Who Do Jared and Ivanka Think They Are?
Many high achievers, particularly women and people of color, suffer from impostor syndrome, the fear that they don’t belong in the rarefied realm to which they’ve ascended and that they will soon be found out. Even Michelle Obama, who is, according to a Gallup poll conducted last year, the most admired woman in America, has said that she feels it. “I share that with you because we all have doubts in our abilities, about our power and what that power is,” she told students in London in December.
Well, maybe not all of us. I’ve just finished Vicky Ward’s “Kushner, Inc.,” a scintillating investigation of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump’s White House sojourn, which comes out on Tuesday. It’s full of damning details: contempt for the entitled, venal couple may be the one thing that unites all of D.C.’s warring factions. Still, the first daughter and her husband remain psychologically mysterious, at least to me. Why don’t they have impostor syndrome, given that their total lack of qualifications for the jobs they are doing makes them actual impostors?
好吧，也许不是我们所有人。我刚看完维姬·沃德(Vicky Ward)写的《库什纳公司》(Kushner, Inc.)，这本将于周二上市的书，对贾里德·库什纳(Jared Kushner)和伊万卡·特朗普(Ivanka Trump)短暂的白宫生涯做了杰出的调查。书中充满了声讨性的细节：也许只有一件事能把首都华盛顿的各个敌对派系团结起来，那就是对这对享尽特权、见利忘义夫妇的藐视。不过，第一女儿及其丈夫在心理学上仍旧是个谜，至少对我来说是这样。他们为什么没有冒名综合征呢？他们完全没有资格从事他们现在所做的工作，这让他们是实际上的冒名者。
According to “Kushner, Inc.,” Gary Cohn, former director of the National Economic Council, has told people that Ivanka Trump thinks she could someday be president. “Her father’s reign in Washington, D.C., is, she believes, the beginning of a great American dynasty,” writes Ward. Kushner, whose pre-White House experience included owning a boutique newspaper and helming a catastrophically ill-timed real estate deal, has arrogated to himself substantial parts of American foreign policy. According to Ward, shortly after Rex Tillerson was confirmed as secretary of state, Kushner told him “to leave Mexico to him because he’d have Nafta wrapped up by October.”
据《库什纳公司》一书,国家经济委员会(National Economic Council)前主任加里·科恩(Gary Cohn)曾对人说,伊万卡·特朗普认为,她有朝一日能当总统。“她认为,她父亲在首都华盛顿当政,是一个伟大美国王朝的开始,”沃德写道。库什纳进入白宫之前的经历包括拥有一家小众报纸,以及做成了一笔灾难性地不合时宜的房地产交易,他却擅自把美国外交政策的相当大部分揽来自己身上。据沃德的描述,雷克斯·蒂勒森(Rex Tillerson)被任命为国务卿后不久,库什纳让蒂勒森“把墨西哥交给他,因为他会在10月前给北美自由贸易协定画上完美的句号”。
As political actors, the couple are living exemplars of the Dunning-Kruger effect, a psychological phenomenon which leads incompetent people to overestimate their ability because they can’t grasp how much they don’t know.<纽约时报中英文网 http://www.2zhicat.com/>
Partly, the Jared and Ivanka story is about the “reality distortion field” — a term one of Ward’s sources uses about Kushner — created by great family wealth. She quotes a member of Trump’s legal team saying that the two “have no idea how normal people perceive, understand, intuit.” Privilege, in them, has been raised to the level of near sociopathy.
在一定程度上，贾里德和伊万卡的故事讲述的是“现实扭曲场”(reality distortion field)——沃德的信源之一在提来库什纳时用了这个说法——这是由巨大的家族财富创造出来的。沃德引用特朗普法律团队一名成员的话说，这对夫妇“不晓道普通人如何感晓、理解、凭直觉认识现实”。在他们身上，特权已经上升来了近乎反社会心理障碍的程度。
Ward, the author of two previous books about the worlds of high finance and real estate, has known Kushner slightly for a long time; she told me that when he bought The New York Observer newspaper in 2006, he tried to hire her. She knocks down the idea that either he or his wife is a stabilizing force or moral compass in the Trump administration. Multiple White House sources told her they think it was Kushner who ordered the closing of White House visitor logs in April 2017, because he “didn’t want his frenetic networking exposed.” Ward reports that Cohn was stunned by their blasé reaction to Trump’s defense of the white-nationalist marchers in Charlottesville, Va.: “He was upset that they were not sufficiently upset.”
