Last week Ivanka Trump, eldest daughter of the president, used a personal email account for official government business. It feels as if that headline was a plot for a Saturday Night Live sketch, but it is all too real. It would almost be laughable if it wasn’t so profoundly disheartening.
President Donald Trump made it abundantly clear during his campaign for the presidency that Hillary Clinton’s infamous use of her personal email account made her unfit to serve as president. During his campaign rallies, thunderous “lock her up” chants became more prevalent with each week as the election drew nearer.
Unsurprisingly, the president has had a polar opposite reaction to the news that his daughter used a private email to conduct government business. He was quick to deny hypocrisy by explaining to reporters, “They weren’t classified like Hillary Clinton. They weren’t deleted like Hillary Clinton.” He even said Clinton’s remarks were “bigger than Watergate.”
Ivanka’s camp had a comical response to the matter as well. She claimed “she was not familiar with some details of the rules” in regards to the use of a personal email account to conduct government affairs.
How could one not be aware of this by now? Trump relentlessly attacked Clinton for over a year about the use of her emails, and how she should be prosecuted for such reckless behavior. It is simply baffling that somebody, especially the president’s daughter, is somehow unaware of the idea that communication regarding government affairs through a personal email account is probably not the wisest idea.
Even Anthony Scaramucci, the man who was in and out of the White House faster than a carton of milk could expire, agreed it is hypocritical for the president not to see a similarity between Clinton’s case and Ivanka’s.
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Ivanka certainly has a way of calling attention to herself, first by being officially recognized as an advisor to Trump, an unprecedented position for a child of the president, and now the headlines surrounding her email account. It feels as though this family never left reality TV, but now their actions come with actual consequences — not just for themselves, but for the American people.
Time and again I have tried to have an open mind in hoping for a turn in this administration’s behavior, and time and again they have given a reason to lose faith. It’s exhausting to try and keep up with everything occurring domestically and internationally. There was a time when politics was seen as mundane — evidently, the grass isn’t greener on the other side.
This administration’s tidal wave of scandals, blatant disregard for the truth, the attacks on the media and the erosion of norms that have stood in place for decades regarding not only political discourse but human decency as well, are all factors that may encourage citizens to tune out from the news in Washington. But, it’s more crucial now than ever before to remain vigilant and engaged with what is going on heading into 2020.
With 2018 drawing to a close, it’d be encouraging to see a fresh start with the new year — White House resolution to leave the games behind and actually focus on moving this nation forward. Given the chaos and dysfunction that’s occurred to this point, that seems highly unlikely. But, a man can dream.
This administration has demeaned the integrity of what it means to work in the Executive branch. The president’s defense of his daughter and the outright denial of hypocrisy is just another chapter to the never-ending saga.
Mitch Rogers (mrogers9[email protected]) is a senior majoring in economics.