So I’m back from Tennessee and Illinois, and I had a great trip. I got to see a lot of family, take some satisfying hikes in autumnal forests in crisp, cool air, and generally enjoy the break in routine. On my last morning in my hometown, I drove up and down some hills in old, familiar neighborhoods, and videotaped the changing leaves and the houses of childhood friends. As usual, I left town in a pleasant fog of bittersweet (but mostly sweet) nostalgia.
During my long drive back south, I had a lot of time to think about our current political dilemma, ensconced as we are in a dumpster-fire-perched-on-a-precipice over a socialist volcano filled with the corrosive lava of court-packing, freedom-weakening, bad-faith pseudo-journalistic leftist hacks.
And I found myself returning to a recurring theme from my childhood: the virtue of common sense.
Before I grew into the modest, mature, hilarious genius you see before you, I was a young boy being raised in a great family who had not had any formal education beyond high school. (Both grandmothers went through 8th grade, and both grandfathers through 6th grade. My parents’ generation all completed high school, and my generation was the first batch of Simpsons to go to college.) While my family was very supportive and encouraging about me going to college, and later to grad school, they all had talks with me about not neglecting common sense as I became more educated.
After spending decades in academia, I have come to appreciate that advice more than ever. The trope of some crackpot theory being so ridiculous “that only a PhD could believe it” does not come out of nowhere. The old liberal arts department joke about capitalism vs. Marxism – quoth the poli-sci prof, “I know that free markets work in the real world. But more importantly, do they work in theory?” – exists for a reason.
As the presidential race appears to be tightening and the MSM gets more desperate, I’m reminded of how the MSM has spent these last years pitching absurd stories that anyone with the slightest modicum of common sense would immediately see through.
For example, Baby-talking Blasey-Ford’s smears about Brett Kavanaugh were ludicrous for many reasons. (His horrible attack rendered her so afraid of flying that she couldn’t fly to a hearing to air her charges… after it turns out that she’s got more frequent flyer miles than Richard Branson. The people she identified as witnesses all said that the attack never happened. Etc.)
But one little-analyzed red-flag in her story violated common sense so fundamentally that I knew for certain that she was lying: she said that she couldn’t remember what year she was in high school when the attack occurred.
I was pretty fortunate to not have any real traumas happen to me in high school. The closest thing to anything horrible – if you don’t count some of my haircuts and fashion choices – was an injury during a pick-up football game. I landed on my finger badly, breaking it close to the hand, and requiring 6 weeks with my hand in a cast.
I can tell you without hesitation that it was in the fall of my freshman year, two days before I was supposed to play my first high school football game as a cornerback. And I’ll bet that you can do the same with any traumatic experience during your high school years.
Did your parents get divorced? Someone in your family get into a serious car wreck? Did you experience a traumatic teen break-up, or a serious illness? Did you make varsity, or get kicked off the team, or find out that your boyfriend was cheating, or that your girlfriend was pregnant?
If so, you can immediately tell me what year it happened. During your sophomore year from hell, or the senior year when things finally turned around for you, or whatever.
But Blasey-Ford spent four decades being traumatized and trying to recover from a terrible sexual attack, and she can’t even tell you whether she was a freshman or a senior when her world was shattered forever?
Common sense says, “No way!”
There’s always a basic smell test that lets you know when someone is lying.
When definitive proof came out that Grandma Squanto had identified herself as Native American during and after her search for her first academic job – she listed herself as non-spelling-bee Indian at both Harvard and Penn, and Harvard bragged about her diversifying affect on their roster – she doubled down. She insisted with a straight face – and a pale one! (#wemustneverstopmockingher) – that her faux minority-ness gave her no advantage whatsoever in either hiring or promotion.
Anyone who’s every been within a mile of a diversity-crazed university campus knows that how crazy that is. Common sense says, “Hell no!”
Hillary claimed that the Clinton Foundation raked in hundreds of millions of “donations” annually because public-spirited people knew a good cause when they saw one. Then, she threw a shoe and ran into the rail, shattering her jockey’s femur in the final turn of the 2016 race – and thus ended any chance she had at wielding political power.
The very next year, the Foundation’s haul was three paperclips, two Canadian pennies and an expired Blockbuster coupon entitling the owner to a free weekday rental of Mission Impossible 2.
