About a year ago, I paid a little over $100 to make a batch of T-shirts that read, "Hunter did nothing wrong!"

Yes, the intent was ironic, but no, they never sold out. One must have gotten into the hands of Hunter’s dad, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, because he used my exact phrase in the first debate last week. Since I did not trademark the phrase, I can’t charge royalties.

Up until now, Hunter Biden was, for me, the symbol of a double standard in American life. By virtue of his birth, opportunities seem to roll his way. By virtue of his position, consequences never did. He and John Kerry’s stepson were a year or two above me in college and ran with the jet set. The thought of either inspired in me the lyrics of the Credence Clearwater Revival song “Fortunate One.”

It didn’t become personal until I was criminally charged for my work in Ukraine. My crime was a seldom-enforced one, and my conviction sent shivers down the spines of most on Washington’s K Street, where the city’s lobbyists hang their hats. I am the ninth American to be convicted of failing to register as a foreign agent since World War II, but was the nature of my offense — advocating for my foreign client before U.S. interests — that unique?

Not really.

Moreover, I was qualified for my work in Ukraine, having closely studied the country’s politics for more than a decade, having already worked on a parliamentary election there, and being conversant in a local language. My appointment to the position had nothing to do with who my father was and I held onto it by working extremely hard in sometimes dangerous circumstances — not by sitting on a board.

Yet, pretending that life is fair is a fool’s game, and I have moved on. When I wore my last remaining T-shirt around Capitol Hill a couple of weeks ago, I attracted some delightfully freaked-out looks, so I guess its mission was finally accomplished.

Now that Joe has coined the phrase, I could make another batch and sell them, but I won’t. Here’s why:

Screwball relatives are a part and parcel of American politics from Billy Carter to Hugh Rodham, and Hunter is not on the ballot.

Joe has promised various firewalls in his administration should he be elected — true these did not work when he was vice president, but America is a land of second chances. I would have preferred to have heard Joe say Hunter has learned a lesson, but that’s not really his job. It’s Hunter’s.

Other than the debate, something else happened last week that caught my notice. Retired Gen. Stan McChrystal endorsed Biden. Why does that matter? The former commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan was unceremoniously fired for joking about Biden with his colleagues and a Rolling Stone reporter, who was pretending to be one of the guys, but of course, wasn’t. That ended a distinguished career of defending America.

If McChrystal can look beyond that to “put country first,” I can surely look past Hunter.

With his alleged receipt of $3.5 million from Elena Baturina, whom every Russian knows to be hideously corrupt and is a reputed money laundress, Hunter is no hero. Perhaps he shouldn’t simply be looked past, either. After all, a lifetime of this got him where he is today. Consider him a symbol — something broken within each of us, or within each of our families. Do we simply wish away his problems, or do we help him to mend them?

Still, during this weekend, I found myself grumbling about Hunter to a friend (who was present in the infamous Trump Tower meeting). “You get to start your life over,” my friend said. “He doesn’t. Be grateful.”

I guess we’ll see how apropos my remaining T-shirt is when it’s warm enough to wear it again. In the meantime, if Hunter is one of the best hits the Trump campaign has on Joe Biden, that’s probably good news for the Democrats.

Sam Patten is a recovering political consultant who was raised in Knox County and worked for Maine’s last three Republican senators.