If you actually knew him as a businessman, you never would have voted for him.
You knew the character he played on a reality show there on the teevee and you voted for the character — like a five-year-old voting for Ronald McDonald. https://t.co/LUaBieuuuc pic.twitter.com/9oA2z9h5gw
— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) April 12, 2022
When the NYTimes does the nutpicking for you…
… There was no talk of a stolen election, no conspiracy theories about voter fraud or rants about President Biden’s legitimacy. Yet listening to our 90-minute focus group with eight conservative men, you couldn’t help but worry for our democracy a bit.
The men didn’t see themselves fitting into American society today. They didn’t feel free to be themselves in the culture. Seven of them said they felt like a stranger in their own country. At a time when democratic institutions are under pressure — and even under attack — and the United States feels so ununited, what causes these Americans to feel so alienated from America?
After recent focus groups with Democratic-leaning voters on the economy; younger women on work, relationships and gender roles; and teenagers on school and their futures, we decided to talk to conservative men about how they see themselves and what they value. Most said they believed society is headed toward increased rule breaking and a “me, me, me” culture. Crime and a sense of lawlessness came up a lot; our focus group leader, Kristen Soltis Anderson, was surprised by how much they used examples of poor road etiquette as emblematic of broader societal decay…
Kristen Soltis Anderson: Do you have a particular concern for your own community? Robert, tell me about that.
Robert (Black, 50, infrastructure analyst, Texas): Crime…
Joe: I grew up with Giuliani. I’m born and raised in New York. I see stuff every day. I take the subways to work, and it’s not what it used to be. It’s a problem.
Danny: Nobody follows rules or laws. Stop signs are voluntary. Red lights are voluntary. Nobody gets punished for doing the wrong thing anymore. We reward mediocrity…
Michael: I live in Orlando, and when we moved here, it was a beautiful place. Now, right down the street, people are stealing stuff, breaking into cars. And it’s difficult to engage, because you’re afraid that no matter what you say, somebody’s going to take offense to it, even though you may just be wanting to ask a valid question and understand something… It’s almost anything. You can’t mention Trump. You can’t mention Biden.
Joe: I feel that social media destroyed a lot of the culture that we had. Things used to be private, or people just said things, and then they regret it after…
Michael: One of the things that I’m sensitive to is diversity. Diversity is when you have people that truly have different ways of thinking. And that’s how you solve problems. But you can’t talk about it, because people don’t see it that way. It’s all about skin colors, all about sexual orientations, all about these things that the media constantly talks about. It’s not about the things that really give us value as individuals.
Joe: There’s a lot of things you really can’t talk about. I was mentioning to someone in my office about the president appointing a Supreme Court nominee. It was an African American woman. And I was saying, “That’s the most racist thing you could do. What if somebody else was good? What if they were Asian? What if they were anything?” And then when you speak to somebody about it, well, what are you? Racist? No, I’m not racist…
Kristen Soltis Anderson: Who would you all think of as good examples of masculinity or manliness these days? Who’s a good example?
Danny: Jason Statham.
Christopher: Denzel Washington.
Robert: Yeah, Denzel Washington. Yeah.
Tony: Tom Brady…
Two professional actors and a (notoriously coddled) professional football player. MANLINESS!
I love the guy who thinks people don't follow traffic signals anymore
— New York Times Pitchbot (@DougJBalloon) April 12, 2022
Or 1970, which many people tend to use as a magical year because one worker could support a family of four. But the debate goes on without any understanding of what quality of life was like in 1970. I always ask kids if they know what an oxygen tent is. :)
— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) April 12, 2022