The next thing you know, she and Bill are on a speaking tour at half-empty community college gyms – Bill always had a local sorority girl/Dem volunteer bouncing on his knee while he asked her what she wanted for Christmas – and Hillary was insisting that the Foundation was a great cause that must continue to do the Lord’s work.
Common sense says, “The hell you say!”
And lately we’ve been getting more of the same. The MSM isn’t even trying to hide their ethically-crippling levels of bias any more.
Peaceful protests of the lockdowns by conservatives are super-spreader genocide-fests promulgated by Nazis who want to kill grandma. But much larger orgies of screaming, looting and rioting are civil rights demonstrations by a bunch of MLKs, and pose no health risk at all.
Trump gets the WuFlu because he didn’t wear a mask, and we get sermons about how we’re all Sinners in the Hands of an Angry Gaia. But Imhotep Pelosi shambles through a salon maskless, and Chris “his brother is worse” Cuomo galavants around with his face uncovered – doubly dangerous, because of his mouth-breathing – and the MSM is struck dumb.
Not AOC-style dumb. I mean, they lose the ability to speak.
And now comes the Hunter laptop story, and the MSM are at risk for adult-onset spinal torsion because of how vigorously they are turning their heads to look the other way.
I don’t want to pick on Hunter, who is obviously a troubled mess of a person. The usual concessions in a time of great pain could be made: all of us are flawed, and the heart wants what it wants, etc.
On the other hand, should it work to say that sometimes what the heart wants is a soup can full of methamphetamine, carnal knowledge of your brother’s widow, and huge duffle bags of cash from murderous Chinese dictators and Ukrainian kleptocrats?
Could you imagine Don Jr. making that argument? Or Don Sr.? It is to laugh.
Add in some incriminating emails implicating Plugsy as a corrupt Godfather-figure, insisting that he gets his cut from Hunter’s transparent bribes, and you’ve got what should be a humongous scandal.
So last week there was a townhall meeting with Biden, and George “Dinklage” Stephanopoulos managed not to ask a single question about the meth-snorting, bribe-taking elephant in the room. And if left to her own devices, the life-long leftist “moderator” at tonight’s debate likely won’t bring it up, either.
It’s been especially entertaining watching Twitter and the rest of the MSM scramble for a rationale for censoring the NY Post laptop story. First Twitter claimed that sharing the story was “potentially harmful.” As opposed to every doom-and-gloom story that they’ve posted exaggerating the death rates from the Flu Manchu, and justifying rioting and looting, and promoting fever-dream fantasies that Trump recreated an Esther Williams production number with a hundred urinating hookers in a Russian hotel.
Then Twitter invoked a suddenly made-up rule against sharing hacked or leaked material. Which is why you’ve never heard of Wikileaks, or Putin’s imaginary support for Trump in 2016, or Donald Trump’s tax returns.
Finally Twitter swung at strike three, by claiming that information that may show that a presidential candidate is up to his Depends in foreign cash taken to influence legislation and foreign policy is out of bounds because it “violates [our] policies on displaying private information.”
Did I mention Donald Trump’s tax returns?
Ugh. They think we have no common sense at all. The sad thing is, as close as this election is, they may be right.
“Hey Martin,” I can hear you asking, “are you really going to write a column without referring to Jeffrey Toobin?”
Of course not, even though I am usually too classy to stoop to dealing with such low-hanging fruit. (HA! Couldn’t help that.)
I’d like to say something in Toobin’s defense. Like, I understand that it in the mock trial exercise that all of those lefty “journalists” were engaged in, Toobin was supposed to be representing the Judiciary. So maybe he had heard that when you’re in court, you’re supposed to make a lot of motions?
Okay, you’re right. That was beneath me.
Toobin obviously has some psychological problems. But after how shabbily he treated Kavanaugh during the hearings, and after reading just a little about his past sexual misbehavior, I have to admit that for me, Toobin puts the “Freud” in “schadenfreude.”
And what’s worse, now that he’s suspended, he’s going to have even more time on his hands. So far that hasn’t been a good thing for him.
Is it possible that I’m not as classy as I thought?
Anyway, the last I heard, CNN has indefinitely suspended Toobin. Which sounds about… Wait? What?
Good lord! What do you have to do to get fired at CNN?!
Avenatti/ Jeffrey “One-Armed Bandit” Toobin 2020!