The worst thing about Samantha Bee calling Ivanka Trump a “cunt” isn’t the word itself—unlike our British cousins (who say it as much as “shit” or “damn”), Americans have always been rather churlish about an insult that, really, is much less offensive than “bitch” if you really think about it. The worst thing is why she was calling her a “feckless cunt” that should wear something “low cut.” [Also, as a comedian, I think Bee missed a real hashtag by calling her “feckless cunt” instead of “complicit cunt” or “treasonous twat.”]
Bee–and most liberals–went hard on Ivanka for the ridiculous reason of posting an Instagram photo nuzzling her baby’s head. For those who may not have seen the picture, Ivanka is merely holding her son close, and captioning it with the absurdly innocuous “My heart.” It’s the kind-of mind-numbingly inoffensive humble brag a million happy parents could’ve posted (and did) on Mother’s Day, and the only reason to scoff might be the sheer, Stepford-esque inanity of it, but liberals were outraged at something they–and only they–believe had a coded message about immigration.
Most were appalled Ivanka would have the poor taste to post a picture of her son only days after learning several thousand immigrant children have been not only separated from their parents post-ICE detainment, but that “the system” cannot accurately account for their whereabouts. Meaning that several thousand children are literally “lost in the system” and may never be found. Now missing kids is certainly a scandal, and I’m definitely not trying to say that it isn’t. Trump’s immigration policy is heartlessness personified (the new feature of separating children from their parents has been added as an extra immigration deterrent), and people should be justifiably outraged about it and at Trump himself.
But the President’s daughter can’t post goofy kid pics because something her father doesn’t care about is something she also doesn’t care about? That feels like the kind-of reach that’ll make most moderates and independents feel liberals are being ridiculous, especially since there were (at least) ten actual Trump scandals this past week. We really don’t need to look for reasons to be outraged at Trump, and Ivanka’s photo buried a real scandal.
Why liberals should have been going after Ivanka is her corrupt, treasonous ties to China. Since our media is determined to cover mostly inside-baseball grudges, some may have missed that Ivanka Trump’s company has been allowed to start selling 13 products in China, worth potentially tens of millions in new business. [Considering how China manipulates their marketplace–like anti-American films such as “Geostorm” scoring huge at their box office despite playing to empty theaters here–you can bet her products will be selling out there as they decline stateside, thus giving Donald Trump a reason to stay on their good side.]
At the same time, Trump lifted sanctions against Chinese telecom/spying giant ZTE, the same company he declared (in a tweet) he would help out because “too many Chinese jobs lost.” Is the American President supposed to care about Chinese jobs being lost? And should Ivanka Trump–who has not divested her holdings in her self-named company–be sitting in on meetings with Chinese dictator Xi Jinping (which she has) if the question of her products being sold there is up for debate?
Add all of this to the quieter story about the Chinese government investing a billion dollars (half through the government directly, half through Chinese banks) in an Indonesian theme park the Trump company is partners in, and it looks increasingly like the Trump family is in business with China–America’s chief economic, military, and geopolitical rival. This is a fantastic reason to go after Ivanka Trump, and several Trump voters are troubled with the President’s ties to China. Marco Rubio and several Republicans have even spoken out against allowing ZTE (a Chinese “company” that is like the NSA pretending to be a telecom corporation).
Trumpers are okay with his ties to Russia, but thought he’d be much stronger on China–the country they’re really concerned about–given his tough talk on the campaign trail. That Trump is not only buddies with Xi Jinping, but his daughter may now be in business with him should cause anyone to worry, and about a lot more than Ivanka’s oblivious social media activity. As Trump industries declines stateside and across Europe, there’s a real opportunity for China to become the principal money-driver for Trump’s family (the way other corrupt casino owners like Sheldon Addelson and Steve Wynn actually get more of their money from Macau than Las Vegas), and for Trump’s family to once again prove their loyalty is more to a foreign power that funds them than the American people that voted for them. That scares me more than an Instagram picture ever could.