Yesterday, CBS’s Gayle King had the opportunity to do something we have all been dying to do: confront Ivanka Trump to her face about her role in the current administration’s abhorrent agenda.
When King asked Ivanka to respond to accusations that she and her husband Jared Kushner are complicit in the Trump agenda’s worst offenses, Ivanka gave a baffling answer:
“If being complicit is wanting to be a force for good and to make a positive impact, then I’m complicit. .. I hope to make a positive impact. I don’t know what it means to be complicit.”
Dictionary Merriam-Webster was quick to respond and let Ivanka know what complicit actually means.
Complicit is thought to be a back-formation (a word formed by shortening an existing, and longer, word), taken from the older complicity (“association or participation in or as if in a wrongful act”). Complicity has been in use since at least the middle of the 17th century, when Thomas Blount defined the word memorably (and succinctly) as “a consenting or partnership in evil.” Complicit is considerably more recent, with our earliest evidence currently coming from the middle of the 19th century.
Ivanka and Jared have both taken on prominent roles in her father, Donald Trump’s, White House. Despite appearing to hold values that contradict the President’s, the couple campaigned hard for Trump, making him appear more palatable to many voters.
After ushering his xenophobia into the White House, Ivanka and Jared are using their combined political expertise (which amounts to attending some swanky fundraising dinners) to help the inexperienced Trump ram through ignorant and harmful policies.
Ivanka and Jared are the great enablers. Without the whitewashing effect of two young, intelligent, and well-mannered feminists, Trump would have a harder time pushing his worst policy ideas. So yes, Ivanka, you and Jared are complicit.
Marisa completed her undergraduate degree in 2013 at the University of Wisconsin with a double major in creative writing and media studies. She is an advocate of progressive policies and focuses her interests on gender equality and preventing sexual and domestic violence.