There are two certainties in the United States of America right now, and they’re not death and taxes.
The first one is that our idiot president will say or do something which undermines our nation’s fitness for global leadership every day of his country club life.
The second is that we lack the collective will to determine how much of a good thing is too much.
Which is why the laudable public crusade against sexual abuse by our toxic elites appears to be morphing into a witch hunt against all American men. It's being hijacked by wealthy female socialites and radical feminists, who long to advance themselves in the American caste system. Much to the delight of the Donald Trumps, Roy Moores and Harvey Weinsteins of the world.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t think any of us need to be that friggin protected.
How much is too much?
We just passed the 55 mile-per-hour sign on this one, with a half-empty bottle of Jack between our legs and a gigantic blunt between our lips.
We blew right past "too much" when we went after a Naval Aviator for drawing a cock-in-the-sky with his jet exhaust during a routine training flight.
We took our eyes off the road again when we accused former President George H. Bush of putting an arm around the waist of those who pose next to his wheelchair for photos. At 93.
And we leaned even harder on the idiot pedal by condemning Ohio gubernatorial hopeful William O’Neil for criticizing the “national feeding frenzy about sexual indiscretions” and sarcastically citing his own healthy sex life.
The painful truth is there is a feeding frenzy underway and it's not necessarily a bad thing, so long as it stays on point. That means keeping the focus on toxic elites who abuse their power to coerce others into having sex with them. Not criminalizing sex or being a man, like modern-day Puritans run amok.
It’s amazing that I even have to say this. Much less remind my fellow progressives that these misguided forays into the political quagmire of identity politics never seem to end well. Not for us, not for the Nazis, and not for the friggin Klu Klux Klan.
At the same time it’s tragically not. In the sense that the primitive tribal bloodlust which drives the human race's need for group scapegoats knows no political affiliation, gender, or sexual lifestyle.
Sadly, men of all political leanings and social classes seem to be what's for dinner right now for some feminists. Their sexist double-standards are becoming more and more obvious every day: female public nudity and sexuality is laudable - a form of personal empowerment and often a powerful political message, too. It breaks the Internet.
But male nudity and sexuality?
It's evil, traumatic, invasive and rapey looking.
This is the underlying nonsense which is morphing the legitimate focus on abusive behavior by rich men into a ridiculously sexist social crusade against all men. The word "hysteria" comes to mind. As in the discredited condition of "female hysteria" Victorian physicians once applied to women "with a tendency to cause trouble."
Similar abuses are now occurring in the other direction as power in American society shifts toward women.
See that cock in the window?
It's a sexual suspect and so is the body attached to it.
This kind of group bias is as old as Cain and Able. It’s the same tribal bullshit that gave the Nazis their Jews, Southern Whites their Blacks, the British their Irish, and gave our moron president his immigrants, Muslims, Jews, feminists, blacks, Mexicans, Sikhs, Asians, Native Americans, and Puerto Ricans.
More recently, it's given birth to the widespread use of patently sexist code words like "mansplaining" and "patriarchy." The sexists who employ these sweeping terms against all men do so to coerce others into bowing before them.
Does this pattern of bullying behavior sound familiar?
It should. Because it's exactly the kind of carrot and stick tactic that repugnant bullies like Roger Ailes, Bill O'Reilly and John Conyers have long employed to get some play.
The painful truth is that we humans just love to have a group to whale on. Especially on the left, as if we’re somehow immune to such temptations by virtue of our own membership in traditional victim groups.
To quote Meatloaf in the song Paradise by the Dashboard Light: “Stop Right There.”
Before you read any further you need to tell me where you stand on the American caste system. Because this principled liberal thought we were fighting to replace group bias with a world where our kids would be judged solely by the content of their character.
If all you’re interested in doing is replacing the privileged group at the top with your own group we’re not on the same side. Never were.
You're on the side of retributive justice, which a fancy academic word for revenge. Not a better world.
The late Mahatma Ghandi didn't think much of this kind of primitive stupidity, which erroneously assumes all members of a demographic group are accountable for the actions of its worst members. Which is akin to saying that all women are responsible for the behavior of opportunistic enablers like KellyAnne Conway, Omarosa Manigault and Renee Zellwegger.
"An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind," Ghandi said.
This primitive witch hunt now being waged against male sexuality is a shame, because it divides progressives and provides cover for the rich scoundrels who once took such pride in showing their friends and colleagues that the normal rules of decent behavior didn't apply to them.
You know, the rich villains this crusade was supposed to be about in the first place?
