Proud to Be Cynical

Mike Huckabee, in 2011, on Natalie Portman having a child with a man she's engaged to, before they've actually married:



"One of the most troubling things is that people see a Natalie Portman or some other Hollywood starlet that boasts of, hey look, we're having children, we're not married, but we're having children and they're doing just fine." 

 "There aren't really a lot of single moms out there that are making millions of dollars each year by being in a movie" 

"I think it gives a distorted image that not everybody hires nannies and caretakers and nurses. Most single moms are very poor, uneducated, can't get a job, and if it weren't for government assistance, their kids would be starving to death and would not get healthcare."

Mike Huckabee, in 2008, on Bristol Palin having a child with a man she was engaged to, before they'd actually married:

"It ought to be a reminder that here is a family that loves one another. They stuck with each other though the tough times and that's what families do." ... Huckabee said the surprise pregnancy announcement should not affect vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's support in the conservative and religious right communities. ... "I'm grateful for the way she's being supported by her family."

There is a lot wrong here which I'm sure you guys can tease out. That last "most single moms" sentence is heinous. 

But again facts don't really matter here. This is a strict ideology built on an alternate reality. You can't reason with people who not only believe their president is Kenyan, but need to believe he's Kenyan. The belief comes first. The casus belli of white populism is resentment of those not like us. Facts are mere materiel meant to be invented, discarded, smelted and recast in service of the cause.

Drop-down navigation-bar image credit: Brian Snyder/Reuters
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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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