|David Siegel pictured on his throne|
But this week he's become the public face of the new plutocracy. The plutocracy that are the main backers of the Romney/Ryan campaign, that is.
In a move that seems to have been crafted by Charles Dicken's to cause the maximum outrage Siegel, the founder and CEO of Westgate Resorts, one of the largest developers in the world, sent an apparently threatening email to all eight thousand of his hardworking employees suggesting that they will all be fired if Barack Obama is reelected.
Siegel and his wife Jackie came to prominence this year as the subjects of the documentary film The Queen of Versailles, which followed their quest to build the largest house in America, a 30 bedroom, 90,000 square foot monument to gaudy billionaire excess (including a golden throne for Siegal to sit in).
But their fabulous 1% lifestyle contrasts very sharply with the desperate anxiety they have just created in their own workforce.
Today they have also become the living symbols of the high handed heartlessness of a potential Romney/Ryan administration.
Siegel told Gawker yesterday that he has no retreats about posting the threatening email. Although it did resemble a 2008 chain letter, he said the sentiments it expressed matched his own: 'I did use the letter that had circulated before as a guideline, but I changed it to fit my circumstances. It speaks the truth and it gives employees something to think about when they go to the polls.'
If the big boss doesn't like the results the little people are going to suffer. Pretty nasty stuff.
There was a time when our gilded plutocrats made their threats in code or by implication. Apparently we can dispense with those times. Now we can just adopt the banana republic method where the powers that be can send you a blunt message telling you what will happen if you vote the wrong way.
It's appropriate in many more ways than he intended that the house he built has became known as Versailles. That was Marie Antionette's estate. I'm sure he missed the irony.
Despite himself Siegel has just unwittingly reminded us what this election is all about. He has reminded us exactly the kind of man who stands to benefit most from a Romney Ryan presidency.