Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me. They possess and enjoy early and it does something to them, makes them soft where we are hard, and cynical, where we are trustful, in a way, that unless you are born rich, it is very difficult to understand. They think, deep in their hearts, that they are better than we are because we had to discover the compensations and refuges of life for ourselves. Even when they enter deep into our world or sink below us, they still think that they are better than we are.
F. Scott Fitzgerald, from the short story, The Rich Boy.
Such is the nature of the rich boys. One is named Ethan Couch. In June 2013, when he was 16, security cameras at a Tarrant County, TX Wal-Mart showed him stealing two cases of beer. Shortly afterward he was clocked doing 70mph in a 40mph zone while driving his dad's pickup. He had six, or seven passengers with him.
An hour after he scored the beer he plowed into a stalled car on a country road. In the ensuing vehicular mayhem four people were killed. Couch walked away unharmed. Later that night, he blew three times the Texas legal limit for drunk driving and tested positive for Valium.
In December of 2013 the judge was convinced by Couch's attorney and a psychiatrist that he needed rehab instead of hard time. Their main argument was that he suffered from, "affluenza," an unrecognized mental disease caused by his parents wealth and the cushy life style they had provided him. According to the shrink, because of the "affluenza," the defendant was unable to understand there would, or even should be consequences for his bad behavior.
Young Mr. Couch got 10 years probation during which he had to stay clean of alcohol and drugs and could not drive.
A few weeks ago a video of a bunch of young people playing the drinking game, beer pong showed up somewhere on line. In the crowd of party hearty guys was someone who looked suspiciously like Ethan Couch.
Authorities went to question him about the incident after they learned of the post. If they did find it was Couch and he'd been drinking they might have declared he had violated his probation and subsequently, a judge could have ruled the now 18 year old should spend the next ten years of his life in the bowels of the Texas corrections system.
But, proving that pesky old affluenza virus really isn't curable, the cops found Ethan Couch and his dear old Mom, Tonya had taken it on the lam. It would seem the very idea her little boy could be chucked away into a facility full of all kinds of people who actually are bad was just too much for her to bear.
The current working theory is that they fled in her black pickup truck, but despite pleas for help and a small reward being offered, the cops haven't a clue right now as to where Ma Couch and her boy are. For all anyone knows they are currently sipping pina coladas on a beach in Costa Rica.
All of which is sort of a metaphor, or at least an explanation of Donald Trump's current run for the republican presidential nomination and his complete lack of civilized behavior.
Indeed, Trump's notion of a tough start in life is, as he put it, "a small loan of a million dollars," from his father.
He is completely amoral in his politics and vile rhetoric because he sees no consequences for such crude and xenophobic nonsense. He never has--not in his two previous marriages, or his business dealings.
In fact, as anyone with a sense of observation can plainly see, Donald Trump doesn't believe he makes errors, mis-speaks, or has bad ideas. If something he's been involved with has gone south, it's someone else's fault and he invariably threatens to sue. He never lies, only the people who criticize him do. And, as the whole world can see, everyone loves him, except the liberal press.
Currently he is rolling along, spewing Yiddish obscenities--while claiming they aren't obscenities--as he tells his supporters it's disgusting that Hillary Clinton goes to the bathroom, and he enjoys leads in practically every poll taken.
See, no consequences and as long as that's true there won't be any limits to what he says, or accuses others of.
He has a problem though. No one has voted yet. And one poll he hasn't bragged about is the one that shows over 50% of Americans would be utterly embarrassed if he were to become president. Presumably they will cast their ballots for just about anyone, but Donald Trump.
El Donald has taken his obscene, fascist, act further than many of us thought he could. His success has made him bolder, louder, and completely assured that arrogance is the perfect substitute for brains.
Let's see how that plays out once the voters deliver what, hopefully, will be some consequences at long last.
If we're lucky they will and Donnie Trump will join Mrs. Couch and her son on that beach in Costa Rica.