The Ultimate Entitlement

A couple of weeks ago, Michelle Goldberg used her column in the New York Times to focus on the ultimate sense of entitlement displayed by a subset of wealthy white guys–a subset that includes Donald Trump. These men believe they are entitled to take what they want–including but not limited to sexual gratification– without regard for the consequences to others.

The arrogant expression of entitlement has been a prominent feature of accounts relayed by the twenty-two women who have accused Trump of sexual assault and/or rape.

As details emerge about the sordid behavior of Jeffrey Epstein, it is worth pointing out–as Goldberg does–that until a falling-out, Trump and Epstein were buddies.

Epstein, indicted on charges of abusing and trafficking underage girls, was a friend of Trump’s until the two had a falling out, reportedly over a failed business deal. The New York Times reported on a party Trump threw at Mar-a-Lago whose only guests were him, Epstein and around two dozen women “flown in to provide the entertainment.”

It isn’t only Epstein. Goldberg has a list.

There’s Trump’s friend Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots, who was recently charged in a prostitution sting.  There’s Steve Bannon, who was once charged with domestic violence, battery and dissuading a witness;  Bill Shine, hired by Trump after he was forced from Fox News during  the Fox sexual harassment scandals; former White House staff secretary Rob Porter, who left after both his ex-wives accused him of abuse; speechwriter David Sorensen, who resigned after his ex-wife reported his violence toward her.

And who can forget Elliott Broidy, Trump pal and Republican National Committee deputy finance chairman, who resigned last year after media reports that he’d paid $1.6 million in hush money to a former playboy model who said he’d abused her and paid for her an abortion after he got her pregnant.

The casino mogul Steve Wynn, whom Trump installed as the R.N.C.’s finance chairman, resigned amid accusations that he’d pressured his employees for sex.

In 2017, Trump tapped the former chief executive of AccuWeather, Barry Myers, to head the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Then The Washington Post discovered a report from a Department of Labor investigationinto Myers’s company, which found a culture of “widespread sexual harassment” that was “severe and pervasive.” The Senate hasn’t yet voted on Myers’s nomination, but the administration hasn’t withdrawn it.

And just this week, a senior military officer came forward to accuse Gen. John Hyten, Trump’s nominee to be the next vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, of derailing her career when she turned down his sexual advances. “My life was ruined by this,” she told The Associated Press.

As Goldberg notes–and we’ve all seen– Trump’s first instinct these behaviors become public is empathy. For the entitled abuser.

In May, he urged Roy Moore, the theocratic Alabama Senate candidate accused of preying on teenage girls, not to run again because he would lose, but added, “I have NOTHING against Roy Moore, and unlike many other Republican leaders, wanted him to win.” The president has expressed no sympathy for victims in the Epstein case, but has said he felt bad for Acosta.

Epstein is simply the latest specimen to emerge from what Goldberg accurately calls “the depraved milieu from which the president sprang.”

The accusations against Trump–and his “access Hollywood” admissions– have encouraged media attention to the operation and assumptions of that “depraved milieu” –and disclosed the smug entitlement of the men who occupy its bubble of wealth and privilege. In their twisted worldviews, women (and for those like Epstein, female children) exist only to satisfy their urges.  Women who aren’t compliant deserve physical abuse.

This is an entitled worldview that goes well beyond misogyny. It’s horrifying.


  1. Yes. Horrifying. This is what happens with men who have obtained too much power for the quality of their characters and their minds. These men, irrespective of their positions – earned or given – have severe holes in their character make up. Somewhere in their lives they’ve been deprived of something prurient and have acquired power enough to force themselves on others in ways that healthy people find repugnant.

    Watching the Showtime series, “The Loudest Voice” is yet another example of how child abuse, no matter the form, is re-cycled through someone with the afore-mentioned power. Roger Ailes was the epitome of an abuse of power and he created an entire sub-culture based on his biases and his need for revenge. Not only did Ailes abuse women, he abused media and defiled the public’s trust in its own representative government. He used his racism to cloud everything Barack Obama tried to do that was positive for the American people. Is it any wonder that Barack Obama is STILL appreciated for the man he is and the efforts he made to make a better life for so many others around the world. Roger Ailes, on the other hand, has been relegated back to the swamp from which he emerged…and the swamp that all these other guys mentioned today also emerged. That former FBI agent I’ve written about is one of those males who latched on to Ailes’ hateful and divisive programs to the exclusion of everything else. He is now a completely lost soul who lives in his own cesspool of hate.

