In 1987, Newsweek ran a cover story by Evan Thomas against George H. W. Bush called “Fighting the ‘Wimp Factor.’” Thomas essentially declared that this World War II fighter pilot was a weakling. (Like ol’ Daddy Bush or not, the man was jumping out of airplanes with a parachute just a couple of years before his death at 92!). Newsweek claimed Bush “lacked the inner fortitude to lead the free world.” Of course, Thomas would praise Bush’s “courage” in reneging on his “Read My Lips—No New Taxes” pledge, but that’s how Washington elites define courage...the willingness to abandon your principles to vote with Democrats.
Fast forward to 2020: Is Joe Biden facing the Wimp Factor? Here is a man who is not seen in public without a China Virus mask, even when there’s no one within yards of him. Known child offenders are closer to schools than ordinary voters can get to Biden. He looks frail, unsteady, and, of course, sounds far worse with his rambling, incoherent gibberish that passes for answers to pre-canned questions from pre-selected reporters, all assisted by note cards, teleprompters, and earpieces.
There is no question Trump wins this largely unmeasurable competition hands down, even if you want to claim that the President has small hands! Comparisons of the vibrant Trump with endless energy moving from one public event to another as opposed to the feeble Biden with his social-distanced events of six people—five of whom are press or staffers—is shocking. Trump can do an hour speech without notes on a moment’s notice in an airplane hangar while Biden now on two consecutive occasions has been late by over an hour. One can speculate that he needed his pharmaceuticals to kick in, or that he was sun-downing and not mentally capable of going out, but even to his staunchest supporters, this should be a concern. Trump looks 60, Biden, 90. At this rate, Ruth Buzzi Ginsberg would beat Biden in a 100-yard walk.
This Wimp Factor vs. the MAN Factor is obviously working to Trump’s advantage with both black and Hispanic males. It is a significant enough threat that the Daily Caller featured a column by Alex Perez where he discussed “rudimentary political conversations between young men of color.” These discussions, he reasoned, were behind the support and rising approval of Trump by both blacks and Hispanics. Perez found that New York Times columnist Charles Blow was finding the same thing: “Today my friends in Atlanta (black) saw a Facebook message from their old barber (black) imploring them all to vote for [President Donald] Trump. Don’t think that Trump’s message doesn’t resonate with a certain sector of black men. Also, barbers have a lot of sway in the black community.” (I would post the link here, but Mr. Blow has found me sufficiently threatening enough to block.)
Writers such as Perez and Blow try to downplay and minimize the scope of this concern over an increasingly feminized world (women now are a majority on almost all college campuses, and a quick peek at any television ad shows virtually no men, and absolutely no white men unless they are utter dorks or creeps). In fact, it is big and growing, and possibly very large and is being mostly ignored by pollsters and Hoax News. Perez warned this group might be “large enough to play a significant role in the election.” Actually, it’s more important than that, considering that the Trump approval increase among blacks is almost entirely among black men and a small portion of black women, because the vast majority of single black women are still the Democrat Party’s most loyal fan base.
This assault on masculinity—and the Trumpian response—is also seen in the return of Big Ten football, which as Rush Limbaugh noted, is “an ingredient in this story.” The Big Ten, in lock-down because of fear-pandering blue state governors from Illinois and Michigan, with the help of RINOs such as Mike DeWine in Ohio, has been an ongoing problem for the Big Ten universities. Players have already withdrawn to head for the greener pastures of the SEC schools that are opening. With the Big Ten returning to football, Jason King at “Outkick” laments “Like it or Nor, Return of Big Ten Football a Win for Trump and Masculinity.” Darn tootin’. To quote King, Trump knows “as long as he looks masculine—and not weak—he wins.” Or, put another way, as long as Trump looks like a man, and not a wimp, he easily defeats Sleepy Joe.
Then there is this interesting poll—and I don’t do polls—from PollSmart MR, which I only mention because of this remarkable finding: “We found a substantial block of older, white, male voters without a college degree who plan to vote for Trump in 2020.”
Typically, this outfit found that females turned out at a higher rate than men, but “this year it looks like a 50%/50% split.” Moreover, this polling group said “many public polls are too narrowly defining who will be voting this year” and that tight or narrow “voter screens . . . could be missing a block of older male voters who do not always show up on election day, but plan to this year.” (A friend sent me this poll link.)
In short, the Wimp Factor is deeply attached to Biden, while Donald Trump owns the Man Factor. As more blacks, Hispanics, and older previously non-voting white men show up on election day, don’t be shocked at Trump’s margins.
Larry Schweikart is the co-author with Michael Allen of the New York Times #1 bestseller, A Patriot’s History of the United States, author of Reagan: the American President, and founder of the Wild World of History curriculum website that features a full US and World History curriculum for grades 9-12 that includes teacher’s guide, student workbooks, tests, maps/graphs, and video lectures to accompany every unit (www.wildworldofhistory.com).