A BUNCH OF PUSSIES.
There was no talk of a stolen election, no conspiracy theories about voter fraud or rants about President Biden’s legitimacy. Yet listening to our 90-minute focus group with eight conservative men, you couldn’t help but worry for our democracy a bit.
I bet they workshopped the hell out of that last line -- "We can't just say these guys are nuts! Call the plausible deniability desk and have them send up some nuance."
But after years of sucking up to Trumpkins who'll never stop fantasizing their prolonged painful death, the Times has still not figured it out, and gives its MAGA focus group the floor, upon which they barf up plenty of har-har-harballs. Much of it is about how rightwingers can't say what's on their mind anymore:
Joe: There’s a lot of things you really can’t talk about. I was mentioning to someone in my office about the president appointing a Supreme Court nominee. It was an African American woman. And I was saying, “That’s the most racist thing you could do. What if somebody else was good? What if they were Asian? What if they were anything?” And then when you speak to somebody about it, well, what are you? Racist? No, I’m not racist.
Well, apparently you can say what's on your mind, as "Joe" did, but he doesn't tell us what the people he was talking to did when he said the stuff that he just said he couldn't say. ("When you speak to somebody about it, well, what are you? Racist?" is the sort of vague device you use when you're imagining what other people might say, not reporting it.) Did they Twittermob or cancelculture him? Or was Joe just talking to himself in his cubicle, again, as co-workers quietly decided to take a coffee break outside? Oddly his interrogator doesn't ask.
Here's one with more detail from "Danny":
About a year and a half ago, I was the president of one of the homeowners’ associations in our community. An Asian woman got into an argument with us. When I say “us,” I mean the whole board. That night, she went and wrote a review on my business page saying that I’m a racist. My parents are Lebanese. I was beaten up every day when I was a kid because I’m Arabic. But I’m born in America. I’m not racist. I love cultures. I love languages. She wrote a nasty review, and Google won’t take it down, even though she wasn’t a client of mine. She’d never bought a house from me. She never did business with me, but she said that I’m a racist. That’s what’s happening today. And that never happened 10 years ago, 20 years ago, 30 years ago, 40 years ago. And you know what’s worse? You can’t stop it.
So, he got in a fight with some lady and she gave him a bad fake review, which sucks, but it happens a lot -- reviews on social media are often malicious and weaponized. But this woman called him racist first, and that's the key detail for "Danny." You can get a further sense of his priorities in a later comment, when the boys are asked about masculinity:
I’m not trying to get into a negative men-versus-women thing, but I’m seeing masculinity under attack. And I’m seeing men wearing tight skinny jeans, with no socks and velvet shoes. And it’s cool to wear pink. I don’t mind wearing pink. It’s a cool color. And I’m not saying colors belong with a certain gender. It’s so funny — this is what we were talking about earlier: Every time you speak, you don’t feel comfortable enough to say what’s on your mind, where you have to almost give a disclaimer. I have no problem with pink. But when we go out to a club or a dinner or dancing, you see some of the younger generation wearing very feminine clothes, blatantly feminine clothes — so much so that we are almost trying to portray masculinity as negative.
"Danny" doesn't describe the conversation that led to this insight, more's the pity.
For a while I strongly suspected this was all a put-up job. But then I realized, this is the beauty of the cancelculture grift -- you keep telling people they're being cancelled and prevented from expressing themselves with absolutely zero evidence, and when they start feeding it back to stupid Times reporters, they feel no need to offer supporting anecdotes that make any sense, because they don't have any. It's just something they've been trained to say, and to attach to their sorrowful realization that no one in the big wide world gives a shit about them. Join the club, boys -- I'd say man up, too, but that's clearly beyond them.
Just one more, from "Joe," when they're talking about how women run everything:
What comes to mind is Governor Cuomo of New York — who I hate. I couldn’t stand him. I was so happy when he was gone. But maybe he was really trying to have a relationship with one of these women. I just feel like people just rush to judgment on things. But that goes back to the cancel culture idea, where they just look to go after people. There’s a mob, and then once they go after you, that’s it. You work in the workplace, you have to watch what you do. You want to pat someone on the back? Oh, whoa, that might be — you better be careful.
"Joe" hates Cuomo, but has to give him credit -- at least the former Governor sexually harassed subordinates, and that's what a man does.