    Draining the swamp means removing damaged, abusive people from positions of power at every level.

  2. Trump is a sociopathic monster, probably suffering from early-onset schizophrenia caused by sexual abuse as a child. He then overcompensates as a sexual predator.

    It all makes sense. He’s a classic case.

  3. There are those within Indianapolis government who got away with sexual harassment and/or abuse for years long before Curtis Hill was “outed”. Eugene Sadler was the ultimate in sexual harassment throughout his many years in Indianapolis City government until he suddenly disappeared from his position as Chief Financial Officer for the Department of Metropolitan Development under Goldsmith. One young girl was so frightened by his advances that she ran out of the office crying a few days after beginning her job in his section, she never returned. I have an idea as to the final harassment which led to his sudden disappearance and we were told not to ask questions.

    The other name is Charles Williams; he was simply a slimy piece of work with his blatantly sexual descriptions of what he would like to do to my female boss and I the many times he imposed himself on us at breakfast in the City County cafeteria. He was at that time a community liaison in the Mayor Hudnut administration; developed Black Expo and went on to administer that celebration till shortly before his death. The last time I saw Charles; he was sitting in the back seat of a limo with Mike Tyson, both grinning and pointing at young women leaving the City County Building. Later than night Tyson raped one of the Miss Black Expo contestants. He was arrested, convicted and sentenced to the Indiana Youth Center (IYC) the intake unit at Indiana Boys School, he never served a day in prison. Was he placed there due to his limited mental capacity or to mentor young boys already in trouble? Celebrity has benefits even in cases of conviction of felony sex crimes.

  4. I’ve mentioned before on this blog that my expertise as a defense attorney was the use of the insanity defense which was based on the controversial theory of early-onset schizophrenia. The case of Pesch vs. The State of Texas, which I was both counsel of record at both trial and appeal, was responsible for the interpretation of the new law on the insanity defense in Texas, fifty years ago. Because of this, I was appointed by the courts as an expert on the insanity defense.

    That’s why I had Trump accurately pegged within a week of his announcement for the presidency.

  5. Pesch who stabbed both his mother and father over 50 times each was much easier to prove his insanity than someone like Donald Trump. Although, personally, I find Pesch much more likable than Trump, as he limited his anger only to the source of his insanity.

  6. Until we can vote more women into office this kind of abuse will continue and the abusers will get away with it because the men in charge of stopping it refuse to do so. I am left to assume that they have all committed some kind of sexual abuse themselves, or may be currently involved in abusing others, and have no intention of punishing other men for the same behavior.

    On a different note, I would like to mention that until beautiful young women stop making the choice to prostitute themselves out as girlfriends or wives of rich men in order to obtain a life filled with fine jewelry, expensive cars and beautiful homes those rich men will continue to feel entitled to whatever they want from women.

    As a society we need to teach girls from a very young age that they are worthy of being treated with respect and should never allow anyone to treat them otherwise. Our society teaches boys to go out and conquer the world and far too many grow up to believe that to be true even in their occupations. They were taught that there are no boundaries when it comes to getting what they want. Our society must teach boys that there are boundaries when it comes to girls and women and that they should be treated as equals rather than as objects to be owned.

    We have organized religions to blame for teaching men that women are to be their property and that they exist to satisfy the whims and needs of the men who “own” them. Some are more to blame than others. I am glad to see that all organized religions in this country are fighting membership losses as people are recognizing that organized religions’ main purpose is to provide a few men at the top with control and power over their members and society in general.