They're not guilty of engaging in consensual sex with willing, happy enthusiastic partners. They're guilty of abusing their power to pressure unwilling partners into sex, by raising the specter of the lost opportunities of noncompliance.
"Displease me and I'll cap your career" is a rich man’s game. Just like creating a hostile work climate where workers are afraid to claim their overtime.
"Displease me and I'll accuse you of "mansplaining" is an equally villainous rich woman's game, which is waged for the same reason. Personal domination.
Sadly, the Me Too Movement has never acknowledged the inherent economics of the caste system which underpins entitled misconduct and the painful truth that it has nothing to do with gender. It revolves around the pirate mantra of taking whatever you can overpower, which forms the basis of savage capitalism.
The MeToo Movement's focus on wealthy, attractive celebrities is itself a tacit embrace of the idea that the rest of us don't matter. Especially the working class men who are always getting bullied and coerced by the rich.
It';s a best evidence that this movement is no longer about righting a wrong, but supplanting one powerful group of toxics elites with another at the top of our caste system.
When a wealthy socialite like actress Salma Hayek is pressured into doing something unpleasant it's a crime in our distorted public forum, but when a thousand blue collar workers are forced to work overtime for free it's OK.
When a rich female executive is paid less than a man it's gender bias, but the rampant wage theft practiced against immigrants is OK.
Pretending members of the poor and faltering middle class have the same opportunities and appetite for abuse as rich bullies is a knowing sin of omission. As is pretending that opportunistic women who play along to advance themselves are all helpless victims, rather than enablers of future abuse.
I've worked in DC and NYC. Both places are chock full of ambitious fame groupies who enable the arrogance of the old bulls who generate most of these stories. It couldn't happen without their aversion to principled stands.
For every Rose McGowan with the courage to speak up and take a principled stand, there are literally dozens of opportunists who don't conveniently become "victims" until after they've exhausted the gains of "playing the game." They have as much credibility as the former porn stars who become reborn Christians in a final bid for media attention.
"Guess what?" they scream. "Porn is an exploitative field."
"No shit," I long to scream back. "Every field in America is eventually an exploitative field for people of modest means who expect to be treated fairly."
Leveling the prominent opportunists who pander to the rich with true rape victims as the Me Too Movement has done is a disservice to rape victims. It's also a classic example of false equivalency.
Bottom line, none of us would be surprised to see Presidential Advisor KellyAnne Conway write a tell-all book some day, after the benefits of kissing Donald Trump's ass dry up. But equating this willing victim with the thousands of exploited workers in his hotels and casinos is a knowing misrepresentation.
Rape is rape. Boning some aging reptile because they can help you get rich and famous is not rape. It's a form of prostitution.
By the same token, exploitation is exploitation. Crying wolf after you've been replaced by another floozy is not exploitation.
It's akin to not claiming your overtime so you can pretend you're more productive than you really are.
I think too much of the strong, proud women of America to laud these false feminists.
Holding rich predators up to public scorn was never supposed to be about making it a crime to be a man in a country with a lot of good men. It was supposed to be about deterring sexual predation by those at the tippy top.
We don’t need to ruin some courageous Naval Aviator’s life to make that happen. Or outlaw the useful comedy of the Great American Jackass.
Especially given the degree to which we have been succored and sustained through our nation's first fascist presidency by the irreverent humor of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, and the Daily Show with Trevor Noah.
To be perfectly blunt, I want to live in a United States of America where a Naval Aviator who draws cocks in the sky gets paddled afterward. Not ruined.
Because a disproportionate response is a sin. I’m not a religious man, but that little piece of Old Testament wisdom still makes sense today.
Strapping yourself into the nose of a speeding bullet and heading into harm’s way for the greater good is an inherently stressful act. If joking around a little bit makes that stress more manageable than I’m all for it.
Leveling the offending Naval Aviator, who makes diddly, with a wealthy reptile like Donald Trump serves no one, but the Trumps of the world.
It's false equivalency. Which is Wingnut bullshit. Not principled liberalism.
Look folks, the painful truth is that we need all the dick jokes we can get right now in the faltering middle class. Just to mentally survive this disastrous presidency and the last 30 years of class warfare our own toxic elites have been waging against us.
And it means designating the Second Thursday of November as National Cartoon Cock Day at The Cynical Times.
Why the hell not. After all, we've already got a dick in the White House.
Cynical Times Editor Victor Epstein is a proud liberal and feminist, and a former reporter with Stars & Stripes. His favorite MRE is jambalaya.