I am an unapologetic fan--I LOVE this show! The essential issues that this family faces are the same real issues that can face any one of us, yet the extreme wealth and connections of the extended Grantham family offer solutions that are not available to the masses. As with the 1% today, the Granthams are far removed from the day-to-day struggle for existence that occupies the rest of the world. Thus one of the pressing problems of this episode dealt with some real or imagined embarrassment that would befall some royal. See, even a whiff of a scandal is devastating.
As Echidne put it in a recent post:
The way politics is financed in the US, combined with the increasing inequalities in income and wealth, means that democracy is at risk.
And the larger the wealth differences between the rich and the rest, the more will the political goals of the two groups diverge. Whose goals will be taken care of when money comes from the top one percent of the one percent?
One article argues that the current US wealth and income inequalities match those of the 1920s UK, portrayed, in its extreme form, in the 'Downton Abbey' television series. It's the Lord Granthams of this world who are funding the US elections, and it's their concerns and goals which will weigh the most. Even very nice Lord Granthams will not have the same worries and concerns in life as Daisy, the kitchen maid.
And the link to Ultrarunning is simply this tenuous one: this endeavor has yielded countless riches to me. The day I stumbled into the joys of endurance running has proven to be of immeasurable wealth.