  7. Marv, appreciate your expertise, however, I think the explanation is much simpler, and in some ways more sinister: normal people who feel powerful feel entitled to fulfill their goals, including sexual gratification, unencumbered by morals. In my lab (I’m a psychology professor IUPUI), we’ve artificially empowered both women and men to feel powerful in either an egotistic (Trumpian) fashion or in caring fashion (“with great power comes responsibility”), thinking that the later would curtail sexually predatory behavior (in our case, we were studying sexual harassment proclivities) and we found that both forms of power increased sexual harassment proclivities — for both women and men. We’ve replicated this finding 3 times. Surely not every empowered research participant expressed a tendency to sexually harass, but it increased the odds, significantly.

  8. Nancy,

    To further prove your point from

    “After years of fading and stagnation, the once popular evangelical men’s ministry Promise Keepers is ushering in a “new era” with plans to host its first national stadium event in over two decades next summer in Texas.

    On July 31, 2020, Promise Keepers aims to convene 80,000 people at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, for the official relaunch of the national men’s gathering, which once saw hundreds of thousands from various denominational backgrounds gathered at its 1997 “Stand in the Gap” rally in Washington, D.C.

    “Promise Keepers struggled. It really needed a new board and fusion of energy, a new vision,” Promise Keepers Chairman Ken Harrison told The Christian Post. “It has all those things now. Promise Keepers had to get back to the basics of what it was. … For Promise Keepers, we had to realize what is its brand and identity.”

    For Promise Keepers, Harrison said, its identity is really as an “NFL stadium event with the greatest speakers in Christiandom coming together.”

    However, he said, the organization hasn’t held a stadium event since 1998.

    “[I]t went down to arenas for a while. And then it went down to churches,” Harrison explained. “Quite frankly, for the last four or five years, it’s done almost nothing.”

    Over the last few years, the organization has undergone a restructuring. The ministry’s founder, Bill McCartney, passed the mantle of the ministry over to Harrison in April 2018.

    “The one thing I’ve heard so many times from literally hundreds of men is there’s nothing like the sound of 70,000 men singing ‘Amazing Grace’ together,” said Harrison. “Guys are just completely raw and real for two days. So you can’t recreate that anywhere else besides in an NFL Stadium. What we had to do is get back to who we are and do the NFL stadium event.”

    In addition to the event in Texas in 2020, Harrison says Promise Keepers plans to host annual gatherings on the last weekend in July in a different city every year.

    Along with the reigniting of the Promise Keeper’s brand, the ministry will incorporate advancements in technology to modernize the ministry and help it sustain impact in the lives and families of men who attend the rallies.

    According to Harrison, “it’s the difference between analog and digital.” He said Promise Keepers looks to get men “digitally integrated” — a reality that was not possible during Promise Keepers’ peak in the 1990s.

    “What about when men leave the stadium and go home?” Harrison asked. “Many things were tried, but it just wasn’t possible to effectively network, encourage and strengthen men at home.”

    Harrison said that one of the areas where Promise Keepers needed improve was on “follow-up.”

    “So when these guys leave this mountaintop experience, we’ve got to be able to connect them,” he stressed. “So we’re actually right now building an app and a computer platform.”

    Harrison said that the platform could be used on any device. It will allow users to find “promise keepers” in their local area. The platform aims to be a resource to allow community members to plan Bible studies, fellowship gatherings, mentorships and other relationships.

    “The friendless American male is a major problem in America today,” Harrison explained. “Very few men have friends that are really true friends.”

    Promise Keepers promotes a complementarian view of marriage and the family, a view that is often criticized because it holds that the Bible calls for wives to “submit” to their husbands while the husbands are called to lead the family and put his wife before himself in Christ-like sacrificial love.

    Promise Keepers furthers the idea that men should be servants of God who act with a sense of biblical “masculinity” — whether by laying down their lives for their wife and kids or by offering help to distressed strangers in need.

    At a time when some health experts argue that traditional masculinity can be “psychologically harmful,” Harrison believes that men today are confused about what masculinity even means and how they are supposed to act. He believes that the “generations are at war with each other.”

    “When I was younger, masculinity was sort of depicted by James Bond — a promiscuous man who drank a lot, didn’t have any feelings. He would just kill somebody and make a witty comment and walk away,” Harrison said.

