Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is fuming over Donald Trump’s decision to choose his daughter, Ivanka Trump, and not him to lead the US delegation to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in India. And he is right to be upset.
The annual event, which is organized by the State Department, has been attended by Secretary of State John Kerry and President Barack Obama.
This year, not only is the nation’s top diplomat not attending but the State Department, in a stunning public humiliation, the president is sending his daughter, who is not a diplomat, to a high-profile event representing the United States.
However, Ivanka will not be accompanied by any senior State Department officials when she visits India because Tillerson reportedly does not wish to “bolster” the image of the President’s eldest daughter on the world change.
Tillerson is right to be irked. By now, it should be clear to all Americans that Ivanka has no business representing the US on the global stage, especially at an international summit whose theme this year celebrates women’s empowerment.
Ivanka is no champion for women or our empowerment. Despite bragging about her “massive portfolio of women’s issues,” Ivanka has not been successful in actually implementing anything.
She also stays disturbingly silent throughout her father’s systematic efforts to undermine women’s health and rights, standing idly by as the President supports bill after bill taking aim at women’s access to everything from birth control to workplace safety.
Ivanka has demonstrated that even pay equity is not a real priority for her. She backed her father when he ended the Obama-era rule on gender-gap wage data collection, which enabled the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to collect salary data from large companies by race and gender to better understand patterns of pay discrimination.
Although she lacks any qualifications or credentials to represent the US on the global stage, India will not be the first time Ivanka will have led an official American delegation overseas.
Soon after taking office, President Trump took angered a lot of people by having Ivanka represent the US in Germany at the W-20, a summit of G-20 countries aimed at promoting women’s workforce participation and equality.
She even spoke on a panel alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel and was booed by the audience when she attempted to portray her father as a women’s rights advocate, prompting Ivanka to state that “the thousands of women who have worked with and for my father for decades when he was in the private sector are a testament to his belief and solid conviction in the potential of women and their ability to do the job as well as any man.”
Let’s face it, Ivanka can no longer spin her misogynist father, who has been accused by more than a dozen women of sexual harassment and was caught on tape bragging about assaulting a woman, as some women’s rights champion.
Her father’s recent backing of Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, who stands accused of pursuing sexual relationships with teenagers when he was in his early thirties, does nothing to improve Donald Trump’s own image as a serial abuser of women.
In the past, she may have effectively glossed over her father’s misogynistic administration. But we are now in the #MeToo era. And the days of Ivanka being deployed as her father’s most effective PR tool are over.
So why is Ivanka representing America to the world? Because she is Donald Trump’s daughter.
At a time of decreased US global engagement and diplomacy, having Ivanka represent the United States in any capacity on the international stage only gives the world one clear message —that nepotism and corruption remain deeply entrenched in the Trump White House.