Oh, Johnny get angry, Johnny get mad
Give me the biggest lecture I ever had
I want a brave man, I want a cave man
Johnny, show me that you care, really care for me
— Joanie Sommers, “Johnny Get Angry”
The conservative establishment media is becoming increasingly irrational in its attempts to deal with the Donald Trump phenomenon. After all these months of denial, it looks like Trump just might be the Republican nominee. How to cope?
“Donald Trump isn’t going to be the Republican nominee” is the first and last sentence in Ross Douthat’s New York Times opinion piece yesterday. In between the two sentences Ross is unable to show why. In the end, he channels his inner Peggy Noonan and simply asserts, “Loki does not rule in Asgard.” For those who aren’t fans of Marvel Comics, this means he simply can’t believe it. Not much you can do with that.
Then there was the Daniel Henninger take: We are witnessing a revolt against political correctness, and Trump beats everyone else at giving voice to this revolt. That’s the problem and the solution is for someone more appropriate to steal the ball away from Trump and run with it “to a political win at last.”
But who is that going to be: who is going to bell the cat? It’s clearly not going to be a nebbish like Jeb Bush, who told us that illegal immigration was “an act of love.” Nor will it be the sweet and endearing Marco Rubio who told us that he listens to his mom on immigration issues. “They’re human beings just like us, and they came for the same reasons we came. To work. To improve their lives. So please, don’t mess with them,” she admonished him.
In any event, can Rubio beat Hillary? Rubio clutches his water bottle the way a baby clutches his formula. He’ll point out to Hillary that he’s half her age — so yesterday — and she’ll slap him down, discipline him like the proper Latina abuela that she believes herself to be. What chance will a guy who lets his madre dictate his immigration policy have when it comes to a one-on-one with his abuelita?
What is needed, clearly, is a man, someone with the equipment to do the job There was a time, back in September, when Henninger saw this potential in Carly Fiorina, whom he described as a “straight-razor woman [whose] rage looks to be about one degree below boiling.” That was back when Carly was the darling of the conservative commentariat, but does he still believe that she is up to the job now, when it’s clear that Carly fatigue has set in?
Why is it that Henninger, among other men in the conservative media, likes the idea of a manly woman but not a manly man? I’m not very impressed with manly women these days, when I see the news that’s coming out of Germany. In Cologne, about 1,000 men described as being of “Arab or North African” origin celebrated New Year’s Eve by going on a stabbing, groping, raping spree in front of a large central train station, a well-lit public square. Over 100 women have filed sexual assault complaints with the police. But despite all the camera footage and videos, only three suspects have been identified and none have been arrested. And this, remarkably, in a city with a female mayor, in a country with a female Chancellor.
Henriette Reker, Cologne’s mayor, reacted to the attacks by prescribing a “code of conduct” for German women. Watch how you dress; don’t get within arm’s length of someone you don’t know; travel in packs and don’t get separated. This sort of thing has been going on for months across Germany. But Chancellor Angela Merkel — known as Mama Merkel to the migrants she invited into her country — who had never had children of her own, was too busy giving expression to her latent maternal instinct to notice or care.
When I watched the video clips of the rioting men in Cologne, when I read the testimony of some of the women who had been victimized, I wondered: “Are there no men left in Germany?” For even if the police were instructed to “stand back,” where were the ordinary German men during this time? Have the men of Germany become so emasculated that they are unmoved by the sight of their women being openly sexually abused in their own country?
Trump predicted this kind of violence back in October, when he described Chancellor Merkel’s open invitation to migrants as “insane.” He was the only presidential candidate who was man enough to say the obvious, and he was vilified for it.
And so I’m brought back again to the question of why folks like Henninger embrace manliness in women while they consider the same trait in a man to be vulgar. Why are they intimidated by someone who is unambiguously and unabashedly virile? Most of us have, after seven years of a metrosexual in the White House, become weary of someone whose pants are perfectly creased, who pouts and engages in juvenile name-calling as a form of foreign diplomacy, who tosses a baseball like a girl, who paints the White House in rainbow colors while the whole world is burning.
Trump supporters feel reassured by someone who, they believe, can sit down mano-a-mano with the likes of Vladimir Putin and deal with him on matters regarding the Middle East because he has his respect. A man who can sit down with the Chinese and deal with them so that a fairer trade deal can be worked out, one that will help staunch the hollowing out of the middle class for a lack of jobs. Trump supporters want security and economic prosperity. We’ve studied Trump’s proposals on these matters and we believe that he has what it takes to make them work.
Trump supporters don’t want more ambiguity and nuance. We want someone who will speak plainly and tell it like it is. We want a real man in the White House. That is why we are excited about the possibility of a Donald Trump presidency.
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