    “I think the world saw the disgustingness of that depiction of masculinity. And so now its way to the other side. It’s really feminism. It’s taken away all the attributes that make a man a man. Satan doesn’t care. He’s gonna push this whichever way he can as long as you don’t know what true masculinity is.”

    Harrison authored the recent book The Rise of the Servant Kings: What the Bible Says About Being a Man.

    “We [Promise Keepers] tell guys that it is our responsibility to take care of those who are within our sphere of influence. So a promise keeper’s job is to be loyal to his wife and to care for her needs,” Harrison told CP, pointing to the call in Ephesians 5 for husbands to love their wives like Christ loved the church.

    “Christ loved the church. He laid down his life for the church. He was tortured to death for her.””

    No comment needed.

  9. Vernon nailed it! Lack of character and morals mixed with power and the lack of consequences.

    They’ve been enabled for years. Hopefully, there will be more arrests coming from Epstein’s little black book. Sex trafficking and abusing children will be the demise of a few more privileged white men. One of the prominent names in the Epstein case is the CEO/Founder of Victoria Secret.

    Bill Clinton’s name is associated with Einstein as well. 😉

  10. Thanks, Todd. Sometimes having the insight is as disturbing as the crimes against civilization themselves.

    The next time anyone feels smug about the “glory of man”, or how far we’ve advanced ourselves, just read the Jeffery Epstein indictments. Republicans signify success as how much wealth they can accumulate. Epstein was stinking rich. He was also just stinking, and that stink has rubbed off on everyone around him including Trump. It should be noted that when Trump distances himself from someone, you know he’s guilty of something heinous.

    Trump also defends his pals…until he doesn’t. That’s what the power hogs do. We all know what an egregious pig Trump is. Now, it’s time we all got off our butts and did something everyday to get him out.

  11. Nancy @ 7:54 am – Good Comments. Take that next step concerning organized religion, it is now well known the Roman Catholic Church covered up for pedophiles who preyed on boys for decades.

    We have also witnessed the explosive revelations concerning sexual abuse by those in power in organized athletics and the cover-ups.

    None of this began with President Agent Orange, he is just another expression of authoritarian power in high places.

  12. “Entitlement” is often more descriptive but it’s merely a class of power. It’s power with reduced risk of consequences due to wealth or position or sometimes the delusion that there even are not consequences for”people like me”, in other words cultural.

    It corrupts as Lord Acton pointed out. The more the power the more the soul feels free to exercise perceived power over less powerful others.

    Putin knew exactly what he was doing when he installed an ignorant entitled man in the most influential position he could in the country that represents the biggest limitation to his ambition.

  13. The history of Western culture is full of examples of this behavior. I sometimes wonder if men who achieve great wealth must be sociopathic in order to do what is necessary (to them) to crush their rivals, amass as much money and its associated power to prove themselves as great as they think they are. There are some exceptions, but very few. Even women with great power and wealth can be corrupted by it. Those who inherit great wealth and use it as a weapon are perhaps the worst.
    Trump has surrounded himself with enablers/manipulators, people who are themselves morally corrupt and/or sociopaths. Coats seem to be the next one on the chopping block for disagreeing with DT about anything.
    I continue to be both astonished and puzzled by those who continue to support this administration and its party leaders with righteous anger at those who tell that the emperor is naked.

    @Monotonous- Southern Baptists have their own history of covering abuse and misogyny. And the number of powerful televangelists with extreme views on homosexuality have been unmasked for their hypocrisy. Religion seems to need patriarchal hierarchy. Women are taught to believe that men are the rightful holders of power as ordained by whatever god in which they believe. It is a con game that has been going on for millennia.

  14. Peggy,

    “Marv, appreciate your expertise, however, I think the explanation is much simpler, and in some ways more sinister:…….”

    Thanks for the valuable input. I accept your findings on this most important issue. But, my only interest, at this point in time, is to neutralize Donald Trump. And that is not a simple task.
    It involves OVERCOMING EXTREME COGNITIVE DISSONANCE. If your work has also included findings in this area, I would like to hear about them.

