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Trump’s Son-in-Law’s Sudden and Shady Rise to Political Power

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Throughout the past year, Trump’s son-in-law and Ivanka’s husband, Jared Kushner has gone from a being a political nobody to being named a senior adviser to the president. Before this latest election cycle, he was, much like Trump, a rich real-estate owner with no real political power, except that which donating money can get you. Now, though, he has a real affect on American politics and will continue to influence Trump on foreign policy matters for years to come.

What makes it even more absurd isn’t just that he gained political influence this quickly, but also that he did it in the Republican Party when his family has been a long time supporter of the Democratic party. He and Ivanka even held a fundraiser for Cory Booker, the Democratic senator from New Jersey and former Newark mayor in their own apartment. Senator Corey who is now a strong opposer to Donald Trump and is going to testify against Trump’s appointee for Attorney general during his senate hearing, which has never been done before in senate history. Much like Donald Trump, he seems to be willing to change many of his core views and political opinions if it benefits himself. The value that remains when others change, however, is that he puts family first. Which is important to Donald Trump, who said this about Jared Kushner:

“Despite his great business success,” Mr. Trump said in a statement, “he has the right priorities — family first.”

Surely since he’s so rich and has become such a prominent figure in American politics this fast, he must be really smart and a hard worker. Well, not exactly. While I have no doubt that he has had to work hard during his life and had to face many difficulties (as we all have), he isn’t s self-made genius businessman.

Similarly to Donald Trump, the 35-year-old real estate developer, investor and newspaper publisher inherited a large fortune from his father. He even, much to his teachers’ and officials’ at his high school’s disappointment, got into Harvard. Neither Jared Kushner’s SAT scores nor his GPA was enough to get him into Harvard, and yet he did. It could be a complete coincidence that Charles Kushner, Jared Kushner father, had recently pledged to donate 2.5 million dollars to Harvard, but rich kids getting into Ivy leagues without deserving them isn’t something new.

The book “The Price of Admission: How America’s Ruling Class Buys Its Way into Elite Colleges,” by Daniel Golden discusses not only Jared Kushner’s shady admittance, but many others as well. 

Jared Kushner has had an important role in Trump’s transition and administration long before he was appointed as a senior adviser. Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner even got to meet the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe when he visited Trump Tower (pictured below).

Photo via Reuters

Additionally, when Israel’s ambassador to the United States tried to get face to face with the president-elect he instead found himself sitting opposite from Jared Kushner before Kushner had any official position in trump’s transition or administration.

Jared and Ivanka are so important to Trump that he is willing to risk being called out on nepotism.

Maybe Trump feels like he can’t trust the Republicans and politicians around him because many of them fought against him during the campaign, only to start talking positively about him one he became president. Perhaps that is why he is giving his children so much power and influence by letting them sit on on meetings, meeting foreign leaders and advising him on important issues. They are some of the only people who have stood by him from start to finish, and Trump looks to want to continue to have them around him. However, the facts remain, and the facts point to Trump appointing his family members to important positions simply because he can trust them and knows the well, which really screams nepotism to a lot of people.

Jared Kushner has shown the same kind of unwavering loyalty that he displays for Trump towards his father Charles Kushner when he has thrown in jail for donating too much money to political campaign using deceiving methods. Throughout all of this Jared Kushner continued to visit hi father every day and supported him completely. As previously stated, Trump appears to put loyalty and family before all else.

Kushner has tried to avoid controversy by accepting the position without pay. However, when you are a rich real-estate developer, not accepting the salary of a senior adviser probably won’t affect you that much.

Jared Kushner is essentially being catapulted into power because he’s been loyal to Trump, and Trump evidently appreciates loyalty more than he values experience and qualifications.

Throughout Jared Kushner’s life, he has several times gotten ahead not because of his own hard work, but rather by family ties. His admittance to Harvard is suspect at best, and corruption at worst. As for his sudden entrance onto the political stage, it is pretty clear that he would never have gotten where he is if he wasn’t married to the President-elect’s daughter. It isn’t strange that people cry nepotism when Trump continues to surround himself with family members.

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Ellen Nordlund
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Ellen is an associate editor at Affinity Magazine and also the maker of some of the collages and illustrations that Affinity uses. She spends most of her time thinking about politics.

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