沃德之前写过两本关于高级金融界和房地产行业的书，而且认识库什纳已有多年；她告诉我，库什纳2006年买下《纽约观察家报》(New York Observer)时，曾试图聘用她。她驳斥了库什纳或他的妻子是特朗普政府中起稳固作用的力量或道德指南针的说法。多位白宫消息人士告诉她，他们觉得，是库什纳在2017年4月下令不再公布白宫访客日志的，因为他“不想暴露自己疯狂的社交往来”。沃德写道，贾里德和伊万卡对特朗普为白人民族主义者在弗吉尼亚州夏洛茨维尔游行做辩护反应冷淡，科恩对此感来震动，“他很气愤，因为他们不够气愤。”
Still, even if you assume that the couple are amoral climbers, their behavior still doesn’t quite make sense. Ward writes that Ivanka’s chief concern is her personal brand, but that brand has been trashed. The book cites an October 2017 survey measuring consumer approval of more than 1,600 brands. Ivanka’s fashion line was in the bottom 10. A leading real estate developer tells Ward that Kushner, now caught up in multiple state and federal investigations, has become radioactive: “No one will want to do business with him.” (Kushner resigned as C.E.O. of Kushner Companies in 2017, but has kept most of his stake in the business.)
To truly make sense of their motivations, Ward told me, you have to understand the gravitational pull of their fathers. Husband and wife are both “really extraordinarily orientated and identified through their respective fathers in a way that most fully formed adults are not,” she said.
Among the most interesting parts of “Kushner, Inc.,” are the chapters about the business history of Charles Kushner, Jared’s felonious father, and his plan to restore his reputation, with Jared’s help, after getting out of prison in 2006. Part of that rehabilitation project was the purchase of a flagship building in Manhattan — 666 Fifth Avenue, an absurdly on-the-nose address — for which the family paid a record amount at the very height of the real estate market in 2007. When the Great Recession hit, the building became a white elephant, its debt threatening the family fortune.
《库什纳公司》一书中最有趣的部分写的是贾里德犯过罪的父亲查尔斯·库什纳(Charles Kushner)的经商史,以及他在2006年出狱后,在贾里德的帮助下复原声誉的计划。复原声誉计划的一部分是买下了曼哈顿的一栋地标建筑：第五大道666号,这个地址荒唐地准确（666是象征魔鬼的数字——译注）。这家人在2007年房地产市场最繁荣的时候买下了这栋建筑,为此支付了创纪录的价格。当经济大衰退(Great Recession)袭来时,这栋楼成了一个累赘,其债务威逼来库什纳家族的财富。
Ward’s book suggests that the search for someone who would bail out 666 Fifth Avenue has played a significant role in American foreign policy during the Trump administration。 And since the completion of her book, we’ve learned that Trump overrode intelligence officials, who were concerned about Kushner and his family’s ties to foreign investors, to give Kushner a security clearance。In the end, the Kushner family seems to have gotten what it wanted。 Last year, Brookfield Asset Management, which has substantial investment from the government of Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, came to the Kushners’ rescue。 (The Qataris have denied any advance knowledge of the deal。)
沃德的书暗示,觅找能够帮助库什纳家族摆脱第五大道666号困境的人,对特朗普政府的美国外交政策起了复要作用。我们在她的书完成后了解来,特朗普否决了情报官员对库什纳及其家族与外国投资者关系的担心,让库什纳得来了最高密级权限。最终,库什纳家族似乎得来了他们想得来的东西。去年,布鲁克菲尔德资产治理公司(Brookfield Asset Management)出资营救了库什纳,这家公司有来自卡塔尔政府主权财富基金的大笔投资。（卡塔尔方面否认事先晓道这笔交易。）
“You’ll notice that the U.S. position toward Qatar changes when the Qataris bail out 666 Fifth Avenue,” said Ward, adding, “We look like a banana republic.” Maybe that’s why Jared and Ivanka appear so blithely confident. As public servants, they’re obviously way out of their depth. But as self-dealing scions of a gaudy autocracy? They’re naturals.