Jared Kushner is the new Dick Cheney
When Trump officially made his daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner part of his White House senior leadership (in unpaid capacities to skirt nepotism laws), everyone thought the well-known liberal New Yorkers would be a moderating spirit in the life of this presidency. Instead, “Jivanka,” or really just Kushner himself, has been a force of opportunistic destruction — not just for the country and the world, but for the Trump administration as a whole. Though Washington loves to bash Steve Bannon, he may actually be more genuine than this “Village of the Damned” kind of faux mafia family.
With his ever-expanding roster of administration duties, Kushner, 36, is the most powerful person in the world. If Kushner wasn’t real, Alex Jones would have to invent him. He embodies everything that the Trump facade was generated to stand against. He really is a conspiracy theorist’s wet dream. For all of Trump’s Midwest, white, Infowars appeal, his administration is that very conspiracy. You couldn’t come up with a more savage irony.
Kushner’s grandparents were Holocaust survivors (if you believe in that sort of thing), and once settled in America, the family set about doing the greatest thing humans can do. They bought land, amassing thousands of properties in the Northeast, and became one of the largest developers in the country. They are the definition of East coast elite Democratic big donors. Like Trump, Kushner and his father Charles gave over $1 million to Democrats — $100,000 of it to none other than Hillary Clinton.
Kushner himself was a lifelong Democrat until 2015. Or rather, a Democrat in name only. After his family’s epic feud that took down New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey, and seeing his father thrown in prison by future political victim and shiftless cuck Chris Christie, Kushner was shepherded through higher education (Harvard, duh) by his father’s money and connections. Eventually, he went to work for Kushner Companies. A business that he still hasn’t divested since entering the White House.
His family purchased a majority stake in Times Square and (swear to god, I’m not making this up) bought 666 Fifth Avenue. He even sold space to the Carlyle Group and went into business with conservative bogeyman George Soros. Like his slumlord father-in-law, Kushner bulked up on distressed residential properties and made a killing by “a lot of construction and a lot of evictions.” He bought the New York Observer. That was before quietly running Trump’s campaign and overseeing the San Antonio-based, data-driven “Project Alamo” that helped to craft his father-in-law’s messaging.
Rather than big ad buys, Kushner focused on white working class aggrieved enclaves that exploited Democratic weak spots in the Midwest. Kushner described the process of losing friends as a result of working for Trump’s campaign as “exfoliation.” Nothing sociopathic about that.
Kushner is the most/least interesting person in the administration. His contempt for establishment politics mirrors not only Trump’s feelings, but also Bannon’s. Except Kushner’s is the last voice in the room. He is a man with no core, no center, barely a personality, living a purely transactional existence. Charming, right? Kushner is Dick Cheney to Trump’s Bush, without all the pesky, deeply held principles.
So, just to sum up: the senior adviser to the president, who ran the most goy-centric, Nazi presidential campaign in modern memory (with actual paleo-Nazis like Sebastian Gorka), is a Jewish real estate and media tycoon from a supposedly liberal family of billionaire globalists. Let that sink in. This is too good even for fiction. Only reality could produce such a crazed juxtaposition. And that’s before you include other Trump senior economic advisers, like Democrats Gary Cohn, Steve Mnuchin, and god knows how many other Goldman Sachs past and future partners.
Kushner has never tweeted, yet has nearly 50,000 followers. He is literally a popular blank slate. An unpaid adviser with security clearance. The plutocrat in charge of the populist White House. A Patrick Bateman of the West Wing. He’s already started styling his hair like the president and hired “The Purge” publicist.
Kushner, along with Trump’s whole economic team, is the antithesis of everything that won over the white, post-industrial, foreigner-hating Midwest. Forget about the arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the Chinese investment schemes. He doesn’t talk much in meetings. He doesn’t speak much in public at all. We’re meant to believe that still waters run deep, but from all accounts, Kushner comes off as remarkably empty, a man with no actual political beliefs of any kind.
As for the Trump family, like Kushner, they aren’t really conservative or liberal. They’re just about one thing: dominance. They are a new American royal family. With the exception of the Kennedys and Bushes, there is no precedent for a one bloodline taking over the country’s politics in this way. Like the Husseins, Qaddafis, and Romanovs, this is the kind of thing that happens among old-world royalty and third-world dictatorships.
With Trump about to return home and fire everyone from Sean Spicer to Reince Priebus, and possibly even Bannon, Kushner’s grip on the administration is about to become tighter, even as the Russian collusion scandal closes in on him. A Christopher Moltisanti/Tony Soprano vibe is forming, in that as they consolidate power together, their deep, corrupt bond may be the thing that poisons their relationship.
And there’s the rub. The rich can’t afford to express intimacy or affection. It offers too many opportunities for lost profit. They appreciate and maybe even care, but love is a concept that’s simply beyond their understanding. Trump, his progeny, and Kushner by extension, are the end stage cancer that is American capitalism. It’s not that having wealth is a bad thing; it’s that proximity to it can rot your soul. Ego stems from accomplishment, but that twisted sense of gruesome self comes from money. Trump, for all his power and inheritance, still cannot obtain that one thing he needs the most. It can’t be bought, forced, or grabbed, and it’s not guaranteed with family. It has to be given. And, once obtained, can’t fully be appreciated by the rich because of their lack of normal human compassion.
Similar to his movie hero “Citizen Kane,” Trump insists that love be on his own terms. It’s not open like other presidents such as Obama or Bush. It, and the country he would have, is isolated and walled off from the outside world, confined to an ever-shrinking group of horrific and enthusiastic people. It can’t be found in his many marriages, or ambition in business, because it’s not there in himself. He has no love to give. In fact, what he and Kushner tend to exude more than anything else is vapid frustration, which comes from their inability to be open with others. To the initiated, that is love, in a weird way. To the rest of us, it looks like hate and dysfunction. You could take the charitable view and say they’re profoundly damaged people. Or, you can see them in a more Trumpian way and call them weak.
[photos: Getty, AP]