the king and emperor

President-elect Donald Trump met with the Prime Minister of Japan in Trump Tower on Thursday Nov. 17. Commentators have focused on the fact that Mr. Trump’s daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner were part of the meeting. Their presence would indicate a blurring of the line between Mr. Trump’s business interests and his job as the president of the United States.

Having seen the photos distributed by the Japanese guests (especially this one) something else bothers me. The picture of Ivanka, her father, and the Japanese group shows Ivanka sitting on one side of a coffee table, with the men lined up on the other side.

I think it’s pretty clear that the ideal Mr. Trump is trying to emulate is not that of president, but that of king. Writers have described his penthouse as “Versailles-like” and the whole thing is not a coincidence. The queen (Trump’s wife Melania) was absent from most of the election campaign, and she’s absent here. But Ivanka is there, blonde, pretty, and on display. The heiress, a princess.

Louis XIV was the French king who built the Versailles. Skip forward less than 100 years, and Louis XVI was killed during the French Revolution.

When I became an American citizen I learned that in the US no royal titles are given merit. They just don’t count. Having grown up in a modern monarchy (Sweden) I found this refreshing. The fact that the president-elect now tries to back-paddle a few hundred years is sickening. I hope no one is impressed by the gold and fancy fabrics. They don’t mean a thing.