So long, Bruce. Cue Caitlyn Jenner.
AP covered this yesterday, and we fall, generally, into the same category. I’m of the mindset that Caitlyn’s choice was a personal decision – a struggle and a conversation that a family had to deal with, just like the millions of other issues families face every day. No harm, no foul.
What’s remarkable to me is not that the ultra-masculine Bruce Jenner has become quite the stunning Vanity Fair cover model, but that she had to live so long in the dark. It was refreshing to see the way in which she was overwhelmingly welcomed into this world – with support, plenty of love and a borderline humorless joke by comparatively less-famous House Democrat.
— Steve Cohen (@RepCohen) June 1, 2015
While I truly believe this story didn’t originate for political purposes, there are plenty of valuable lessons to be gained. Lesson number one being that conservatives are all shapes and sizes, and the movement is changing (for the better) whether or not the party keeps pace – or even realizes it, for that matter.
Second, a narrative of empowerment is, in fact, more appealing to the masses than that of victimhood.
Despite faux outrage from “supporters” on the left who said Bruce’s former life was a tragedy due to superficial and intolerant societal suppression, Bruce never played the victim. Caitlyn’s appearance was the culmination of a life-long sense of dedication to family, loyalty, victory and pride – core tenets of a conservative spirit.
During his interview with Diane Sawyer, then-Bruce revealed that he made a choice to try and hide his true feelings in order to protect his family and loved ones. He joked that God gave him this particular challenge, just like He gives everyone his or her own set of obstacles:
“God’s looking down, making little Bruce … he says ‘Okay, what are gonna do with this one. Make him a smart kid, very determined … and then when he’s just finishing he says, ‘Let’s wait a second.’
“God looks down and chuckles a little bit and says, ‘Hey, let’s give him the soul of a female.’ ”
Empowerment through adversity proved a winning ticket here; and while I can’t pretend to understand what she went through, I do believe God gives you only what you can handle. That common ground, to me – and probably many other conservatives – is more important than the clothes (or lack thereof) someone has on their back.
With the momentum from this announcement and affiliation, Catilyn inadvertently gave the Republican Party something it desperately needs more of – “street cred,” simply put, an understanding sense of humanity.
If the party overall was to warm up to these “differences” and use them as a broader tool to crush problems (not people) that really matter – like insurmountable national and student debt, ever-increasing national security threats and domestic encroachments on Constitutional liberties – Democrats would stand no chance.
So, I say, live your fabulous life, Caitlyn Jenner, and let your conservative flag fly. What you stand for and what you believe in depend on it.
Who knows? With a twitter world record like that, she’s already got what it takes to be the next U.S. President.
Update: Fixed “tenets.”