Click smaller images tp enlarge them/
By chance one of the first articles I read this morning had nothing to do with politics but for me it segued into the second one I read and led me to write this blog. The first article was in The Washington Post (subscription)
... and of course most of the Trump photoshopped digital trading cards depicting him as some musclebound superhero.
Such nonsense also lays the groundwork for other fascist arguments about who does and doesn't count because of their bodies. Women, ethnic minorities, LGBTQ people, and disabled people are often targeted with stereotypes of bodily degeneracy, as a pretext for stripping them of basic human rights. There's a reason that Trump and his acolytes like to portray immigrants as diseased or drugged-out, implicitly comparing them to supposedly pure-and-strong white Americans. Dehumanizing people as weak or sickly is a first step towards arguing they must be culled or controlled. There's a reason that the discredited theory of eugenics laid the foundation for the Holocaust.
Toxic masculinity and fitness fetishization also do lesser but real harm to the authoritarian personalities that get caught up in it. Right-wing websites and influencers like Alex Jones and Joe Rogan are always grifting their audiences by pitching useless supplements with false hopes of physical perfectability. People who believe Kennedy's silly claim about 35-minute workouts might get frustrated when it doesn't work out for them and develop eating disorders or other bad health habits response. And, of course, there's all the people who believed that only "weak" people need vaccines, and ended up either very sick or dying from COVID-19.
Working out is a good thing to do and being fit is a fine goal to have. It just turns to poison in the hands of fascists, who conflate fitness with moral superiority. Your push-up count says nothing about your character or fitness to lead. But your choice to post cringey workout videos as campaign proves that you're bankrupt in both departments.