Fact: it is okay to be mean to rich people. You probably shouldn’t, since habitually being mean will make you into a bitter, unpleasant person,* but if you must contemn someone it’s better they’re wealthy. Hereditary wealth is the best. To be mean to the self-made millionaire is player hating. To be mean to someone who received wealth (say from her mother’s brewery) and fame/a public platform (say from her father’ failed bid at the presidency) through zero work creates a pleasing symmetry. That person was arbitrarily given a life of absurd privilege, and now she is arbitrarily criticized for failing to be the kid of person who could achieve it on her own. Take Meghan McCain. Her column at the Daily Beast is a weekly anti-advertisement for a Columbia education, and her political analyses combine banal received opinion with false marverickery, like someone ordering off the menu at McDonalds. As Leon Wolf at RedState discovered, she’s ripe for parody. Always remember, though, that rich people have lawyers.
Me-Mac’s attorneys—I’ll take a wild guess and say they might also be John McCain’s attorneys—sent RedState a cease and desist letter claiming that the pseudonym “Totally Megan McKane” was obviously an attempt to trick people. The letter uses the word “false” several times. This line of reasoning—that Totally Megan McKane is somehow a false Meghan McCain—is akin to calling Spaceballs a false Star Wars. Although RedState believed that they were legally in the clear, they took down the parody articles anyway. Because hey—who wants to deal with lawyers?
That is why it’s okay to be mean to rich people. I do not have any lawyers, so when something bad happens to me on the internet I have only my wits to defend me. Meghan McCain’s wits are a vestigial structure rendered unnecessary by her money. For the same reason that she has a biweekly column in the Daily Beast whose last installment began with “as soon as the last Republican debate ended, my mother called me and asked what I thought,” she does not need to come up with her own, funnier parody of Leon Wolf. She has money, a magical substance that turns into property when you want something and lawyers when you want something to happen.
Point to ponder: is our present America making more or fewer Meghan McCains? Now that we have elected our first President who was the son of a previous President and reduced taxes on the richest members of society to historic lows, are we closer or farther away from developing a hereditary aristocracy? It’s worth considering, and not just in terms of ethics. The reason a hereditary aristocracy sucks is that their incompetence becomes proportional to their power. When we argue that it’s wrong to overly tax the wealth of a John McCain, we should remember that in a generation it will be the wealth of a Meghan.