Lucas Kunce, a Democrat seeking the Senate, is not challenging Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.). Nevertheless, I was interested to know if he had heard of Hawley’s recently announced upcoming book, Manhood: The Masculine Virtues America Needs.
Kunce snickers heartily. He explains that this is what they are up against. The biggest fakers the world has ever seen are who we are up against.
The book makes a strong appeal to American men to take responsibility for their roles as husbands, fathers, and citizens, which they have been given by God. Hell use Theodore Roosevelt as his political hero, Jesus, and Greek philosophers to define manly qualities like accountability, bravery, loyalty, and leadership. It’s an expansion of a speech speech Hawley made earlier this year at a conservative conference, in which he outlined how society has come to hate manliness, which is to blame for, among other vices, the rise in men’s use of video games and pornography.
The fist pump Hawley gave rebels outside the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021 perfectly defined his unique blend of white supremacy-infused machismo (and later undermined by a video the January 6th committee showed of him running from said insurrections with all the composure of a gangly teenager). Anyone who finds this brand of American machismo appealing will be able to get their hands on Hawleys Manhood for just $29.99 starting in May 2023.
Kunce, an Iraq and Afghanistan veteran, replies in a folksy tone, “I tell you what.” You wouldn’t have seen any of the Marines I served with in Iraq and Afghanistan who played video games skittering out of the Capitol as he did from the mob he incited. That person is just an outright fake, from top to bottom.
Trump’s own infatuation with a certain archaic masculinity stereotype has inspired a vast number of aspirants who are striving to match it in order to advance their political careers. The chauvinistic results have shown up in Republican races across the nation, but particularly in the contest for the U.S. Senate in Missouri, where candidates reflect his impulses through swagger or scandal. On the Democratic side, where macho guys like Kunce or Pennsylvania’s John Fetterman generate interest, the trend has had the opposite impact.
Although Hawley is not on the ballot, his influence continues to hang over the contest to succeed Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.). In an advertisement, the former Republican governor Eric Greitens, who resigned after being charged with sexual assault and campaign finance violations, may be seen firing shots from a semi-automatic gun while saying, “Liberals, beware!” Another GOP front-runner and attorney general from Missouri, Eric Schmitt, promised to oppose Biden’s socialist plan with a real blowtorch, a promise that earned admiration from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and his own ambiguous brand of machismo. On Monday night, Trump rewarded both candidates’ efforts to present themselves in his by endorsing ERIC. Both did not let the ambiguity prevent them from asserting that the other was the realEric.)
In his own primary contest, Kunce has offered a macho response guided by Democrats and called out his GOP opponents’ false manhood. He says that these men are constantly racing about with firearms, blowing up the most recent trend, pulling out flame throwers, and doing other things. That is definitely not what I would call masculinity. It’s this absurd performative behavior. He has a gun-toting commercial in which a 6-foot-2 veteran in good shape loads an AR-15 but won’t shoot. He states in the advertisement that stunts like that are for clowns on the opposite side.
He nonetheless insists that his run is not about putting a stop to Trump-inspired bravado. His special remedy is liberal populism, which directs wrath against business oligopolies and Big Tech, which he accuses of destroying the middle class. Silicon Valley has angered Hawley as well, but from the perspective of spreading false information about their superficial liberal principles and immigrant workforces. Some individuals respond to my portrayal of myself as a populist by saying, “Oh, populism, I don’t know about that.” Josh Hawley, Donald Trump, and Eric Greitens are they not? He clarifies. No!
When confronted with the fact that Missouri is turning more and more red, and that 2022 is expected to be a particularly red year, he cites another veteran-turned-Democratic-candidate as someone who gives him hope: Jason Kander, who lost his race for the U.S. Senate by less than 3% of the vote in the election where Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by 16%. When Kander, an Afghan War veteran, constructed an assault rifle in an early advertising, the Democratic Beltway class found it difficult to suppress its joy. But as Kunce points out, that was a nationwide fundraising pitch. He claims that Roy Blunt’s wife worked as a business lobbyist in Missouri, which is what he ran. Only by doing that can this be won.
Greitens emulates the scandals and ability to outrun them of the former president, much as Kunce does with Trump’s fake populism. In fact, Greitens maintained a lead for the most of the contest despite his ex-accusations wife’s that he had hit both her and their young boy in a sworn affidavit. (He maintains partial custody of his two children and rejects this, calling it a RINO assault in an video.) He intensified his politicking with violence by running an advertisement showing him leading an armed raid to look for RINOs. But the nasty mailers and advertising against Greitens swiftly followed the ad, coinciding with the former governor’s decline in the polls.
Schmitt, on the other hand, has spoken about being a disruptor with all the confidence of the former president as he continually sues the federal government to prevent the state’s adoption of Biden administration recommendations. His prior state Senate self, who received high accolades for working with Democrats to the point that he received support from labor groups, was rebranded to become ample distance.
However, female candidates have the potential to undermine their objectives in both parties. Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo. ), who distributed an speech0 showing her pointing a rifle at a torso-shaped target days after the elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, was chosen by Hawley above the races of masculine men. (Greitens, Hartzler, and Schmitt were all thought to be front-runners before Trump’s endorsement.)
Trudy Busch Valentine, a certified nurse and the heir to the Anheuser Busch dynasty, is Kunces greatest opponent in the Democratic primary. Valentine has invested $3 million of her own money in the race and has recently edged out Kunce in certain polls. Last week, speech1 pretended ignorance of Citizens United, the Supreme Court decision that allowed for limitless funding to be spent in federal elections, in order to express opposition to critical racial theory, the abbreviation for diversity and inclusion instruction.
Mark McCloskey, the St. Louis attorney who personified resentful whiteness when he pointed an assault gun at Black Lives Matter demonstrators from his front yard in August 2020, is one famous example of manliness that Missouri voters have not accepted. According to polls, McCloskey, who was speech2 proud of his behavior during the 2020 Republican National Convention, only has a few percent of the vote.
Republicans in Missouri appear to prefer politicians who use weapons in television advertising rather than in actual combat. at least for now.