george mcgovern was a bomber pilot in ww2
yet came across as a pansy, getting smeared br richard nixon in the 1972 elections.
he still says that he ran a good campaign, because he won the democratic nomination in a field of tough candidates.
but his insights were and are valid, that war is hell and we ought never to get into it unless it is in our national interests, another way of saying that the immorality of war needs eminent justification; the use of common folk to kill and die in battles is done more easily by those whio have never tasted war.
but his election failed because of his perceived humaneness; tricky dick won the day with his "peace with honor" and McGovern went down to a glorious history of commentator.
we do not need a repeat. these are desperate times, the marketing of a strongman image is essential, sadly, and i think that some of these folk know it. that's not to say that a perceived nice guy couldn't win, but who needs to say it? we already know it. a nice guy cannot beat the incumbent; it is incumbent to defeat the incumbent; so the rise of the tough guys is inevitable. like it or not.
and the tough guys' marketing is just that. a reminder about what happens when nice guy democrats get trounced by the patriotic fervor of mainstream white america.
the poetics will follow, not lead, in this scenario.