As the Trump campaign begins to implode, I want to call your attention to my colleague Jim LaGrand‘s March 2016 piece at The Federalist: “1963’s Hud Shows Why Donald Trump Isn’t a Real Man.”
…This brings us back to Trump. As journalists and columnists have tried to make sense of his recent rise, they’ve offered many historical comparisons and parallels. No two people are exactly the same, but to a striking degree, Donald Trump is the anti-hero Hud Bannon.
On the stump, Trump brazenly flouts any commitment to the rule of law, to truth-telling, and to general decency.
I’ll stay away from discussing physical similarities to Newman, although I suspect that Trump himself might try to go there. It’s what’s inside each man that’s more important. Both carry themselves as largely amoral winners. They’re cynical, thinking that holding to principles and following the rules is only for losers.
Indeed, cynicism has become essential for Trump’s campaign. Despite his grand call to make America great again, Trump feeds on the growing cynicism of many Americans right now about the economy, the Republican party, the political system, even the law itself. On the stump, he brazenly flouts any commitment to the rule of law, to truth-telling, and to general decency.
This shtick has served Trump well in the entertainment-politics hybrid he’s invented, and it’s not based on nothing. There is some reason to be cynical about economics and politics right now. But ultimately, Hud-style or Trump-style cynicism is not good for you or me or our country.
We know both from reading and just from paying attention that today’s boys and young men in particular need guidance and instruction. Those with little economic, educational, and cultural capital often face a daunting, unfriendly world. Even more than past generations, they need examples of good, moral, grounded, responsible, successful men. Especially now, they don’t need a principle-less man as president.
Are your best hopes for American children exemplified in men who resemble Hud Bannon?
Think of the members of the next generation that you know, the equivalent of young impressionable Lons. They might be your children or grandchildren, your nieces or nephews, the kids in your neighborhood or at your church. What kind of America do you want them to inherit? Are your best hopes for them exemplified in men who resemble Homer Bannon or Hud Bannon?
I hope you watch “Hud” sometime during this political season. If you respond to it as I do, you’ll want to try to vote for Homer Bannon for president, realizing that his old-style quietly strong and responsible masculinity still has something to tell us and to teach us in this political season. But even with a coordinated write-in campaign, I doubt Homer has a chance. At the very least, though, please don’t vote for the candidate who reminds you of Hud.
Read the entire piece here.