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For Fuck’s Sake, Tune Out Doctor Minaj and Professor Hanks

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast / Photos Getty

On Monday, rapper Nicki Minaj shared a harrowing tale of vaccination gone wrong. According to Minaj, one of her cousin’s friends in Trinidad got vaxed for COVID and before he knew it, his testicles had swollen up, he was infertile, and his future wife left him before their wedding.

Minaj’s comments were part of a twitter thread about how the Met Gala’s vaccine requirement meant that she was sitting the event out this year. “If I get vaccinated it won’t be for the Met. It’ll be once I feel I've done enough research. I’m working on that now. In the meantime my loves, be safe. Wear the mask with 2 strings that grips your head & face. Not that loose one."

And immediately after that, Minaj retreated to her world-class scientific laboratory to complete the research that scientists around the world await with bated breath. The results of Dr. Minaj’s work on the safety of the COVID vaccine are expected to be published in the next issue of the American Journal of Epidemio-

Read more at The Daily Beast.


Read full article on: thedailybeast.com
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Let’s start with what’s undeniable: Justin Trudeau has achieved a progressive’s wish list of policy accomplishments. Since becoming Canada’s prime minister in 2015, he has raised taxes on the rich, legalized marijuana, put a rising price on carbon, renegotiated NAFTA, centered women’s rights in the country’s foreign policy, reduced child poverty to its lowest level in decades, and resettled tens of thousands of refugees. By any measure, Trudeau is the most progressive leader of my lifetime. So why don’t progressives—even ones, like me, who have worked for him—love him?The answer is complicated. Canadians go to the polls on Monday in an election that Trudeau called from a position of strength. 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The air of inevitability that characterized his previous victories, in 2015 and 2019, has dissipated.I am in a unique position: I was a foreign-policy adviser in Trudeau’s first administration and supported him without reservation. Trudeau had swept to power with an ambitious progressive platform. He took his beleaguered Liberal Party, which had been reduced to the third-biggest party in Parliament, to an overall majority, a remarkable and, in Canada, unprecedented rise. I felt inspired and hopeful after that election, as did many young people. A new generation of progressive leaders was coming to power in Canada. Trudeau was admired around the world not simply for saying all the right things from a progressive point of view, but for his platform and the diversity of his cabinet. 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At the same time, we cannot be completely amoral, the way, for example, many supporters of Donald Trump are—evangelical voters and country-club Republicans alike who looked past Trump’s financial and moral shortcomings because he promised to appoint conservative Supreme Court justices or cut taxes for the wealthy. A line has to be drawn somewhere. Progressives must demand integrity from our leaders—especially on issues such as diversity, respect for women, and corruption.When I worked in government, I would often ask young people what they really thought of the prime minister. After all, Millennials and progressives were the reason Trudeau had won in 2015. Every person I spoke with, even those who disagreed with Trudeau, wanted to like him. They wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt. But many were skeptical. Something about Trudeau rang false to them, or seemed too scripted, which became an issue when Trudeau’s personality faults came to light.[Read: Justin Trudeau falls from grace]One common occurrence on the left is the search for infallibility in our politicians. We want ideological purity and an unimpeachable record clear of misdeeds. In the run-up to the 2020 U.S. presidential election, Barack Obama warned progressives about “circular firing squads,” in which people who agreed on most issues took morbid pleasure in pummeling one another. This is perhaps the greatest failing of the modern left: We seek moral perfection in a world of politics where compromise is the cost of doing business. Run afoul of progressive dogma or say the wrong thing, and one is liable to get canceled.Purity tests exist on the right as well, but they are not about character. Instead, the right moralizes internally over who is tougher on crime, on immigrants, on China, on owning the libs. Trump likely cannot recite a single Bible verse and has a perverse history with women but still won 81 percent of the white evangelical vote last year. His handlers seemed to understand that Trump was but a mascot for a right-wing agenda. As Trump’s then–chief adviser, Steve Bannon, told Vanity Fair the year Trump was elected: He is “a blunt instrument for us. I don’t know whether he really gets it or not.” The question of character doesn’t even come up. Trump’s base is unfailingly loyal, willing to overlook even grotesque personality defects in service of its policy wishes.Perhaps a better comparison for Trudeau is another Republican president. When I think of the prime minister now, I see him not as a dashing JFK figure but as a Ronald Reagan of the left—a former actor and drama teacher who compellingly serves as chief spokesperson for the progressive agenda. Trudeau might fumble his words at times, and stumble into controversies, but he plays the part well—and gets the job done. That ought to be part of the moral calculus in supporting him: Trudeau is an effective leader whose policy accomplishments are worth his personal failings.[Read: The woke will always break your heart]Progressives like to say we are different. We hold our leaders accountable, even at the risk of losing. We take pride in living out our politics in deeply personal ways, defending our beliefs when they are tested. Trudeau knows the power of such idealism. He ran for election describing himself as a feminist, took a knee at a Black Lives Matter rally, and openly condemns systemic racism.But progressives also want bold action. On this, Trudeau’s record is strong. The answer to his lagging numbers could be to discard the moral posturing entirely, double down on what he has already delivered, and push for even more ambitious policies, especially for working-class voters. 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