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Ivanka Trump’s Ridiculous Us Weekly Cover Deserved the Meme Treatment It Got


Even before the election, when we still thought things could be good, words mattered, and there were objective truths that could be agreed upon, Ivanka Trump was attracting attention—some of it creepier than the rest. Since its conclusion, she’s been heralded as a “moderating influence” on Donald Trump and a champion for things that her father is decidedly bad for, despite how it’s becoming increasingly clear that just isn’t true.

So, when an Us Weekly issue came out with a cover story about Ivanka taking a stand, the Internet collectively rolled its eyes and turned it into an instant meme. The phrase “why I disagree with my dad” was applied to various images of some of the most well-known examples of kids with dads you obviously wouldn’t exactly want (unless you’re that committed to getting some sweet Jedi powers, and we wouldn’t blame you) or agree with:

But as we laugh at the ridiculous idea that anyone would need to explain why they disagree with someone whose own supporters have admitted they did not take literally (because the literal things he said were terrible), let’s also remember that there’s still absolutely no evidence that Ivanka has fought for what she believes in or taken a stand.

If she truly disagreed with her father and had any interest in fighting his awful agenda, she could’ve said so at any time during the election. She was probably one of the people most in a position to do something about it at the time, although in a post-Trump era, it’s hard to say that even a candidate’s adult offspring—who’d been portrayed as respectable in the press—coming out in opposition of their candidacy would’ve had an effect. Nothing else seemed to, but she didn’t even try, despite his clear intentions in direct opposition of her supposed causes. Instead, she outwardly supported him.

Now that he’s in the White House, any influence she’s exerted has only been shown in leaked stories. I’m far from the first person to jump on the Trump-town notion that leaked stories are “fake news,” but this quote from Ivanka Trump/her ghostwriter/someone she stole a quote from before rebranding it as her own is pretty telling: “Perception is more important than reality. If someone perceives something to be true, it is more important than if it is in fact true. This doesn’t mean you should be duplicitous or deceitful, but don’t go out of your way to correct a false assumption if it plays to your advantage.”

Then there are issues like climate change, where she was unable to convince Donald Trump to keep the U.S. in the Paris Agreement—if that’s even truly what she wanted. Despite talk of her feminism, she hasn’t helped women, either, with the Trump team’s attack on Planned Parenthood, access to contraception, and the GOP’s terrible healthcare law that is coming treacherously close to passing the Senate and will negatively affect women’s healthcare.

Maybe she really was fooled, like so many voters, into believing her father wasn’t as terrible as he obviously was. Maybe she really does disagree with him, but missed her chance to do anything about it. Maybe she really is trying as hard as she can to exert influence over him now. Those are pretty big maybes. Despite how very much I doubt there’s actual substance behind this push for positive branding, it doesn’t even matter. No one gets credit for failed attempts at mitigating the disaster caused by a monster they helped unleash, and that’s what makes this attempt at positive PR so laughable.


(image: Us Weekly)

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Dan Van Winkle (he) is an editor and manager who has been working in digital media since 2013, first at now-defunct Geekosystem (RIP), and then at The Mary Sue starting in 2014, specializing in gaming, science, and technology. Outside of his professional experience, he has been active in video game modding and development as a hobby for many years. He lives in North Carolina with Lisa Brown (his wife) and Liz Lemon (their dog), both of whom are the best, and you will regret challenging him at Smash Bros.