Sons galavanting around the world and making media appearances well-coifed to promote the patriarch. Daughter flaunting her fashion while conducting state business. A son by marriage making appearances around the globe on behalf of the family and the nation. Traveling between official and private residences on a whim.
Watching the first family openly operate this way in the name of the country is all new for the American public. But for Europeans and others around the world, they’ve seen this movie before.
The Foreign Minister of Germany today said that President Trump and his children are acting like a “Royal Family.”
According to a report by The Telegraph, Sigmar Gabriel said:
“There are things that are strange to me, for example the visit of his daughter to Germany which was treated almost like a world event. This mix of politics with family and business smacks of nepotism and would be unimaginable here.
“It always bothers me when members of a family, who have never been elected, show up suddenly as official state representatives and are treated almost as if they were members of a royal family.”
Trump, of course, isn’t the first wealthy man to sit in the Oval Office. Trump apologists like to remind everyone that the Kennedys lived quite an aristocratic lifestyle for the time. They flaunted their wealth rather openly, with their family vacations to Cape Cod and the glamorous ‘Camelot’ image of the Kennedy White House that First Lady Jackie Kennedy carefully cultivated.
But unlike Trump, Kennedy didn’t hire his children to oversee expansive areas of U.S. policy (his oldest child, Caroline, was only 3 when he took office). The only family member who worked in JFK’s administration was his brother, Bobby, who endured vetting and a confirmation hearing by the senate before he became Attorney General.
For those who may have forgotten their Jr. High American history, we fought a war against the very idea of a royal family and birthright aristocrats running our country. The Founding Fathers created a government specifically free of any trappings of royalty.
That rumble you’re feeling is Madison, Jefferson and Franklin rolling in their graves.
Peter Mellado is a writer, producer, and a branding and messaging specialist with over 15 years experience. He studied history at San Jose State University, and resides in Los Angeles.