Prince was a remarkable person, one of the most successful human beings ever. His intelligence and drive freed him from the financial and have-to-go-to-work or have-to-take-care-of-kids constraints that most of us live with, but they also brought him temptations that most of us will never know. Despite his conquest of the music world, Prince apparently succumbed to drug addiction.
What does that have to do with the political candidate that so many people love to hate? Donald Trump was born into a level of wealth that most of us cannot imagine. By maintaining civil relations with his father he could probably have sat on the beach his whole life, never making a decision more challenging than which Club Med would be nice this time of year. Certainly he had the money and leisure time to be an alcoholic, a prescription drug addict, or a street drug addict. Instead of taking on the responsibilities of marriage and children, he could have followed in the footsteps of one of our richest Bostonians, a man roughly Trump’s age, whose reasonably-appropriately-aged girlfriend surprised him by returning early from a trip to Newport and discovered him in bed with two 22-year-olds from Craigslist. (She looked to me for sympathy after this incident and I responded with “There may not be a shortage of guys who would do that if they were billionaires.”)
As Bill Burr notes in this video, starting around 6:30, most of us can’t know what it is like to be tempted at this level. He says “How can I judge these guys? I can barely handle the temptations of Facebook.”
The worst that the Trump-haters at the New York Times could dig up about The Donald is “Crossing the Line: How Donald Trump Behaved With Women in Private,” in which he purportedly asks a woman to wear a bathing suit (even that part may not be true). Ancient Romans certainly would have expected a lot more depravity from anyone with wealth and power (and maybe modern Romans too? See Silvio Berlusconi.)
I’m not a Trump fan and, given that I vote in Massachusetts, it isn’t worth my time to educate myself regarding the merits of any national political candidate. But I do think that Trump deserves credit for not succumbing to temptations that the rest of us can’t imagine.
Shorter version of the above: Most Americans can’t handle the temptations presented by going into a casino. Trump apparently managed to avoid the temptations presented by owning a casino.