*The following is an opinion column by R Muse*
There is a lesson some parents teach their children from a relatively young age that allows them to move through life with a tad less grief and stress than blunt and offensive personalities. The “rule,” at least in some families, is that if you can’t find something positive to say about someone, then don’t say anything at all. Although it is nearly impossible to find anything positive whatsoever to say about Donald Trump or his family, they certainly deserve kudos for self-promotion and hype that they are anything other than just nasty rich people. That is, frankly, about as positive a statement as this author is capable of concocting in regard to Trump.
Some Americans likely are getting a clue that Trump is only in the enviable position he is right now based on hype, self-promotion, free media-provided publicity and ad campaigns, Russian digital spies, alt-right Nazis and the preponderance of religious and racist fanatics populating America; he isn’t heading to the White House based on experience. Daddy Trump must have inculcated into his children that self-promotion and hype are very good for business, because his daughter Ivanka, the one he said “is a piece of ass,” is garnering attention and media hype for reaching out to well-known and celebrity advocates fighting to stop the existential damage from anthropogenic climate change. It is just too bad that the media is still pandering to sate the Trump publicity addiction and not reality, but obviously anything Trump sells ad space.
Various articles reported that Ivanka Trump has discovered a “signature issue” and is currently “in the early stages of exploring” how to use her newfound spotlight to speak out on climate change; as if she has any authority whatsoever over her daddy Don, the Koch brothers or Republicans in debt to fossil fuel. Still, the allure of free publicity for a wannabe first lady surrogate, for absent step-mom Melania, was probably too much to resist.
First, according to an anonymous source in a story Politico was reporting last Thursday that she will make climate change “the issue” in her new role. Then, the New York Magazine reported on a sit-down between her and climate change activist and actor Leonardo DiCaprio. In fact, DiCaprio presented the climate change newbie with a copy of his documentary on climate change; something an advocate for the cause would already be acutely familiar with.
The big news Monday was Ms. Trump’s meeting with former vice-president Al Gore to talk climate change. There is probably no better personality to be seen talking to about climate change with than Al Gore, and if Ms. Trump had even a modicum of influence and authority of policy, especially environmental policy, one might be inclined to give daughter Trump the benefit of the doubt. There is just one problem, though; Ivanka Trump has absolutely no authority over anything except maybe her clothing line.
The only person in, or visiting, the White House who has any authority over climate policy is daddy Donald, not daughter Ivanka. And, according to daddy Don, there is no such thing as climate change; he says it is a hoax. Add to that Trump is gathering a veritable who’s who of climate denial for his inner circle and that does not include the two men who own both the House and Senate majorities in Congress; the Koch brothers. As ThinkProgress’ Natasha Geiling posited; the Trump administration “is shaping up to be a bleak wasteland of climate denial and Koch-funded fossil fuel cronyism.” Exactly the opposite of what the publicity-seeking “first daughter” claims is her raison d’être in the “incoming Trump administration.”
The abject pomposity affecting “Trumps” is remarkable, really. Not only is Ivanka Trump not going to be president or a member of Congress, and appears to be as ignorant of climate change as her daddy is a pathological liar, there are actually “laws against nepotism” legally forbidding her from “assuming any kind of policy-making or advising roles.” And, based on her father’s belief that her “signature” cause célèbre is fake, coupled with the grossly climate-denying cabinet members and advisers directing his every move, any American involvement in the fight to stop or at least slow climate change is over on or around January 20, 2017.
It is important to remember that the Koch brothers own both houses of Congress and have made no secret they want the Environmental Protection Agency, the one agency responsible for addressing climate change at home, abolished outright. Trump did his part by appointing a rabid climate denier to lead the transition at the EPA. With a Republican majority in Congress flush with fossil fuel money, and a know-nothing imbecile in the Oval Office who says climate change is a “Chinese hoax,” and a seriously demented cabal of climate denying advisors and cabinet members, there is nothing Ivanka Trump, Al Gore, Leonard DiCaprio or anyone else can do to alter the “bleak wasteland of climate denial and Koch-funded fossil fuel cronyism” that will steer America in the opposite direction it was on in the fight against climate change.