Thanks to an emptywheel retweet, I ran across this thread
by Russian-born writer Slava Malamud, listing several views that could result in arrest if voiced by a Russian living in Russia. First example:
Crimea is a part of Ukraine and was illegally annexed by Russia.
There was a time when I argued for the Russian position. That was before I truly understood Putin's evil.
The second example prompted today's essay:
There is nothing wrong with being gay. Homosexual and transsexual people are normal.
No. They are not
Before you hit the RAGE REACTION button, let me make one thing clear: I agree with the first part of Malamud's formulation -- there is nothing wrong
with being gay.
Have I contradicted myself? No. I am trying to repair an injury that many of my contemporaries have done to the English language -- an injury that Malamud, a non-native English speaker, may not understand.
There is nothing wrong with being abnormal. Normality
are two separate concepts, which have become infuriatingly conflated by Identity obsessives.
refers to frequency
"But, but, but...!"
I hear you sputter. Stop sputtering: No buts.
Words have definitions, and I refuse to rewrite the dictionary simply because doing so might help you feel good about yourself. Your neurotic self-esteem issues are your
Let us look at the example of Rachel Maddow.
Rachel Maddow is a prominent lesbian. She's also brilliant. If she were my daughter or sister, I would burst with pride every day. If she ever ran for president, I'd not only vote for her, I'd volunteer to work on her campaign. History will list her as one of this era's finest Americans.
But she is not normal
-- at least, not in terms of her sexual identity. (I wouldn't be surprised to learn that she is exasperatingly normal in other ways.) Polls differ, but this one
by the CDC seems authoritative, and it says that 1.3 percent of American women identify as lesbian, while a further 2.2 percent of women identify as bisexual. If my addition skills have not completely atrophied, these figures give us a total of 3.5 percent of women who are either lesbian or bisexual.
If you are one of the 3.5 percent, you are not normal. If you are among the 96.5 percent, you are
normal. I am not in a position to say whether you are good or evil -- but sexually, you are normal.
There is nothing inherently iniquitous about those who reside within Three-Point-Five PercentLand. In fact, I would counsel any young man to consider the advantages of dating a bisexual woman. Suppose a man says the following words to his bisexual girlfriend: "Winona Ryder sure was gorgeous in that Dracula movie, wasn't she?" The bisexual girlfriend will probably respond: "She sure was!" By contrast, those same words might prompt a straight
girlfriend to initiate a night-long row, ending with a command to sleep on the sofa: "And I hope you and Winona
are very happy together!"
You know what is very ab
You know what is, by definition, the most normal thing in the world? Mediocrity.
In many ways -- some laudable, some humiliating -- I am abnormal. Speaking as a lifelong oddball -- as a queer
person, as that word was used in the 19th century -- I hereby command you: Never call me normal
. That's an insult.
The Big Smear is a-comin'!
By this point, you may be wondering: When's it gonna hit? Well, if Biden is the target, it will hit after he is the official nominee.
The latest indicator: The pro-Trump Daily Caller -- which has given the Maxwell case a lot
of play -- reports that additional "victims" have come forward
. I'm sure that these new victims are every bit as credible as Virginia Giuffre and Sara Ransome.
The Daily Caller would shy away from this story if they felt that Trump could be hurt.
I have no sympathy, of course, for either Maxwell or Epstein. But I'm very suspicious of these new claimants. Having been burned by Ransome and Giuffre, who turned out to be infuriating liars, I cannot trust any
new entrants into the Epstein case. Please note that Ransome and Giuffre were not
part of the original case against Epstein, even though many news articles and documentaries have given the false impression that they were. During that investigation, the cops interviewed many genuine
victims. The story is told in Patterson's Filthy Rich
, which is a good book as long as you keep in mind the fact that Patterson wrote before the truth about Virginia came out. (The Netflix documentary of the same name is far more deceptive.)
From the Daily Caller story:
“The powerful testimony of these victims, who had strikingly similar experiences with Maxwell, together with documentary evidence and witness testimony, will conclusively establish that the defendant groomed the victims for sexual abuse by Jeffrey Epstein,” the prosecutors wrote.
I predict that one or more of these new victims will also claim that she had sex with Joe Biden during one of his many Virgin Island vacations. Maxwell will eventually "confirm" this false story. There may even be photographic evidence (concocted).
. Spread the word. Don't let this come as a surprise. The only way to counter the smear effectively is to have a plan ready beforehand.
And never forget: Maxwell is Mossad, according to Hoffenberg and others. Israeli rightwingers understand that they can annex much of the West Bank if and only if Trump wins re-election.
Krystal Ball -- the die-hard Bernie supporter who works for Pro-Trump media
, and who insists that she is not
a Russian agent, despite all appearances
-- has been prepping the way for the Big Smear. See here
. Follow Ball if you want to track how the propagandists will sell this "Evil Dem" story to naive lefties. (I can't believe I used to like
I'm frustrated with stories like this one from 538
, which applies purely conventional metrics to the election. The article argues, correctly, that Trump is now the one who suffers from an "enthusiasm gap." Joe Biden is not universally adored by Dems, but few truly dislike him, and he does not create gut-level rage among Republicans.
Additionally, social science research suggests that antipathy toward the other side is driven in large part by racial and cultural differences between the parties — differences that Clinton and former President Barack Obama exemplify in ways that a 77-year-old white moderate male Democrat doesn’t.
As The Atlantic’s Adam Serwer astutely put it, “The notion of a Biden presidency simply does not provoke the visceral rage that Clinton and Obama did — not in Trump, and not in his supporters.” So long as Biden’s campaign does not evoke such negativity, Trump will likely be the one on the short end of the 2020 enthusiasm gap.
When a weepy "Epstein girl" goes on teevee with a "Joe raped me" story, the negativity quotient will skyrocket.
The pro-Trump forces have to
resort to a Big Smear. They simply have no choice. Nothing else will save Trump. Remember: Impeachment resulted from a Big Smear attempt every bit as audacious as the one I am predicting here.