We’re Living in the Golden Age of Garbage Sons

Everywhere you look, tortured white men are showcasing the fine art of failing up

Amanda Sakuma
GEN
Published in
4 min readOct 15, 2019

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Presenting the Garbage Sons: Donald Trump Jr., Hunter Biden, and Kendall Roy. Photos: Getty Images, HBO

Hunter Biden is the true poster boy for a generation of Garbage Sons.

The 49-year-old is currently on a mea culpa tour of sorts to publicly atone for a lifetime of profiting from a personal and professional identity centered around being “the son of Joe Biden.” And while he may have unwittingly triggered the impeachment inquiry into the president for his work in Ukraine, Hunter’s certainly no hero for the cause. In his first televised interview since the scandal broke, he told ABC News on Tuesday that he used “poor judgment” in taking up lucrative business gigs abroad. Yet he’s adamant that he never leveraged his father’s political status to his personal gain.

Well, mostly.

“I don’t think that there’s a lot of things that would have happened in my life if my last name wasn’t Biden,” Hunter admitted.

It seems like everywhere you look, there’s a Garbage Son coasting on the privilege of their family name. Don Jr. and Eric Trump are obvious examples — they make it so easy to mock their roles as incompetent hype men to their father. And if HBO’s Succession shows us anything, there’s nothing better than watching privileged men fail…

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Amanda Sakuma
GEN
Writer for

Editor/writer. Words in GEN, The Atlantic, Glamour, The Intercept, MSNBC, NBC News, NYT, Vice, Vox, and more.