Before Ivanka’s performance, her brother, Donald, Jr., predicted that his sister would succeed, because she “does the princess thing very well.” Her royalty is what makes her father’s royalty feel real. You’re not supposed to criticize someone’s daughter—and, if the press does, Trump will surely be able to score points by defending her. But this is the ugly truth: Ivanka has made a conscious choice to deodorize the stink of her father’s misogyny, to suggest that because he loves her that means he loves women—to erase the actual policies he supports.
I, like many, predicted that her speech would go over like gangbusters. And in one way, it did, simply because it stayed 100 miles away from the spittle-encrusted white absolutist anger that emanated from the rest of the RNC. But, somewhat reassuringly, people quickly saw through what she presented. Not many people outside of the Trump sphere of influence bought in, simply because what she said literally doesn’t match up with what her father, and certainly the Republican Party, have promised. If anything, it felt like it would be more at home at the Democratic convention. She’s either deceiving herself, or attempting to deceive us. Either way, it’s a bad look.