Are Guys like Mitt and David too Polite?
So, I woke up this cold but tranquil Sunday morning to gaze at that lovely photo of David (see above, and thanks, Crabpot, for pointing me to it!). Only to later have that tranquility disrupted when I turned on my TV to see a beaming Newt Gingrich (ick!). Turns out he won the South Carolina primary, and he won it big (40% – Whaaat?!).
Now, I try to stay away from politics much of the time (not always of course), and I’m not Republican so have no interest in these primaries other than to see who Obama will go up against, and of all the other candidates, I really thought Mitt Romney was the most viable of the others (at least the least of the other evils).
So, what happened?! How did that … that (Ugh! Can’t even say his name again!) win out in the end? I can’t believe folks took that “temper tantrum” that was thrown at the debate as anything serious! An attack against the “media”? Oh puh-lease! Wasn’t this the same culprit who led an entire media and political assault on President Clinton back in 1998 when his affair with Monica Lewinsky was discovered? An affair that happened while said culprit was engaged in his own affair? Who, not longer after that media circus, stepped down from Speaker of the House and left Congress altogether?
What short memories people have! How, pray tell, did he soar back in the limelight? I thought we had all (rightly) left him behind months ago.
That’s what I was thinking in my political naivete. Until it dawned on me that there must be something else going on.
On the one hand, I don’t think Romney’s struggling is completely divorced from the anti-Mormonism of many conservatives, but I also wonder if he, like David, suffer from embracing a certain kind of masculinity that doesn’t resonate with mainstream American ideals of masculinity.
In many ways, I’ve noticed that someone like Mitt Romney shares a similar trait with David Archuleta besides their faith: they both project a very low-keyed, even-tempered, very polite version of masculinity. In short, they both come from that old school of “gentlemen.” And gentlemen seem not to be a gold standard anymore.
I mean, seriously, who in their right minds picked NG over MR? I feel just like those tween girls who had that famous meltdown when David didn’t win American Idol. Remember that You Tube video that went viral? And remember that girl who was outraged that “America” voted for the “other” David “who didn’t even shave”?
Well, that’s how I feel! I can’t help it! It’s like: “OMG, that candidate doesn’t even watch his weight! OMG, that candidate walked out on not one but two wives while they were diagnosed with diseases! OMG, he’s a bully and a jerk!”
And, yet, somehow, these bullies and these jerks are able to pull ahead when the other guy is being “polite.”
I will admit, however, that I doubt NG will prevail, and Florida’s a different state compared to South Carolina, and I have no doubt MR has funds to match NG when it comes to the limitless spending now at their disposal with all these attack ads.
Where I get queasy is when voters put away all common sense and vote for undesirable candidates because their roguish, boorish, and bullying behavior gets interpreted as “brave” and “courageous,” while they mistakenly view the more softspoken and polite gentlemen as “weak.”
Isn’t that how David eventually lost in the end when he was on Idol?
I know many progressives who are praying and hoping that NG takes the nomination because they think this will ensure Obama’s reelection. I am not so sure. Imagine that bully going up against another even-tempered polite guy like Obama (Ugh!). What an ugly campaign season that would be! My spirit couldn’t take it!
I will continue to hope that the rest of the country doesn’t think like South Carolinians (sorry in advance to South Carolinians as I say this, although I did read somewhere that 80% of eligible voters didn’t even bother to show up at the polls – which is equally devastating because, just look at the results of such non-actions!)
Sigh. Anyway, back to my gazing at David (no wonder he’s looking so happy to be out of the country!)