A concerned reader has written to say that my last post left him with the worrying impression that I might be a boomer cuck who is incapable of repaying the conjugal debt, and, what is worse, a pompous peddler of “frog quotes.” As Émile Zola might have written,
Needless to say, this sort of searching critique forces a man to undertake an unsparing examination of his conscience, his birth certificate, his voting record, and his children, all the while keeping an open mind to the possibility that he is guilty as charged.
After two days of painful soul searching—augmented, I might add, by a painful toothache—I have concluded that my accuser is mistaken, and that each charge is substantially incorrect.
It is true that I am chronologically of the generation known as “boomer,” but I am not really a boomer in spirit. If you were to join Mr. Peabody and travel to 1975 in the Wayback Machine (gratuitous Boomer allusion), you would find stripling Smith not dissimilar to the other hairy louts shambling off the stage at his high school commencement. Utter immunity to the Zeitgeist is for freaks. But we were all of us late boomers—an important distinction—who were launched into a world that our predecessors had in many (but not all) respects ruined.
I may have told this story before, but I have a clear memory of returning to my college dormitory one Saturday evening, admittedly fuddled but not incapable of reflection. Waiting for someone at the front door, I took a seat in a small alcove by the front door that had once housed some sort of porter or door monitor. It hadn’t been used for that purpose in years, and I remember noting that there were crumpled beer cans in its otherwise empty bookshelves. Meanwhile, beyond the disused desk, the front door banged as bibulous couples came through, laughing, and headed upstairs to do the same. It took me a long time to grasp the full meaning of what I saw that night, but it was in that alcove at the door of Livingstone Hall that I first began to smell the rat.
“Cuck” is a useful and expressive term, but it loses its value if we ignore the original analogy. A cuckold is, of course, a man who remains faithful to an unfaithful wife, and so a “cuck” is, properly, a voter who remains faithful to a politician, political party, or political ideology that actually puts out for someone else. The word cuckold should be attached to politicians and political parties only as a verb, since they are the ones doing the cuckolding. As a noun, the word cuckold applies only to the cheated husband, to whom this cuckolding is done.
Democrats have been cuckolding the White working class for fifty years, but the term really belongs to the dissident right and denotes Republican voters who retain their faith in the Republican party and the right liberalism of Ronald Regan. These are the voters who come home to an empty house, cook their own dinner, and then sit up till midnight waiting for the Republicans to come home, with alcohol on their breath and motel matches in their purse. I am not one of these voters. I believe the Republican party as a club for chumps and conmen, and that right liberalism is a paper tiger that conserves nothing.
Sexual candor causes neuroses, so my evidence against the charge of sexual impotence will be modest. I have three children who give every indication of being mine, so flaccidity cannot be a permanent affliction.
As to the “frog quotes,” I must say that French is a language I am particularly loath to employ. My high school French teacher, a broken soul known as Mrs. Stephen, told my parents that I was the worst student she had had in a long and disappointing career. I could not dispute this at the time, and have not thought of a single reason to contradict her in the forty-five years since.