Consider this an unplanned Part II rant to my “wealth alone does not make a hero” post a few weeks ago, as we were all gifted the perfect case-in-point of wealth-flaunting moral bankruptcy this past week (anti-hero, if you will).
In case you missed the story, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin’s wife, Louise Linton, Instagram posted (and since deleted) a cartoonishly disgusting depiction of what it means to be rich, which apparently involves seeing the solar eclipse from Kentucky through the use of a taxpayer-funded government jet and then asking someone to take a photo of you as you’re getting off the plane so that you can hashtag brag about all of the luxury designer clothes you are wearing – #rolandmouret pants, #tomford sunnies, #hermesscarf, #valentinorockstudheels.
Her post got her more attention than any of her bit parts in bad movies, but for all the wrong reasons. Aside from brazenly flaunting the egregious use of taxpayer funds, Ms. Linton incorrectly assumed that:
- Anyone knew who she was (ironically, Marie “Let them eat cake” Antoinette was one of her bit parts. She also wrote a book that she later pulled from Amazon due to criticism that it was full of inaccuracies).
- Anyone cares what overpriced designer brands a bit-part actress is wearing. Her original post is so notoriously out of touch with the common American or any sort of reality (18.5% of Kentuckians are in poverty) that it makes you wonder if she is mentally ill.
But, it wasn’t her original post that got the negative attention, it was her “self sacrifice” rant reply to a mother of 3 from Oregon, who had responded to the original post with,
“glad we could pay for your little getaway. #deplorable”
Linton’s (since deleted) response read:
“cute! Aw!!! Did you think this was a personal trip?! Adorable!. Do you think the US govt paid for our honeymoon or personal travel?! Lololol. Have you given more to the economy than me and my husband? Either as an individual earner in taxes OR in self sacrifice to your country? I’m pretty sure we paid more taxes toward our day “trip” than you did. Pretty sure the amount we sacrifice per year is a lot more than you’d be willing to sacrifice if the choice was yours. I’m pretty sure we paid more taxes toward our day ‘trip’ than you did. Pretty sure the amount we sacrifice per year is a lot more than you’d be willing to sacrifice if the choice was yours. You’re adorably out of touch. Thanks for the passive aggressive nasty comment. Your kids look very cute. Your life looks cute. I know you’re mad, but deep down you’re really nice and so am I. Sending me passive aggressive Instagram comments isn’t going to make life feel better. Maybe a nice message, one filled with wisdom and humanity would get more traction. Have a pleasant evening. Go chill out and watch the new Game of Thrones. It’s fab!”
In her response, Ms. Linton makes the vile assertion that she is more of a person than the common-folk mother of 3 solely because her husband has made more money. Never mind that her husband’s wealth was built through a corrupt Goldman Sachs, shady hedge fund dealings, and an aggressive foreclosure campaign at a bank that he owned that included – I kid you not – foreclosing on a 90-year old grandmother for a 27 cent payment error made by his bank. Those efforts landed him the nickname of “The Foreclosure King”.
When I heard this story I was immediately overcome with anger about the nefarious use of taxpayer dollars (and carbon) that went in to this privileged little getaway and the level of ignorant condescension displayed towards the non-rich, as if anyone who didn’t earn a few hundred million ripping people off has less value in this world.
That rage then turned to sadness for Ms. Linton and anyone of her ilk. I wondered how shallow, empty, and hollow her life must be that she thought any of this was a good idea or that anyone would care for good reasons. Did she think her friends would care? Her family? How shallow, empty, and hollow are those relationships? Did she think belittling and wealth-shaming a mother of 3 would go over well with anyone? Ms. Linton is now a poster child for the despised rich, out-of-touch, spoiled, greedy class (and sure, not all rich are this way – but there is a large portion of them that are exactly this way).
And then anger returned returned as I thought about the policies that aim to take away the safety net that is critical for middle-class mothers of 3, struggling to get by, in order to give tax breaks to the wealthiest because #jobcreators (I can assure you that Ms. Linton’s constantly upgraded wardrobe is not a #jobcreator). Mr. Mnuchin is aiming, among other things, to give a massive tax cut to corporations and the wealthiest Americans (himself included) and funding it through taking away people’s ability to deduct state and local taxes, and taxing 401K’s (the latter being the only way the common person today can ever hope to retire with dignity, with pensions all but gone). Oh – and a 14% cut to FEMA is on the table to fund that tax cut as well. Because why would we ever need FEMA funding? After a weekend of heroes coming to the front in Houston, the difference between real heroes and these anti-heroes could not have been made more clear.
And finally, my thoughts turned to humor – because we sure could use it these days. I’ve decided to apply some hashtags of my own to my day:
Great #day #blogging from my #couch! #PumaSocksFromCostco, #HanesBoxerBriefsFromCostcoToo, #Mint.comT-shirtThatWasFree, #ChampionMeshShorts
Yep – that’s a $15 wardrobe, my friends. I may not have the fashion, friends, and fans that Louise Linton does. But I can assure you, I’m not missing anything. And neither are you.