It’s just so very strange to even bring masculinity — much less “toughness” — into the political debates over Trump. After all, we’re mainly talking about people writing competing think-pieces or confronting each other on television. There’s no battlefield or boxing ring anywhere in sight. In fact, to the extent virtues like courage and perseverance come into play at all, I’d argue that it takes a degree of moral courage to say what you believe regardless of the tribal consequences. It takes a bit of political bravery to refuse to conform to the economic, cultural, and social pressures imposed by your political peer group.
Yes, some Never Trumpers are polite, mannerly folks. George Will is a gentleman’s gentleman. But there is steel in his political spine. And I completely, utterly reject the notion that dedication to good manners is in any way incompatible with masculinity. In fact, I think manners are imperative to true manliness. As a son of the South, that’s something I’ve been taught from day one.