Acclaimed travel writer Jonathan Raban invites us aboard his boat, a floating cottage cluttered with books, curling manuscripts, and dead ballpoint pens. He's about to sail alone from Seattle to the Alaskan Panhandle, following an ancient sea route rich in history, riddles, and whirlpools. It's the perfect setting for Raban's prodigious intellect, eloquence, and eye for detail.
The president-elect has the blunt pugnacity of the Breitbartian style. Like his tweets, his policy statements have the brutal concision of jokes. On the state of the nation: “This country is going to hell.” On the Islamic State: “Bomb the [expletive] out of them.” On waterboarding: “I love it. I think it’s great.” On immigration: “Build the wall and make Mexico pay for it.” On Hillary Clinton: “Lock her up!” On climate change: “It’s a Chinese hoax.” His schoolyard nicknames for opponents have the same flavor: Little Marco, Lyin’ Ted, Low-Energy Jeb, Crooked Hillary, Crazy Bernie, Goofy Elizabeth Warren.
"The Tea Party and the Art of the Mean Joke" is from the January 06, 2017 Opinion section of The New York Times. It was written by Jonathan Raban and narrated by Paul Ryden.