  15. JD @ 9:25 am, Yes, I would agree with you, “Religion seems to need patriarchal hierarchy. Women are taught to believe that men are the rightful holders of power as ordained by whatever god in which they believe. It is a con game that has been going on for millennia.”

    I am amazed at how woman can be brainwashed into following these patriarchal – authoritarian – hierarchical religions that relegate them to steerage because of gender.

  16. Perhaps if we look at the male/female relationship through the lens of the “biological imperative” we can understand how we got to this place in human history. That imperative use to be to reproduce. Throughout the ages, in order for that to occur the most powerful males dominated, and the females were compliant in order to find protection for themselves and their offspring.
    IMO what we are witnessing in our society today is what happens when, for a large segment of society, reproduction is no longer the imperative. Overpopulation and birth control have altered those relationships in unanticipated ways, such as woman taking on the roles of power and leadership. Those still operating under the old imperative are reacting to this change in predictable ways… and it ain’t pretty.

  17. Hard to add much…while I certainly share the horror of this kind of entitlement, let’s not forget that The Duck has clearly shown other unbelievable “entitlements” like being beyond the rule of law. Just one example is his take on Kellyanne Conway:

    On June 13, 2019, the independent Office of Special Counsel (OSC) sent President Trump a letter and report finding that Conway violated the Hatch Act dozens of times and calling on the President “to remove Ms. Conway from her federal position immediately.” The Hatch Act is a LAW. His response: ”

    “It looks to me they’re trying to take away her right from free speech and that’s just not fair,” he said. Since when does one citizen have the right to decide if a law is fair? Especially when that person is the President.

    Need we forget the NY judge and his comments about the rich kid and rape…and the kid wasn’t even a CEO yet!

  18. “IMO what we are witnessing in our society today is what happens when, for a large segment of society, reproduction is no longer the imperative.”

    “Those still operating under the old imperative are reacting to this change in predictable ways… and it ain’t pretty.”

    Wow, Theresa; an incredible new perspective to take into consideration on all issues before us in this current chaos. Reminds me of my favorite Dillys Lainge quote; “Women receive the insults of men with tolerance, having been bitten in the nipple by their toothless gums.”

    Men can still be useful for more than opening pickle jars and killing spiders; if only we can convince them we are not a threat to their existence in this world.

  19. Perhaps Abraham’s influence and his twelve sons should have stayed in Ur. Neither did, and there is evidence that other societies and their religions that emphasized male dominance pursued similar movements of male dominance. Maybe in our case it was “in the water” of the Tigris and Euphrates, and perhaps stretching back to the cave. Sacrificial murders of female virgins in the New World come to mind. Epstein and Trump may be mere manifestations of such New World murders sans religious cover, sick men in a world they are shortly set to lose to the “distaff,” and not a minute too soon.

  20. Yes, those ‘bigger’ in stature, wealth, power, intellect, physical prowess, etc. often feel entitled to dominate and even abuse others. Might doesn’t make right and often makes for wrongs.

    Powerful interests often see their own entitlement to corporate welfare, impoverishment of workers, and elimination of rules and regulation that provide accountability for damage to others. That’s why they fight for control of the courts, control of agencies that write and enforce rules and regs, voter suppression of average and poor folks, elimination of collective bargaining, privatization of government services in order to make profit and eliminate transparency and regulation, prevention of minimum wage increases, elimination of pensions and safety nets of various sorts. Come to think of it, that’s a description of the Koch Brother and their American Legislative Exchange Council that writes model legislation to accomplish all the above. Entitlements for their corporate interests and friends are fine. It’s those poor folks they view as a threat.

  21. All of this is horrifying. My late Dad ran the Sex Crimes Unit for the Indianapolis Police department for several years during his long tenure as a homicide detective with them. He would be both horrified but also mad as hell over the way this case was handled.
    My guess, and it is only a guess, is that Trump or people close to Trump may end up being implicated in this horrendous mess when Epstein begins to sing like a canary to cut his justifiably decades long sentencing. Perhaps Acosta’s appointment as Labor Secretary was a gift from Trump for covering the tracks of several affiliated perverted big shots including the Mango Mussolini himself. It’s just a thought but there had to have been better candidates for Labor than him.

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