Donald Trump has made a great deal of mistakes since clawing his way up to the presidential throne. He has failed to reform health care, agitated Kim Jong-un and brought countless unnecessary scandals upon himself. But perhaps his greatest mistake in office was hiring his own family for esteemed government positions. If there is anything that President Trump should learn from his time in office, it is that nepotism rarely pays off.
While technically only Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner is an official part of the administration, it is clear that the rest of his children have been granted great advisory power as well. Ivanka Trump has taken her father’s place at numerous meetings with important world leaders. Ivanka, Donald Jr. and Eric Trump were all in the room during interviews with future cabinet members. Most importantly, Jared Kushner and Donald Trump Jr. are speculated to have had email contacts with Russian nationals who have ties to the Kremlin.
The big issue with President Trump’s children having a position in the West Wing is that they are unqualified for the positions they’ve been assigned. Jared Kushner is arguably the most qualified member of the Trump clan for high level government work, and even then his only substantial redeeming qualities are his Harvard acceptance which was secured by his father’s donation, his experience running an esteemed newspaper into the ground and an expensive haircut.
Kushner has confirmed the existence of a December 2016 meeting with then Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, during which he allegedly attempted to set up a back-channel communication line which U.S. intelligence would not have been able to monitor. He was assigned to be Trump’s aid throughout the campaign, but his advisory role through the campaign and President Trump’s time in office has not been as successful as many hoped, as he has focused more on being a socialite than a politician.
Donald Trump Jr. And Ivanka Trump are even less qualified than Jared Kushner. Their only real experience relevant to advising the president is that they assisted their father in his various business deals prior to Trump’s political career began.
The Trump children have been inconsistent in aiding their father in accomplishing his legislative goals. They also seem to be about as good at business as they are at politics – many charities have decided not to continue hosting events at Trump properties. Their history of low competence continuously provides little hope for a prosperous political career for any of the Trump children.
The Trump children and Jared Kushner have no business being assigned to the roles they currently fill. While in theory political aides from any career background can be successful, it’s important that those dealing with foreign and domestic policy be well versed in their subject. Instead, the Trump children have seemingly blundered their way through this unfamiliar terrain, playing a role in the administration’s lack of major legislative accomplishments thus far.
While Donald Jr. and Eric Trump have seemed like a headache for the Trump administration, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner have proven to be even bigger problems. They have been tasked with solving everything from the opioid epidemic to climate change. As our withdrawal from the Paris Accord the delayed action on addressing opioids have shown, they have not lived up to the high standards they promised would lead to moderation.
President Trump’s disregard for the seriousness of White House roles has proven to be his downfall. While his children are not entirely to blame for his diminishing support, they certainly have not helped the situation. Nepotism has no place in government, as it favors popular connections over proven competence and experience. The children’s roles as advisors should not have been allowed in the first place. Hopefully American leaders will learn from President Trump’s apparent errors, and instead return us to a place of respect for institutions.