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By being very diligent and sophisticated, journalists can heroically ferret out which politicians have this secret racism, and reveal it to a grateful world. ” In the same way, although dog whistles do exist, the dog whistle narrative has gone so far that it’s become detached from any meaningful referent.There’s an old joke about a man who walks into a bar. One of them will say a number, like “twenty-seven”, and the others of them will break into laughter. The bartender explains that they all come here so often that they’ve memorized all of each other’s jokes, and instead of telling them explicitly, they just give each a number, say the number, and laugh appropriately. It went from people saying racist things, to people saying things that implied they were racist, to people saying the kind of things that sound like things that could imply they are racist even though nobody believes that they are actually implying that. My favorite is this article whose headline claims that Ted Cruz “confirmed” that he meant his New York values comment to refer to Jews; the “confirmation” turned out to be that he referred to Donald Trump as having “chutzpah”. Ken Livingstone is tasteless, thoughtless, embarrassing, has his foot in his mouth, is inept, clownish and offensive, and clearly made a blunder of cosmic proportions. When I think “anti-Semitic”, I think of people who don’t like, maybe even hate, Jews.
If Trump is dumb enough to say out loud that he thinks women aren’t attractive without big breasts, that says certain things about his public relations ability and his dignity-or-lack-thereof, but it sounds like it requires a lot more steps to suggest he is a bad person, or would have an anti-woman administration, or anything that we should actually care about. I guess some of the examples above might have gotten kind of far from what people would usually call a “dog whistle”, but I feel like there’s an important dog-whistle-related common thread in all of these cases.
Peter Benjamin Parker, an awkward and introverted science nerd and high-school student, was bitten by a genetically augmented spider during a tour of the Os Corp labs.
Imbued with the ability to do most of "whatever a spider can," and giving himself the artificial ability to spin webs with wrist-mounted web-shooters and synthetic web-fluid of his unique creation, Peter decided to gratify his hungry and malnourished ego by appearing getting into wrestling and TV showbiz as The Amazing Spider-Man.
Back during the primary, Ted Cruz said he was against “New York values”. It takes a lot of word-I-am-apparently-not-allowed-to-say to frame that as a “confirmation”. I understand he is now having to defend himself in front of a parliamentary hearing on anti-Semitism. I think of the medieval burghers who accused Jews of baking matzah with the blood of Christian children. Is there any sense in which his comments reveal that, in his heart of hearts, he really doesn’t like Jews?
A chump might figure that, being a Texan whose base is in the South and Midwest, he was making the usual condemnation of coastal elites and arugula-eating liberals that every other Republican has made before him, maybe with a special nod to the fact that his two most relevant opponents, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, were both from New York. Meanwhile, back in Realityville (population: 6), Ted Cruz was attending synagogue services at his campaign tour, talking about his deep love and respect for Judaism, and getting described as “a hero” in many parts of the Orthodox Jewish community” for his stance that “if you will not stand with Israel and the Jews, then I will not stand with you.” But he once said “New York values”, so clearly all of this was just really really deep cover for his anti-Semitism. Unlike Ted Cruz, former London mayor Ken Livingstone said something definitely Jew-related and definitely worrying. I think of the Russians who would hold pogroms and kill Jews and burn their property. I think of people who killed various distant family members of mine without a second thought. That he thinks of them as less – even slightly less – than Gentiles?