Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Trump's coming patricide

The Washington Post was wondering today what Ivanka Trump was doing in a meeting with her father and Prime Minister Trudeau, in the White House, at the President's desk, in the President's chair. Well, I mentioned before that Trump, like any banana republican, is clearly aiming at gifting "his" country to his offspring.

All of his actions so far have not been as mainstream as I had hoped they would be. Certainly not the kind of moves you would take to gain maximum approval across the political spectrum. As Spicer said, he is just following through on his campaign promises.

How can blatantly divisive policies fit in with familial succession of power? Would his right-wing shenanigans not hurt his daughter in the long run? On the contrary. This is a classic good-cop-bad-cop scenario, and we have seen it before, in France.

Jean-Marie Le Pen was a strong leader of the ultra-right and turned increasingly rabid in old age until the party was "saved" by his daughter. Marine Le Pen heroically stepped in by committing political patricide. She spectacularly pushed her father aside to give her party more of Le Pen, but this time a nicer, more reasonable version. This move imbued her with an aura of strength that she may not have attained if her father had formally appointed her as a successor. It was high drama that guaranteed free national and world-wide coverage. A move so successful that Marine is now a serious contender for the highest office in France.

This could be a blueprint for Washington: Trump Sr., who has no intentions of running for a second term, would continue to aggravate the left with his far-right agenda. He'll take it as far as he can. If he seems unreasonable or dangerous, so what? He'd just be setting the stage for the country to be "rescued" by the milder, more progressive Trump. As with Le Pen, Ivanka's next role would require her to "defeat" her father in the primaries. She would still be Trump enough to bind her dad's supporters, but female enough to also take a hearty bite out of the center.