one funny thing I've noticed about the latinx discussion is it's almost always implicit that this is entirely an American phenomenon. It's discussed entirely in terms of the students at Oberlin who presumably are working tirelessly to convince blue collar Hispanic immigrants to use the term so they don't accidentally do misogyny.

But that's just not true. Young (and yes, educated) Mexicans use the term on social media all the time, and I suspect that's true in other countries. Their parents probably don't use it, just like most older Americans don't use it, but the framing of the debate is always the same two groups: educated white American liberals and the blue collar immigrants. This might be a stretch but it feels a little revealing of how these people probably view most spanish speaking societies: just too backward to understand this kind of thing.

It reminds me a bit of when I've seen people like Matt Yglesias weigh in on like sharing pronouns. There's always an implicit assumption that all of the language changes that people are asking for are in order to accommodate students at Oberlin or whatever. That's not true of course, there are queer people everywhere, including in working class communities and non white communities and non American communities. But Matt Yglesias never sees those people. He only sees the trans people that go to Oberlin because of who he is, and he's incapable of escaping that framing.

Expand full comment

"Republicans and conservatives are encouraged to argue weakly and insincerely, or outright falsely.": But you know, that's all they've got. Practically without exception, there are no strong, honest, and morally defensible arguments for reactionary policies, because the basic goal of those policies is to further enrich and empower the already, if only relatively, rich and powerful at everyone else's expense. As historian Corey Robin summarized, "[T]he priority of conservative political argument has been the maintenance of private regimes of power." That means whites over non-whites, men over women, bosses over workers, and the rich over everything.

Moreover, the American constituencies in favor of those unfairnesses are minorities or heading that way: whites are a declining proportion of the populace, men are decreasingly able to control women, particularly by economic means, and neither bosses nor the rich have ever been even close to majorities. So for Republicans to be electorally competitive - to the extent they haven't relieved themselves of the need to be, via voter suppression, gerrymandering, etc. - they more or less have to offer weak, insincere, and/or outright false arguments. They can't just declare what they plan to do in office, because in most of the country, most people wouldn't vote for that.

This really is the fundamental folly of the NYT and other media organizations that tout their commitments to being "fair and balanced". Like treating Vladimir Putin and his ilk as statesmen rather than thugs with delusions of grandeur, it amounts to a refusal to acknowledge the reality of certain kinds of evil.

Expand full comment

Why does the Times persist in wasting ink publishing pseudoconservative propagandists? We already have Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal editorial, op-ed and letters pages to tell us the oligarchy doesn’t approve of anything Democrats do. It makes them look stupid, not balanced. The online replies repeatedly point out the errors, distortions and lies in columns by, say, Bret Stephens. If they can’t be bothered to read criticism from outside sources, they could at least peruse their own readers’ critiques.

Expand full comment