“Tonight we gather for a Passover without precedent,” she wrote. “The group might be smaller, and the answer to ‘why is this night different’ might be unusual. But all across the world we shall sing our songs of freedom and together celebrate renewal.”
The sentiment was plain: Even though Ivanka was the daughter of the President of the United States and a senior adviser in the White House, she was still in the same boat as everyone else: Holding a different sort of Passover this year because of the rules that everyone had to follow to stay safe.
This is a do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do situation — a classic example of the way in which President Donald Trump (and his brood) have behaved throughout their lives but especially since coming to the White House. The message, time and time again, are that the rules are important and everyone needs to follow them — unless, of course, you are related to Trump, in which case you get to make your own rules.
“Trump has long used manipulative techniques to get what he wants. These tendencies to shade the truth, break the rules and ignore the damage he does were apparent when he first made himself known as a publicity hound and developer in New York, and they continue to be an essential part of his character….
“Now, as President-elect, Trump believes the standards accepted by other newly elected presidents out of respect for America’s political culture don’t apply to him.”
Rules are, for Trump and his family, things other people need to follow. They are Trumps and, therefore, immune to such pedestrian concerns as following the rules for normal people.
What makes the Passover trip by Ivanka and Jared that much worse is that not only are they flouting the rules that most Americans are working hard to abide by, but they are also doing so even as they project the image that they are making sacrifices just like the rest of us.
I remember that first night of Passover. Scrolling through my Twitter feed there were images everywhere of people Zooming into Seder dinners with loved ones. Because the rules were — and are — that staying at home is the best way to fight the spread of the virus and save lives.
The attempt by Ivanka Trump to make common purpose with those people who were making actual sacrifices to adhere to the rules that she and her family were ignoring is something beyond simple hypocrisy. It’s downright deceptive.
And it’s not all that new for Ivanka Trump. If you follow her on social media — she’s an active presence on Instagram and Twitter — you immediately get the sense that she is trying to project herself as just an average person. Here she is on a date night with Jared! Here she is wearing a fleece — and without makeup!
You get the idea. While her father’s brand publicly is being the best at everything — and not at all like a normal person — Ivanka is heavily invested in convincing people that she is — really! seriously! — not much different than them. Sure, she’s got a great job. And she’s wealthy. And her dad is President. But really, you and she are actually more alike than you might think!
That’s the image. The reality — as exposed by this Passover trip — is something far different. Ivanka Trump is actually not all that different from her father, seeing rules as something that are nice for other people but not so much for her and her family.
It’s not a good look.