The brat's scuzzy defense is best summed up on the Wikipedia page: "G. Dick Miller, a psychologist hired as an expert by the defense, testified in court that the teen was a product of 'affluenza' and was unable to link his bad behavior with consequences because of his parents teaching him that wealth buys privilege."
This was the defense, you understand, after murdering four people and injuring nine more. Affluenza. Puh-lease. I don't know how that psychologist sleeps at night.
To make things worse, a few weeks ago Ethan was seen on video violating his probation by drinking, so his mother let him miss a court-mandated meeting with his probation officer. Then mother and son skipped the country and went to Mexico. They were apprehended and returned to the U.S. Both are now in custody, and both are now in deep, deep doo-doo.
It's a sordid tale. Touching on the issue of young people in general and Couch in particular, the New York Post had a superb and blistering commentary regarding how kids are being raised these days, particularly the hothouse flowers who get attacks of the vapors whenever they witness something that offends their delicate sensibilities. Parts of the article are worth highlighting:
We can lament the poor decision of the judge who let Ethan off scot-free, but this is less a story about our judicial system than it is about modern parenting. Ethan is a symbol of an era when parents lost their backbone.Parents who don't care what the rest of the world thinks...
If it were ever going to be clear what spineless helicopter parenting has wrought, this year should do it. The college-campus protests have comprised people who are supposed to be young adults — people old enough to serve in the military — withering over Halloween costumes, running to safe rooms when a dissident speaker appears on campus, demanding the purging of professors, books and even dining-hall food that irritates their sensibilities.
What’s particularly galling, though, is that their parents, those wild-and crazy Gen-Xers, are so intent on protecting their children’s delicate sensibilities that they are willing to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars while their children protest the free exchange of ideas. That these kids are ill-prepared for the real world is obvious to anyone with eyes to see.
I started interviewing homeschooled kids about 15 years ago. Back then the assumption was that these boys and girls would be socially stunted because of their lack of exposure to their peers. It turned out to be the opposite. They were better able to interact with adults and quickly found themselves leaders among their peers.
What these kids have in common, along with others I have met in religious communities, are parents who don’t care what the rest of the world thinks. They are completely unconcerned with the broader messages of the culture. They aren’t interested in whether other kids have iPhones or boyfriends or watch some television show.
To an extent, this statement is both right and wrong when it comes to how we (and I hope, you) have raised kids. I never cared what the rest of the world thought about the clothes we wore, the vehicles we drove, or the (lack of) personal electronics we (didn't) possess.
But we DO care about how our children, now young adults, handle themselves in the world. We care that they present themselves as clean-living and wholesome. We care that they look others directly in the eye and speak clearly and intelligently. We care that they're honest and hard-working. We care that they have the self-control to make smart decisions as they enter adulthood.
I'm guessing these qualities are harder to acquire with (cough) "parents" like Mr. and Mrs. Couch.