter the day after delivering a speech at the GOP convention.
Trump, known for her business savvy, tweeted, "Shop Ivanka's look from her #RNC speech" -- likely the first time the daughter of a major party nominee has promoted a clothing line in conjunction with her father's presidential campaign.
The dress, called "Ivanka Trump Sleeveless Studded Sheath Dress," retails for $138 and is currently sold out on the site. The dress is also sold out at the department store Nordstrom.
Nordstrom has been in the news lately as one of the retailers, along with Nieman Macus and others, who have dropped her fashion line, allegedly for poor sales performance. Yet the dress she wore at the convention sold out and Nordstrom ordered Ivanka's spring lines, only to cancel them after an organized anti-Trump campaign organized by activist Shanon Coulter:
Yesterday, Racked reported that Nordstrom would no longer be selling Ivanka Trump's clothing line due to a dip in sales following the campaign to boycott retailers that carry Trump brands. Today, the Ivanka Trump brand has responded.
As per a spokesperson, "Nordstrom did order both shoes and apparel for spring, and moved forward with purchase of apparel." Nordstrom canceled the shoe order and kept the apparel order, though decided to only sell the apparel in stores, not online.
It is likely the spring order was placed in late summer or early fall, before the November election and also the #GrabYourWallet boycott, which began in mid-October.
So it was only after Trump won that critics raised the charges of profiteering at Ivanka. In the capitalist world, the only crime Ivanka can be accused of is great product placement. Unlike ObamaCare, we were never compelled to buy what she was selling. Unlike Solyndra, she received no government subsidies.
If this was strictly a marketing decision, it would have happened quietly, Product lines come and go every day. But the Nordstrom decision was announced with great fanfare, almost delight, and certainly as part of a nationally organized anti-Trump campaign.
That Nordstrom had motives other than allegedly poor sales is seen in a memo sent to employee about President Trump's immigration policies days before the chain dropped Ivanka's line. As Fox Business reported:
Yet, while the luxury department store chain says there were no political motives involved, on January 30, just days prior to the announcement, the company's three presidents sent a memo to employees addressing President Trump's executive order on immigration, as first reported by Seattle newspaper The Stranger.
"Last Friday an Executive Order was signed by the President of the United States related to immigration. This subject is one we're watching closely -- our family's heritage, the company's roots, and the diverse employees and customers we serve are top of mind," the memo began. "It's important that we reiterate our values to all of you and make it clear that we support each of our employees. We will continue to value diversity, inclusion, respect, and you can count on that."
Ivanka is being punished by Nordstrom's and others because of the perceived sins of her father. Chelsea was not punished for the very real sins of her father, nor was Hillary, who rode in the spirit of feminism her husband's coattails to political prominence. As noted in the Federalist:
Isn't this what we were told repeatedly about Hillary Clinton? It didn't matter what Bill did. Hillary was her own woman. She didn't have to answer for her husband's shortcomings and immoral behavior, particularly toward women. Yet this is what we get about Ivanka: "While she is not her dad, she is complicit in his actions, especially considering her husband is her dad's advisor."
Complicit in his actions? Which illegal or immoral actions is she involved in, exactly? Unlike Hillary, who actually took active steps to silence her husband's accusers of sexual assault and rape, Ivanka has done nothing even remotely similar. She has supported her dad's candidacy, and she continues to support him, but she is not actively "complicit" in anything. Women are independent of men, right?...
Ivanka Trump is a successful, beautiful, strong woman who should be celebrated and supported for the example she sets for young women as a wife, mother, business woman, and, yes, even daughter. Is she perfect? No, none of us are. But to put a target on her merely because she loves and supports her father is the opposite of what feminism represents. Feminism is supposed to be about respecting a woman's choices, seeing her independent of a man, and celebrating her on her own merit. Ivanka deserves that. We all do.
Ivanka has long championed equal pay for women as well as paid maternity leave As Judge Jeanine Pirro opined on her Fox News opinion show, liberals are feminists are that in name only. They oppose women who are truly empowered, not dependent on any man, or even on government:
The #GrabYourWallet campaign, founded by Shannon Coulter, is specifically targeting merchandise associated with Donald and Ivanka Trump.
"This week a female Nordstrom's executive proudly trumpeted they were dropping Ivanka Trump's fashion line. They could have done it quietly, phasing it out. Instead they chose to publicize it," Pirro said.
The judge continued that Ivanka is a strong woman committed to helping millions of women advance in the workplace.
"The very feminists who marched and purport to advance strong independent women are the very ones rallying to suppress another who epitomizes every quality they claim to champion. I challenge you all to put your money and your hashtag where your mouth is," she said.
Ivanka is all about the genuine empowerment of women and on Monday was with her father hosting Canadian President Justin Trudeau at a White House conference unveiling a bilateral initiative aimed at boosting women entrepreneurs:
Trump and Trudeau's announcement of the Canada-United States Council for Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders came at an event reportedly arranged by Trump's daughter, Ivanka.
Ivanka Trump has been outspoken about issues facing women in the workforce, particularly access to child care and maternity leave.
Participants in the Canada-United States Council include Carol Stephenson of General Motors Company, Elyse Allan of GE Canada and Julie Sweet of Accenture North America.
One suspects liberals fear more than hate Ivanka Trump, since she is a self-made strong woman who rocks liberal feminism to its fraudulent core and reveals by her success its hypocrisy. Liberals who bemoan the fact that Ivanka's father derailed the campaign of the first female president, ironically may be criticizing the first one in Ivanka Trump.
Daniel John Sobieski is a free lance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor's Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.