Ivana Trump and Cornelia, Mother of the Gracchi
In 1870, Harper's Bazaar published a picture of Cornelia, Mother of the Gracchi, hugging her children as she said to a sneering, jewelry-bedecked Roman matron, "These are my jewels." (See below.) The picture fascinated me as a child, especially when I learned that the boys grew up to become famous politicians and philanthropists in pre-Christian Rome. (Because this was Rome, neither ended well, but that's another story.) Reading about the late Ivana Trump's life, I was reminded of Cornelia's words and thought they apply as well to Ivana.
I was not an Ivana Trump fan when she was Donald Trump's wife, although I still think of President Trump as "The Donald," which was Ivana's name for him. Even in the 1980s, a time of exceptionally garish hair, clothes, and makeup, I found her overdone and, therefore, less than aesthetically appealing. (To be honest, I wasn't a huge fan of The Donald at the time, either.)
It became clear, though, during both Trump's first term and this, Biden's only term, that Ivana was a Cornelia. That is, putting aside her garishness, Ivana put her real energy into the most important thing of all: her children.
All three of Ivana's children — Donald Jr., Eric, and Ivanka — are extremely successful people. They're hard workers without a breath of scandal attached to them. (And no, the fact that Donald Jr. is divorced is not a scandal in today's world.) There are no drugs, no flagrant affairs, and no financial scandals. Putting aside their politics, which America's Democrats obviously hate, these are children who would make any parent proud.
Contrast Donald's and Ivana's children with Joe Biden's two surviving children: Hunter Biden is such a revolting human being that it's almost impossible to grasp everything that is wrong with him: he's a raging, alcoholic drug addict. He's a compulsive womanizer who has spent tens — probably hundreds — of thousands of dollars on prostitutes. He's also a compulsive exhibitionist. Hunter tried desperately to avoid his financial obligations to one of his children. There's also the really unsavory fact that he had an affair with his dead brother's wife, although it's not clear to me if he was the one who got her hooked on crack. There are also hints of inappropriate behavior with very young women oozing through his hard drive.
And then, of course, there's the fact that Hunter's a hustler who trades on his father's name to get millions of dollars from foreign governments, corrupt politicians, and oligarchs in exchange for contact with and favors from his father. As best as we can tell, these favors very seldom (never?) redound to America's benefit. Watching Hunter on television makes me feel unclean.
I suspect that some of Hunter's problems stem from the traumatic brain injury he suffered in the car accident that killed his mother and sister. Still, Hunter's younger half-sister, Ashley, who is Joe Biden's daughter by Jill, also has sex and drug compulsions even without a car accident in her history. It's clear, therefore, that brain trauma isn't the only reason for Hunter's problems. Something unhealthy was going on in the Biden home.
But back to Ivana, a modern-day Cornelia. No matter what the leftists say, being a mother is a uniquely female job, and that's true whether one has given birth to or adopted the children. Women bring a different energy to childrearing from what men bring. I've raised children and spent 25 years around mothers, fathers, and children, so I say this with some authority.
No matter what the feminists say, being a mother is the most important job a woman can do. A career is generic, even if you bring something special to your work. There are many doctors, lawyers, salespeople, managers, etc., but there is only one person who is the mother of the unique person who is your child.
The job you do for that child matters much more than making a big sale or getting a "teacher of the year" award (although the money a job brings matters a lot). You are creating a fully realized human being, which is the greatest power and responsibility in the world — and also the greatest gift.
By that metric, Ivana Trump was an extraordinarily successful person. It appears, too, that her children understood how lucky they were to have had her as a mother and let her know that during her lifetime, which in itself is one of the more lovely rewards of motherhood.
Ivana Trump, RIP.
(You can read about the Gracchi Brothers here.)