Toeing the Line

I remember the first time I heard this phrase. I was in Scotland and my mother was wishing my father would do it, just occasionally. But as she said it, in front of some people who had found my father’s behaviour worrying (most people did), I realised she was doing it. She didn’t mean it. Like me, she was an extremely poor liar and I could tell from the pride in her voice that the last thing she wanted was for him to start being somebody else. I’ve always had a sense for when people do it.
       For many people 2016 was the end of a long line toe. In the States they found an insecure bigot to stand for office as president. Over here there were people like Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson. And for those people, who’d been pretending for years that they thought racism was wrong, and men and women were equal, and so on, etc, etc, they could cast their vote and relax. They could stop toeing the line and roll around in the swamp. Until Farage helps Trump drink it. Sorry, drain it.

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