Hello! Rebecca Onion is still out, and I, Gabriel Roth, am still here to highlight thought-provoking pieces from Slate and around the web.
After months of refusing to attack Republican front-runner Donald Trump, Marco Rubio has finally come up with a line of criticism: He’s racist. Unfortunately, as Will Saletan points out, GOP voters may not find racism sufficient grounds to reject Trump—so Rubio is framing his attack as an issue of electabilty. “The problem, according to Rubio, isn’t that this racist, if nominated, would win the election,” Saletan writes. “It’s that he wouldn’t.”
Isaac Chotiner thinks Super Tuesday proves that Rubio is toast, and subjects him to this withering post-mortem. Trump was the proximate cause of the Rubio collapse, Chotiner argues, “but there were other festering problems, from his canned answers and overprogrammed style, to the unfortunate fact that he is a youngish, Hispanic man who speaks about his hopes and dreams for America to a Republican electorate that is white, old, and hopelessly depressed about an increasingly Hispanic America.”
But the Republican establishment hasn’t given up yet! As Jim Newell reports, GOP grandees have a plan to stop Trump—and it’s a bank shot. “The goal now is to deny Trump from reaching an outright majority of delegates and then oust him after the first ballot at the convention,” Newell writes. “This isn’t just the backup plan anymore; it is the plan.” The problem—besides the difficulty of staging a convention coup—is what happens next. “Do the plotters believe that this will go over well with Trump supporters?”
“Can You Guess Which of These Books Are Banned in Prison?” I did poorly on this.
“The story of single women is the story of the country,” writes Rebecca Traister in her new book, All the Single Ladies, which argues that unmarried women are the drivers of cultural change. In her Slate review of Traister’s book, Nora Caplan-Bricker argues that “the idea of female choice” is “an interconnected web of causes and effects that’s remaking society for everyone.”
Why does schizophrenia make people hear voices? They’re actually hearing their own “subvocal speech”—the unconscious muttering that we all do, and that people with schizophrenia are unable to disregard. “The brain is a master storyteller, designed to make sense of the chaos of our lives,” neurologist Eliezer Sternberg writes. “It compensates for the presence of auditory hallucinations, caused by a defect in self-recognition, by writing a narrative to account for them”—such as the typical schizophrenic delusions of eavesdropping spies or demonic possession.
For fun, if your idea of fun is kind of depressing: “Why Are You Lonely: A Text Game.”