gender, other topics, politics

Thinking of 2020

 

It is remarkable how eager we are to glide over the 2018 midterms (which are crucially important) in order to speculate about the 2020 presidential campaign. Of course, the presidency is more important than any seat in congress. But what happens to congress in 2018 will not only be used by the pundits as an augury of 2020 (and thus create a presumption in favor of one candidate or the other) but will determine exactly how bad the years between 2018 and 2020 (or, heaven forfend, 2024) will be.

 

But even knowing this I find 2020 irresistible to contemplate. That is all the more true since Oprah Winfrey’s triumphant performance at the Golden Globes award ceremony on January 7. Continue reading

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gender, language, politics

Shlong Diplomacy

 

According to an article in the New York Times, many of Donald Trump’s supporters, especially women, are dismayed at his bullying and misogyny. But

 

Kathy Potts, a Trump supporter in Iowa who is a former chairwoman of the Linn County Republican Party, called Mr. Trump a bully and said she was offended by his insults of women. But with a son in the Army about to be sent to Iraq, Ms. Potts stands behind Mr. Trump because she believes he will be strong on national security. “He’s the one I’d pick to best protect Jason,” she said.

 

In other words, Trump’s female (and some male) supporters see the Donald as two Trumps, one of which has problems that are not serious and can be ignored (the misogyny and bullying), and the other, the “real” candidate, who is “strong” and can be trusted to keep us safe. One has nothing to do with the other, and if the latter is the one that means the most to you (as it does to many otherwise rational Trump supporters), you can safely ignore the former. This analysis might put you in mind of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, but neither of them ever sought political office. Continue reading

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language, politics

The Shlong and Snort of It

 

It is remarkable how one candidate’s inability to watch his mouth has quickly degenerated into a whole party’s, and indeed a whole media’s epidemic of potty politics. The Republican campaign, following its leader, has taken American political discourse to the nether level — “down there,” or “wherever.”

 

It would be commendable if Trump’s associates would seek a higher level and disavow his discourse as unsuited to the gravitas of the position they are seeking. But no. Here’s Rand Paul, tweeting about Trump’s comment about Clinton’s “disgusting” use of the bathroom:

 

Paul apparently felt the need to publicly share his opinion about how long women should use the bathroom. He said Wednesday on Twitter that Carly Fiorina, who is also running for president as a Republican, had “ZERO trouble making it back from commercial breaks,” so there was no reason Clinton should have had trouble either. This statement seemed to ignore the circumstances surrounding Clinton’s bathroom trip, as well as the fact that not all women’s bodies are identical (Abigail Abrams, International Business Times, Dec. 23).

 

Fiorina, that shining example for all women, was so thrilled by Paul’s encomium that she retweeted it. All of this provides yet another comparison between the seriousness of the Democratic candidates and their debates, and the deep frivolousness of their Republican counterparts. Continue reading

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