Wow. The times, they are a-changin’:
Now, by this point, some of you have undoubtedly condemned my pro-male crying views as nothing more than a thinly-veiled defense of my secret hero Barack Obama. Nope! I am an on-the-record defender of John Boehner’s crying too. Boehner, the former speaker of the House, brought male crying into the national spotlight, after all. He cried when Pope Francis addressed a joint session of Congress last year. He cried in 2011 when he became speaker. He cried in front of Arnold Palmer. This is a man who knows crying. (And, yes, Politico has a photo gallery entitled “15 Times John Boehner Cried.”
On a slightly more serious note, only the most cynical among us can truly believe that Obama or Boehner — or other lachrymose male pols (or people) — are crying on demand. And, the idea that crying makes you “wimpy” or “soft” feels like a belief from a bygone era. I want politicians who care enough about issues and people to be brought to tears every once in a while. Speaking to a room of people who have lost loved ones to gun violence is an emotional moment — no matter how you feel about the broader issue of guns. Ditto bringing the head of your faith to Congress, the fulfillment of a lifetime goal.
Being moved to tears is a good thing — for people and for politicians, who, it’s important to remember, are people too, at least most of the time. We could use a little more emotion and feeling in politics after all.
We’d actually prefer a little more competence, but maybe that’s just us.
They love it. But if they want to sell the rest of us on it, they’re gonna have to make a much stronger case than Cillizza.