It is rarely the case that honest work is the harbinger of great power, and in keeping up with the tradition of the Rockefellers, Carnegies and Fords before them, the Trumps seized their influence upon America’s highest office only to squander it upon selfish pursuits. Mary L. Trump is a different beast however–coming off the heels of her new book “Too Much and Never Enough”, Donald’s niece has come to reveal a pattern in which her family consistently coalesced around their most dysfunctional with self-correctional faculties lacking at every turn. In both the contents of her book and several media appearances, Mary seems to have an apt analysis of what hollowed her family out of their morals–the Trumps unsuccessfully campaigned the courts to keep her silent, but truth soon hit the airwaves, and it was every bit as damaging as Mary proclaimed it to be.
That Mary’s book came in this time of American history isn’t a coincidence–there’s been great furor simmering beneath the soft shell of American capitalism that has just exploded in recent months in the wake of a botched COVID-19 response as the nation reckons yet again with its long legacy of racial inequality. If a head is to be spared the wrath of the guillotine, it has to loudly announce itself in support of whatever the masses are clamoring for–in Mary Trump’s case, she’s correctly identified the problem as excess of hubris and an unwillingness to engage with the trials of America’s downtrodden, and so her head may not roll when this is done after all.
Talking in terms so harsh about class treason may unsettle the uninitiated, but it is the simple fact that when retribution comes for those who sought America’s slow destruction to self-enrich, tactness and diplomacy will mostly be an afterthought. Mary takes heed of that anger and is quick set clear boundaries between her, and the shitshow that has become her family–if it is the case that she’s benefitted from her uncle’s autocratic pursuits, she realized that complicity was no safe harbor from popular discontent.
To undertake such a radical violation of her family’s ethos must’ve not been an easy feat–temptation often compels the attainment of further power, but Mary decided it would otherwise be more helpful to utilize her intimate knowledge of the Trump family to offer some helpful insight on why they’ve become so power-obsessed to the point where they’d be willing to bring down a whole country with them if only to maintain that power.
Because the ruling class is preoccupied with short-term gain over long-term survival, to be cautious with how power is seized and how it is deployed isn’t always a given–Mary Trump’s plea for a rethinking of the elite’s relationship with the Trump administration has largely been met with silence, much to her dismay.
Make no mistake–America’s elite are trembling with fear only because they do not see to their dominance a charitable end. So far the dimensions of that tension were strictly economical, but how it intersects with the politics of oppression is finally getting some well-overdue attention–legislating for the impoverishment of an entire generation is a sin that young people will be hard-pressed to forget, and when it’s their turn to work the levers of power to see justice delivered, no means will be spared to see it through. The genius of Mary Trump’s recent interjection is recognizing that this future — however distant — will occur, and she’ll be rightfully hailed as having been a part of the movement that saw to its fruition.
Nonetheless, and given all the favorable parameters of Mary’s recent break from the Trump family, some refer to precedent as reason to doubt that her outreach is anything but an elaborate grift. It’s not unreasonable to believe so when the Lincoln Project — whose heads are major staples of past Republican administrations — is courting favor from the American left in an attempt to reclaim cultural and political power. What makes Mary Trump distinct however, is her criticism against Donald is neither presumptive of his good nature, nor excusing of his worst tendencies–it’s unadulterated disdain against the manners of a man who wielded his family’s fortune not to embody the best in American entrepreneurship, but only to exploit the bottom-rung of American society.
There’s something about Mary Trump that feels unorthodox when comparing her to past #Resistance figures–in the aftermath of Trump’s election, many rose to the fore as flag-bearers of the leftist cause, but eventually had little to show for it as ideological commitments became diluted, surrounding themselves with uncritical fanfare instead. Mary’s claim to fame has none of those pernicious commercial qualities–yes, her book is undoubtedly a money-maker, but it’s not proclaiming itself to be revolutionary gospel, or an otherwise tone-deaf assessment of our current political moment; rather, its strength lies in its ability to sever itself from any secondary concerns about cultural self-sponsorship as dissecting the persona of the Donald takes ultimate priority. It’s not a guide on how to beat Donald Trump, nor is it some far-flung attempt to cohere his chaos into a sharp narrative–it’s rather a noblemost act of familial responsibility where no lengths are spared to lay blame on a family that long enabled his misdeeds without reprimand.
Will any of that amount to substantial political opposition? Mary Trump — for all the favor she commands from the media — is only one person, and it’s unlikely that her proclamations will awaken the conscience of anyone who’s yet to be dissuaded by Trump’s flagrant incompetence. We may yet still have time to put the findings of Mary Trump into further context if America doesn’t descend into fascistic chaos–until then, let her book be just one of the many tools at our disposal to make sure such a bleak outcome doesn’t come to pass.