Trump and Kushner's Ironic Vermont Retreat
It's Happening Here
This last week, as President Trump failed to outright decry Neo-Nazis demonstrating in Charlottesville, Virginia and failed to put labels on domestic terrorism committed by White Nationalists, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner retreated to the five-star resort Twin Farms in Barnard, Vermont.
While this couple's escape to a luxury hotel should come as no surprise, when you know the history of the historic estate, there's a certain amount of irony in their choice of this hotel.
Twin Farms was the home of the 1930’s power-couple of foreign correspondent Dorothy Thompson and novelist Sinclair Lewis, two important figures whose journalism and novels warned of the dangers of fascism. Lewis' It Can’t Happen Here, a satirical novel about fascism coming to America that sold out following the recent election, was penned at this peaceful summer residence.
In its heyday, Twin Farms would have hosted countless dinner parties with the many Jewish refugees that Dorothy and Sinclair welcomed into their homes, and helped to settle in Barnard.
While Lewis gets remembered as a Nobel Prize winner and gets all the credit for writing this widely read book, Dorothy Thompson was perhaps even more famous than he and deserves a place in our history books. Lewis could not have written this important book were it not for the influence of his wife. A foreign correspondent, Thompson followed the events leading up to World War II in Germany and warned of the dangers of fascism. She was one of few correspondents to interview Hitler, who she described as “…voluble, ill-poised, insecure. He is the very prototype of the Little Man." She was the first foreign correspondent expelled from Nazi Germany in 1934.
It was at Dorothy and Sinclair's home that Kushner and Ivanka Trump, who converted to Judaism in 2009, laid their heads for three nights this week as Trump defended White Nationalists with chants of "Jews will not replace us, saying the assembled group included some "very fine people".
I hope that the two got some healing fresh air in my beautiful hometown. Dining on the farm-fresh vegetables and organic meats lovingly grown and raised down the road by friends of mine, perhaps getting some body work from a talented healing massage therapist, or spiritual work from a talented private yoga teacher, I only hope that they emerged from this vacation renewed and empowered to speak out against a "voluble ill poised and insecure" man who happens to lead our country and happens to be their family.
However, emerging from their vacation, they have both remained silent.
Twin Farms can make no comments on guests, but the vacationing couple made no attempts to be inconspicuous, arriving on Monday in a
Trump Helicopter, spotted by many trustworthy neighbors, and posted on
Barnard film-maker Teo Zagar is currently making a film about Barnard's important historic couple, and the book, It Can't Happen Here, for distribution on public television. To support this important story and the production of "It's Happening Here," contact Zagar at firstname.lastname@example.org. BarnArts Center for the Arts is a fiscal sponsor for the project and donations are tax-deductible.
Check out my page to read more about cultural and agricultural events just down the road from Twin Farms where the Feast and Field Farmers host weekly farmers' markets with an eclectic music series presented by BarnArts Center for the Arts. (BarnArts is planning a production of the play adaptation of It Can't Happen Here for 2018.)