The Manly Thing Trump Does That Drives the Media Crazy

(Reuters photo: Carlo Allegri)
They want weakness; he won’t oblige.

The media is having a red-faced meltdown. No matter how hard they try, President-elect Donald Trump just won’t apologize early often enough. 

They say he is supposed to apologize for any and every fringe nutcase who might support him — really, so often that everything he says would sound like addenda to the apologies. 

I could say Trump is channeling a line from one of our most enduring manly icons, John Wayne, in the 1949 classic Western She Wore a Yellow Ribbon: “Never apologize. It’s a sign of weakness.”

But a man should apologize for a real mistake he makes and Trump has apologized — just not as vociferously as some would like. 

What the mainstream media don’t get is that a man (and by “man” I mean a mature person) should apologize once.

The apology should be sincere. If it’s not sincere, then shame on the apology maker, as he is a liar. But once the apology is given, it’s done. The apologizer should have learned from it and risen beyond the mistake.

A person should not live every day of the rest of his life playing the guilty part for past digressions. We are all fallible human beings, and we cannot live life weighed down by the very mistakes that taught us to be who we are.

Trump seems to understand this, but the media don’t like forgiveness. It has that icky association with traditional morality, and it leaves the dirt, the most sensational parts of the story, in the past.

It brings to mind a quote from Mahatma Ghandi: “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” 

The mainstream media are very weak; Donald Trump is not.

The mainstream media are very weak; Donald Trump is not.

A mature person, a manly person, knows that, as Alexander Pope put it, “To err is human; to forgive, divine.” The American people have a generous propensity for forgiveness. (As, apparently, does Trump — witness his appointment of adamant past opponents to his administration.) 

The mainstream media do overlook character faults with those they favor politically — Al Sharpton (just Google “Tawana Brawley”), Hillary Clinton (ah, the deleted e-mails)  — but they childishly refuse to accept an apology from someone on the other side.

Trump isn’t apologizing for winning, for being a success. He isn’t apologizing for being a successful man in an age when even the word “manly” is, according to the Left, pretty close to being a synonym for “sexist.” 

#related#A gentleman behaves as Vice President–elect Mike Pence did when confronted by the cast from Hamilton. Pence didn’t lower himself by arguing the point in that forum or even when given the opportunity later. Having, as Hemingway put it, “grace under pressure” is integral to being manly.

Trump could certainly do more to display that quality, but the mainstream media aren’t interested in pointing that out, as doing so would imply that manly qualities are in fact noble.

Our new president has shown us many faults, but refusing to grovel and play the part of the guilty conservative male has not been one of them. In fact, it is a lesson for all of us in the apology-infested modern world.

— Frank Miniter is the author of This Will Make a Man of You — One Man’s Search for Hemingway and Manhood in a Changing World.

Frank Miniter — Mr. Miniter’s next book, out in October, is Spies in Congress—Inside the Democrats’ Covered-Up Cyber Scandal.

Most Popular


White Cats and Black Swans

Making a film of Cats is a bold endeavor — it is a musical with no real plot, based on T. S. Eliot’s idea of child-appropriate poems, and old Tom was a strange cat indeed. Casting Idris Elba as the criminal cat Macavity seems almost inevitable — he has always made a great gangster — but I think there was ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The White Ghetto

Editor's Note: In celebration of Kevin D. Williamson’s newest book, The Smallest Minority: Independent Thinking in the Age of Mob Politics, National Review is republishing some of our favorites of his from the past ten years. This article originally appeared in the December 16, 2013, issue of National ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Other Case against Reparations

Reparations are an ethical disaster. Proceeding from a doctrine of collective guilt, they are the penalty for slavery and Jim Crow, sins of which few living Americans stand accused. An offense against common sense as well as morality, reparations would take from Bubba and give to Barack, never mind if the former ... Read More
Politics & Policy

May I See Your ID?

Identity is big these days, and probably all days: racial identity, ethnic identity, political identity, etc. Tribalism. It seems to be baked into the human cake. Only the consciously, persistently religious, or spiritual, transcend it, I suppose. (“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor ... Read More
Health Care

The Puzzling Problem of Vaping

San Francisco -- A 29-story office building at 123 Mission Street illustrates the policy puzzles that fester because of these facts: For centuries, tobacco has been a widely used, legal consumer good that does serious and often lethal harm when used as it is intended to be used. And its harmfulness has been a ... Read More