We are a nation on downers, with a president on uppers and a secretary of state that is, as the kids would say, tripping.
Secretary of State and 56-year-old adult man Mike Pompeo threw a full-fledged tantrum Friday when NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly dared ask him tough questions about his role in the Ukraine scandal that led to President Trump’s impeachment. Pompeo was emotionally reactive throughout the interview, and afterward, according to Kelly, the secretary of state led her into another room, where he screamed and swore at her for several minutes, demanded she point out where Ukraine is on an unmarked map (she did) and then threatened that people would “find out about this.” Even the most sycophantic Trumpian bootlicker would have a hard time defending this behavior, and yet, the reaction from other reporters who have interacted with Pompeo was: Yes, this all tracks for a very powerful Republican man. This is how he acts.
In conservative circles, there’s a consensus lamentation about the death of the “American man.” In their imaginations, men in America used to be like John Wayne characters: tall, stoic cowboy-providers who kept a stiff upper lip as they fended off the emotional chaos of women and flamboyant, gun-twirling bad guys. Real men never cry. Real men don’t lose their shit and scream at people.