They have more guts than us. Trump would enter a building without a gun to take down a mass shooter. This has been a theme for years now of the far right. They are worried about the demanning that is going on in our culture. They believe the rules in lieu of the new research concerning concussions in football to be an example. They have been worried about this since Hawkeye played by Alan Alda in the television series MASH. And they are right. There has been a slow cultural change from the masculinity of the old. Or better said there have developed other definitions of manliness that have come to the forefront. Used to be as a guy you were not to cry; now tears are expected. You could not have close male relationships unless you were gay. But as homophobia has lessened it is now okay to have bros and even give them hearty hugs.
They are worried that the aggressive attitude of the male who is forever out to get laid is being made obsolete. As proof of this do you think Dirty Harry played by Clint Eastwood or Charles Bronson’s character in Death Wish would be held up as examples of rugged men? Nowadays they may have to put on that persona but this is only because of a threat of violence. But eventually in today’s mentality we are to move away from this violent attitude into a more domesticated one of care. Take Agent Gibbs in NCIS: he bops people on the back of the head; he is a marine’s marine, yet he brings Abby humungous sodas and puts up with her eccentricities; he is constantly showing his need to be artistic with the building of his boats. He is often showing his soft underbelly although it is not his main mode of operation. He is our cross between Hawkeye and Dirty Harry. This is the stereotype of the new masculinity: you can be tough as nails but you must also have a soft and approachable side.
But one model is not adequate for expressions of masculinity. The models are as varied as there are men. So you can imagine how they are taking the #metoo movement. The #metoo movement is now challenging men to change their attitudes around sex and their interactions with women.
So why is it necessary for Trump to claim he would have gone in? Republicans like to claim they are the rugged individuals who are ready to defend the rest of us. They are the last bastion of manliness. And maybe this is why the Republicans think they have the right to tell us or legislate for us if we can have rights as gay individuals, whether we can have access to birth control, whether we can speak Spanish, whether we can smoke weed, whether we can have food stamps and so forth. If you are going to be rushing into buildings to save us, then you think you have some rights in how we live. They do not want to put their lives into play for just anyone or anything.
Listen to the words they use for liberals: nanny state, snowflakes, etc., Yet I have never heard so much whining as I have from the right. The far right might have stood up and yelled ‘You lie!’ during Obama’s State of the Union but ‘our feelings are hurt when you guys did not clap for me’, cries Trump. White Conservative Christians complain they may have to make a cake for a gay couple. Black liberals were beaten up at bus stations, their homes were burned, they were shot, lynched and so on and they did not whine as much as this modern group of conservatives. Talk Radio and the number one news channel Fox complain about how the media discriminates against them. They complain as they all day long ridicule CNN and MSNBC. Someone should tell them they are the media now and have as much if not more control over the message the general public receives than anyone else.
The problem is the white right have become so comfortable in their privilege that they become distressed and uneasy whenever they pay any consequence for their antiquated and bigoted actions and words. They do not know about the rugged cross but want to recline in their easy chairs with the rest of us being their Edith Bunker complimenting them and serving them as they tell us what we are doing wrong. Whining, much as my toddler does, is their new tool to get their way.
So I call bunk on their toughness. The pre-war Southerners thought they would be able to defeat a bunch of mamby-pamby abolitionists from the North. Yet as I remember it Sherman said he would show the south war is hell and they are still wailing today. Now this is coming from a Southerner. I know that the Mafia and NYPD thought the drag queens could not and would not put up much of a fight at the Stonewall Inn. They were surprised at the week of resistance and the fact they received a butt kicking from the drag queens.
But for now we are stuck with Trump-like declarations of manliness. Trump is seventy; by the time he got inside the shooter would be through.
I honestly do not know what I would do but I have faced a high drug dealer with a gun and would not let him enter the building to find the homeless man he was looking for. But unarmed or even armed with a pistol what could I do? If I was lucky and the shooter did not see me and I got a good line of site on him maybe I could shoot him. But if it became an OK Corral scene I would be dead (because of the superiority of the shooter’s gun power) and seriously doubt I would have under those conditions hit him with the one shot I might get off.
So enough with “I have to have my phallic guns or my masculinity will melt away.” Believe me the more I hear you opine about guns the more I realized your manliness is contrived and perhaps lost forever. So buck up guys, the times have changed and you are looking more and more like posers.