Two boys named Hunter were born nearly 30 years apart, on opposite ends of our continental nation. Hunter Biden was born in Wilmington, Del., in 1970; Hunter Lopez, in Indio, Calif., in 1999. The course of their lives are a damning indictment of elite privilege in America.
In 2009, a 10-year-old Hunter Lopez announced he was going to serve his country as a US Marine. Hunter Biden had different priorities in 2009, spending most of his days drunk or hungover or both, according to his memoir.
In 2014, Hunter Lopez joined his local Sheriff’s Explorer Scout Program. Being part of this junior law-enforcement group would help his application to join the Marines and his plan to enter law enforcement after military service.
That same year, Hunter Biden joined the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy firm that paid him $83,000 a month despite his complete lack of any valuable professional asset, except being the son of Joe Biden, then the vice president of the United States.
A few years later, Hunter Lopez would earn around $2,000 a month as an enlisted Marine. Hunter Biden, meanwhile, got into the US Navy Reserve in 2014, working in the p.r. department. This, despite his too-high age (43) and history of drug use. But these shortcomings were no matter. He easily gained waivers, and he didn’t even have to show up for boot camp.
Hunter Lopez, however, received no special treatment during his enlistment as a Marine. His family said he loved every moment of the four-year stint, even so. Hunter Biden’s career in the Navy was much shorter. He was discharged soon after joining when it was discovered that he was still using cocaine.
In 2017, Hunter Biden’s company received a wire transfer of $3.5 million for “consultancy” from Elena Baturina, the wife of the former mayor of Moscow. He also negotiated deals with Chinese nationals, Jianming Ye and Patrick Ho, since charged with corruption. Hunter also went on a $100,000 spending spree with a Jianming-supplied credit card.
According to Hunter Lopez’s uncle, his nephew spent the years after 2017 trying to be the best Marine: “Every free moment was spent training and perfecting his craft,” he said.
It would be wrong to say the two Hunters lived completely separate lives. Their paths almost crossed in 2017, when Hunter Biden was on his way from Los Angeles to yet another rehab facility.
High on cocaine, Hunter Biden drove past Palm Springs approaching Indio. Hunter Lopez still lived there and was about to join the Marines. In his memoir, Hunter Biden said he fell asleep, crossed the brush-filled meridian into oncoming traffic and spun out of control, ending up on the far side, facing the same direction as oncoming traffic.
Hunter Lopez’s parents served as law-enforcement personnel in the area, but Hunter Biden managed to not have the accident reported to the police.
Hunter Biden has now begun a new career as an artist. In the coming weeks, he is going to have private exhibits at posh galleries in LA and New York. There is speculation that his paintings are going to fetch up to half a million dollars; critics charge, not unreasonably, that it’s just another way for the corrupt and powerful to make donations to the Biden family.
Hunter Lopez, meanwhile, was one of 13 US service members killed in Kabul while defending Americans and their allies. He was put in harm’s way owing to a blundering withdrawal initiated by Hunter Biden’s father.
Joe Biden has described Hunter Biden as “the smartest man I know.”
Hunter Lopez’s family took some time to describe the Hunter they knew. They said he “was a badass Marine and a great brother and an awesome son.”
Joe Biden has accumulated several million dollars in pensions and real estate from his time as an elected representative. In the three years after leaving the vice presidency, he earned $17 million. His son earned many millions more.
The Lopez family has asked that, in lieu of flowers, mourners donate to the Riverside County Deputy Sheriff Relief Foundation, which helps the families of fallen officers.
Phelim McAleer is producing “My Son Hunter,” a movie about Hunter Biden.