WHEN I WAS...

WHEN I WAS YOUNG AND RACIST, I WAS YOUNG AND RACIST. Ryan Lizza's new profile of George Allen is the sort of article that can sink a candidacy. Lizza reaches deep into Allen's past and, like a magician pulling endless amount of ropes from a tiny hat, emerges with decorative nooses, a string of confederate flags (one from Allen's car, another from his living room, another from the pin on his lapel in his high school yearbook photo), and a long pattern of racist votes and dog whistle appeals. Potentially worse, Allen comes off as a garden variety of sadist, a high school bully and vandal who hurled his brother through a glass door when he wanted to stay up past his bedtime, cracked another brother's collarbone for the same offense, and so tormented his youngest sister that she wrote a memoir packed with instances of his cruelty and thuggishness. It's grotesque stuff, and considering the perpetrator is being seriously considered as the chief executive and primary symbol of our country, Lizza's article is a definite must-read.

--Ezra Klein

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