Y’all know what Stockholm Syndrome is, right? It’s when a person who has been kidnapped or has become a captive of some kind starts to develop feelings of trust, even affection, toward their captor.
To put it another way, the boot’s pressing down on your neck but, now that you’re on the floor and can see it up close, look at that beautiful full-quill ostrich leather!
Stockholm Syndrome is the only way I can explain the unmitigated shrug that greeted recent revelations that Jared Kushner didn’t pay any income taxes from at least 2009-2016. This despite his obvious wealth and success in the corporate world and winning the son-in-law sweepstakes.
Instead of outrage and indignation from legit working people who file their taxes every April 15ish, there’s a vibe among Trump supporters who aren’t wealthy even a little bit, that reads, “Good on you! Way to screw the system.” Or, as one MAGA put it: “If you could get away with not paying taxes, why not?”
Yeah, that makes no sense at all ever.
It’s like how in the aptly named Depression, people were charmed by John Dillinger, because although innocent people were killed, he always took time to flirt a little with the bank tellers. What a guy. He and “Pretty Boy” Floyd and “Babyface” Nelson were treated like folk heroes by a certain segment of the population. Hey! They rob banks. Banks are evil. Ipso facto macchiato grande, they must be good!
Today, no one much seems ashamed to defend Jared “Dead-Eyes” Kushner, the modern bandito.
Maybe everybody really does love a bad boy, even if this one is less chain wallet and tattoos and more jam and scones with a spot of Orange Pekoe mid-afternoon.
I’m not prepared to say Jared Kushner is a hero, mostly because I haven’t had my frontal lobe surgically removed with a rusty hatchet but plenty of folks do think he’s “stickin’ it to the man.” Ditto his daddy in law, who we now know avoided paying $400 million in taxes. Let me be clear: All this avoidance was completely legal, it seems. Maybe that’s what cues the “So what?” but, really, just because it’s not illegal doesn’t make it right. It’s like how Mick Jagger impregnated his girlfriend when he was 72 and she was 29. It’s not illegal. It’s just creepy.
Where’s the outrage? The indignation? All I hear from the Trumpers is a giant “meh,” and maybe a soupcon of “whataboutism” and a Pavlovian “lock her up.”
Some of the hardest working people I know voted for Trump and will again. He is a shrewd businessman, they assure me. He knows what he’s doing, just wait and see.
Yep, Trump and his ilk are shrewd if you applaud a dastardly tax bill that benefitted the ultra-rich while tossing a few scone crumbs to the barely-making-it taxpaying working class. They keep you paying so they don’t have to (and never will) and y’all just lay there…admiring the hand-tooling on the boot.