The president's useless daughter, Ivanka Trump, is trying to guide us all through the coronavirus crisis with obnoxiously cheery, uplifting messages. She's not providing a unique service. We already have a Gwyneth Paltrow.

Trump published a press release posing as an op-ed last week where she praised everything Donald Trump had done for the "forgotten man and woman." She neglected to mention how little her father did to stop the spread of a disease that has cost them their jobs and potentially their lives.

Within weeks, a pandemic has threatened the health, safety, and livelihoods of millions around the world — including here in the United States. In order to curb the spread of the highly-contagious virus, we have had to work from home, transition to distance learning, and temporarily manage a new way of life. As we collectively and individually experience this new reality, we have seen firsthand the hardships citizens face when they do not have access to paid family and sick leave.

That's a lot of “we" in there, sister. There's no way Ivanka Trump has witnessed actual hardship first or even secondhand, but maybe she's drawing from the memories of visiting her own sweatshops.

While her husband, Jared Kushner, screwed the tenants in his New York apartment buildings, Ivanka posted some videos of herself, sans makeup because she's real that way, social distancing her heart out. She wants to let us know we'll all be OK, except for the history-making number of unemployed people who might have to sell their teeth and hair while singing “I Dreamed a Dream."


TRUMP: The president and coronavirus task force just announced that they would be officially extending the guidance on social distancing until the end of April ... It goes without saying that this will be an enormous challenge for all of us, individually and collectively.

That's right. She said “individually and collectively" again. It's her thing. She's like the Borg Queen now. Maybe some book about corporate team building she picked up at the airport and later read while lying on the beach stressed the importance of “empathy" when “right-sizing" employees. However, people who are hurting don't need people who aren't hurting to pretend to share their pain. It's irritating. She's going to remain rich after all this, both individually and collectively with her garbage family. Meanwhile, the “small business owners" she hails are going bankrupt. It's impossible for Trump to truly empathize with the concept of losing everything she spent her life building because nothing can ever take the name “Trump" from her.

After that BS, Trump took a deep breath and recited some Hallmark-scripted gibberish.

TRUMP: In these toughest of times, America always shows her strength and resilience. That will happen again.

She continued in Part Two, which you can watch if you want.

TRUMP: This will end and we will emerge stronger than ever before.

That's fan-fucking-tastic. America doesn't have to figure out a way to pay the rent her husband won't suspend, student loans, health insurance, and other luxuries until they can start working again, maybe by mid June. An awful lot of people who aren't corporations got shafted in Daddy Trump's stimulus. They're scared and desperate.

Look, I don't want to be a drag about positive, hope-filled messages during the crisis. I love this one from "Doctor Who"'s Jodie Whittaker.

Whittaker's message as the Doctor feels more genuine than Trump's, but that's because Whittaker is an actual person.

THE DOCTOR: Be kind. Even kinder than you were yesterday and I know you were super kind yesterday. Look out for each other. You won't be the only one worried. Talking will help. Sharing will help ... because in the end, we're all family.

Neither Whittaker, the actor, nor The Doctor, the fictional character, are elected officials or self-proclaimed “senior advisers to the president." Anyone with a powerful position in government should work non-stop to help people who are struggling and keep everyone healthy. We don't need them to cheer us up. We want them doing the hard work. No matter how much Ivanka Trump might wish it, we don't have a royal family, whose sole responsibility in a crisis is to set a positive example.

THE DOCTOR: Listen to science. And listen to doctors, right? They got your back.

Whattaya know? The fictional character has given more constructive advice than the pampered, overpaid, self-help guru.

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).

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