The Price of Privilege
I don’t know about you but I’m guessing a lot of people went to high school and/or college with a guy (or guys) who was an intolerably smug, arrogant asshole. They came from wealthy families and had never done one minute of honest labor in their lives. Summers were spent in Europe or privileged camps where their every whim was satisfied and they never --- never, ever --- heard the word “No.” For those of us in the “99%” it is difficult to imagine what that kind of life is like --- and it is not, as they believe, something we envy or desire. There is a posture and swagger these young men possess (it may be taught at the expensive boarding schools they attend?) and they invariably go to “elite” colleges because their fathers (we are talking hard-core patriarchy here) dropped a huge pile of money on the school shortly before applications were filled out by the marginally intelligent scions. Upon graduating they are given a “position” in their father’s empire and, even if they failed in their early endeavors, they were told it was only a “minor setback” in their inevitable rise to inheriting their rightfully “earned” throne at the head of the family fortune. Studying European history we know there were countless idiot princes who inherited crowns and, in America’s Wealth Royalty, we have seen many younger generations simply keep their family’s name afloat without actually accomplishing anything themselves.
Such is the case, of course, with Donald Trump, Jr. and Jared Kushner. And, as we might have predicted, it was only a matter of time before these two would be tripped up by their own arrogance and (dare I say it?) stupidity. For anyone still somehow holding fast to the notion that the Trumps and Kushner are “brilliant” businessmen and shrewd “tacticians” you need only look at this weekend’s email fiasco Don Jr. created to begin to understand what dim bulbs these two are. Knowing the New York Times was about to publish his “incriminating” emails, young Don quickly threw them out there in the Twittersphere, claiming this made him “transparent,” and he could once again accuse the mainstream media of being “fake news.” Ironically, of course, it may be these emails that are the thread that unravels the scandalous sweater these buffoons knitted over the course of the campaign and election.
Let’s not soft-pedal what we learned this weekend. The President’s son, son-in-law, and campaign manager knowingly arranged a meeting with a lawyer they knew to be closely connected to the Kremlin for the purpose of obtaining information they could use against Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Presidential election. They were told that the Russian government wanted to help Donald Trump win the election. It says this in the emails! (You can’t make this kind of stuff up!)
And, once again, this was a meeting with an agent of Russia that Jared Kushner failed to report on his application for Security Clearance --- a federal offense. Jared, of course, claims he “forgot” about these meetings and that’s why he failed to list them on his application. Really? A Russian lawyer and her translator show up at Trump Tower to meet with you and Jr. and Manafort and you forgot? In Jared’s and Jr.’s world, of course, “Daddy” has always cleaned up their messes and swept unseemly situations under the rug. But, like Donald Trump himself, they have never had to operate in the full glare of the national spotlight that the Executive Branch brings. As much as our 45th President would like to do away with a free press, as well as check & balances, the Constitution is still the “law of the land” and neither the President nor his privileged family can override a system that has been in place for over two and a quarter centuries.
The President’s “base,” of course, will not be swayed by this latest disclosure and will continue to follow the President’s lead in attacking the “Fake News” for making a “mountain out of a mole hill.” Despite that, it is incumbent upon citizens who care about the rule of law to firmly resist allowing this type of thinking to pervade the public discourse. Donald, Jr. and Jared Kushner are still those arrogant boys who neither know nor care about anything beyond their own craven ends --- which only have to do with helping our wildly incompetent and intellectually challenged President consolidate as much power as possible to steamroll the time-honored practices dictated by the Constitution of the United States. This is the serious “bottom line” of this entire affair and the genuine danger of this Russian incursion into America’s political processes. These boys and their Dad/Father-in-Law are not entitled to yet another “hall pass” simply because they can afford to buy one --- it is not only unethical (and quite possibly illegal) but essentially un-American.