I know that there are plenty of people in America who feel so inferior and resentful that the only way they know to relate to others is in idiotic displays of machismo, but I kind of thought that people who wanted to be respected would avoid that. Not Jesse Kelly, who's running for a House seat in Arizona:
He's a hit with the local deather/birther/tea-bagger crowd (scroll down to the comments). No surprise: no way America is going to be emasculated by so-called sovereign nations that ignore our commands or fancy-pants universal health care on Jesse's watch.
Here's another web ad for Jesse Kelly:
It couldn't be a normal-sized gun, could it? It had to be the biggest one out there.
I've posted quite a few times here at TBP about politics and performances of masculinity. Usually, the right accuses Democratic men of being pansies. For example, there was Bill Clinton because of Hillary's unfeminine desire to have a career and a voice, John Edwards with his expensive haircuts that even his critics were getting, and Barack Obama, documented at the link.
Then, the right makes the connection between liberal/leftist policy and femininity, by discussing "the Nanny State" and mocking the fact that the left is concerned with dainty things like social welfare programs and regulating food and water so it doesn't kill you.
Last, they chest-pound to show a difference between them and the left, and people who already have issues with their own masculinity (like those who believe in certain lost Causes...) are magically attracted to them. I, like you, have a penis, the rightwing politician says. Don't you want someone with a penis to be in charge? Having a penis makes someone more capable of protecting you from the bogeymen out there. Why would you vote for someone who either doesn't have a penis or doesn't use it correctly? You'd probably die if they were put in charge, since only Daddy, not Mommy, can protect you.
No one should be surprised with all the death panel rhetoric from these past few weeks; conservatives were already convinced, on a visceral level, that Democrats having power means they die. All the had to fill in was the storyline.
This isn't the only country where people feel this way, not by a long shot. But it's gotten to a point of sickness, and I don't think we'll ever really get over it. It makes certain policies that could improve people's lives all that much harder, but that's the entire point of a cultural sickness - it makes us work against our own best interests.
So it's no surprise Jesse Kelly is making a name for himself with death panel idiocy. His the next wave of ads should have him posing in front a hummer talking about how carbon emission standards are so gay, because the only thing more awesome than a big gun is a big car.