Billingsgate of this sort pervades the lowest rungs of public discourse in America. What’s notable for the student of rhetoric is how, even though the target of the slur is male, the speaker doesn’t say “welfare king.”
“When a man’s honor hasn’t been soiled by baseness, then every garment he puts on is beautiful.”
That’s the first verse of the legendary poem of a sixth-century Arab Jew whose name is proverbial for fidelity. President Zelensky, in his commanding olive-drab attire, epitomizes what the poem celebrates — a stalwart authenticity that deeply disquiets reactionaries.
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