WHAT’S IN A NAME?…ESPECIALLY WHEN THE NAME IS BEHIND A PRODUCT…TRUMP!

By J. Stewart Cook

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet meet and fall in love in Shakespeare’s lyrical tale of “star-cross’d” lovers. They are doomed from the start as members of two warring families. Here Juliet tells Romeo that a name is an artificial and meaningless convention, and that she loves the person who is called “Montague”, not the Montague name and not the Montague family. Romeo, out of his passion for Juliet, rejects his family name and vows, as Juliet asks, to “deny (his) father” and instead be “new baptized” as Juliet’s lover. This one short line encapsulates the central struggle and tragedy of the play, and is one of Shakespeare’s most famous quotes.

The aforementioned quote is profound. It states that a name is merely a label to distinguish something from another. It does not create worth nor does it create true meaning.  What is important is the worth of the individual or thing.

“That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” But one cannot help but think of someone who espouses all the attributes of a successful woman, with a feminist philosophy, with her own thoughts and desires upon which she acts, as opposed to a woman who has been objectified and, thus, acted upon by others.

Yes, Ivanka Trump, the daughter of the President of the United States of America. A successful woman, with a successful product. How was she so tarnished? A name? Yes, by a family name…TRUMP! Like Juliet for Romeo, Ivanka has a great love for her father but would never deny the family name.

It would be easy for her to say, I’ve been cursed by my family name and now suffering the consequences of my father’s “political sins.” What have I done to deserve this? Deserve what? Deserve the “boycott” on my products and the many stores who have dropped my line for the sake of being “politically correct.”

No, no says the stores. It’s not the politics, it’s the sales. Sales are down.  For example, this was said recently by Nordstrom. They will stop selling Ivanka Trump’s name-branded line of clothing and shoes. In a statement, the Nordstrom representative said that “Ivanka Trump products were being dropped because of poor sales.”

And yes, the change followed a weeks-long boycott campaign, organized by an anti-Trump activist group called “Grab Your Wallet.” The group demanded the department-store giant cease doing business with the president or his family.

Yet, the following was said by a spokesperson for the first daughter’s fashion label, that “the brand’s overall sales were up 21% in 2016 compared to the prior year. The Ivanka Trump brand continues to expand across categories and distribution with increased customer support, leading us to experience significant year-over-year revenue growth in 2016. We believe that the strength of a brand is measured not only by the profits it generates, but the integrity it maintains. The women behind the brand represent a diverse group of professionals and we are proud to say that the Ivanka Trump brand continues to embody the principles upon which it was founded.”

So it would seem that the political pressure was too strong and the valves needed to be shut. Has America stooped so low that being associated to a family name is all it takes to destroy your business?

Ivanka Trump does not deserve this treatment. What if the sale of her products were astronomically high, to the point that stores needed her products to avoid bankruptcy. Well, we know that answer!

For once, in this world of overindulgence, uncontrolled gorging, reckless consumer driven appetites, recognize the fact that the monetary value of a product is “artificial and meaningless” and that those who have produced the product deserve the respect and much credit for having done so.

Ivanka Trump has demonstrated true leadership under these circumstances. She has held her head high and has acted in a very business like manner. She is quite capable of dealing with the “ups and downs” of her business and will certainly weather this storm.

It was once said by a well known woman in the world of politics…”When they go low, we go high.” We don’t have to worry about Ivanka Trump “going low” for she lives by the “highest” standards, as opposed to the commercial entities, when pressured, succumb to the lowest levels!