Trump has populated his administration with family, and while they stand to gain handsomely from this, and I’m certain that he has every desire to aid his own people, there’s something else that I’ve been mulling over in my head:
It’s not just that Trump wants to help his family, it’s that he doesn’t really have any other options.
A conspiracy enthusiast without connections to the political establishment, and without their respect, Trump may have wanted to appoint Ivanka and Kushner to powerful positions, but my guess is that he really had no one else to turn to.
Once he ran through the handful of people in his periphery that he thought he could trust (or who he trusted had similar interests), he had little choice but to either put people in place who he was unsure about, or give his family jobs – people who are literally obligated to be on his side. He opted for the latter.
This strikes me as profoundly sad. On top of any other faults and failures as a human being, the man is also extremely lonely and fearful of others. I guess we already knew the ‘fearful of others’ part based on his proposed polices, but for some reason I never connected the dots from his behaviour to what is likely a deep existential loneliness and sadness. It’s the kind of sadness built on alienating others, and burning bridges for personal gain, and pillaging – so I do not pity the man – but it puts all of his late-night angry tweets into a different frame.
This man is not simply enabling the kind of cultural system that creates alienated, violent, and misogynistic white men. He is its ultimate manifestation.