Former New York Giants Running Back Brandon Jacobs, long known as a fan of racing fast cars, is part of a scandal that includes public roads, police corruption, and wealthy elites considering themselves above the law . None of this is particularly new, but it it particularly corrupt, and the fact that it includes the New Jersey state police ought to be a caution to us to think ourselves above the sort of corruption we laugh at others about. After all, we need to examine our own house.
And what is the central crux of the problem? There are currently criminal investigations in a March 30 race where a group of 25 to 30 wealthy New York-based elites, part of the Driving Force Club, including NFL running back Brandon Jacobs, raced at speeds higher than 100 miles per hour on public interstate highways with their license plates taped over (so as not to be visible for tickets from planes or cameras) in and among law-abiding citizens, guarded by corrupt New Jersey state troopers. Fortunately, no one died, but that’s about the best that can be said of what has been called Death Race 2012. This shows a pretty extensive level of corruption where wealthy elites consider themselves above the law, something extremely offensive to anyone who has a sense of justice and equality.
A large part of what makes this corruption so problematic is the abuse of public property (namely the interstate highway system) as well as public servants whose duty is to serve and protect ordinary people (policemen) for the private enjoyment of spoiled wealthy elites who consider themselves above the law. Surely this was not the first nor the last time this sort of thing happens, whether in the United States or anywhere else, but such corruption ought to be harshly punished to set an example to anyone who would do likewise. To corrupt public space for (illegal) private enjoyment is unacceptable, and to corrupt public officials to provide an escort only demonstrates the deep extent of the corruption.
Let us not forget, the elites of our world are interconnected. Brandon Jacobs owes his elite status to athletic prowess, and has shown himself active in boxing promotion (a highly corrupt field as well), as well as using his position of prominence to gain personal relationships with other corrupt elites. It would be better if we had a more robust and egalitarian culture that so harshly punished such elite behavior that it would be unthinkable and inconceivable for someone to use their wealth in such a fashion. Unfortunately, as it is still not a crime for our own corrupt political elite to engage in insider trading, it seems as if we lack the moral gravitas to sufficiently discipline those who act as if they are above the law. And that severity of corruption is a clear and present danger to the American Republic, because it erodes what little respect for the legal order of our nation exists within the mindset of the general public. And that is a greater tragedy than the actual race itself.