A recent Newsweek cover provocatively depicted Barack Obama beneath a glowing rainbow halo and carried the bold headline, "The First Gay President." Days later, The New York Times broke the story of a billionaire-funded smear campaign that labeled the President a "metrosexual black Abe Lincoln."
The incendiary magazine cover and the revelatory Times piece set off a firestorm of commentary and accusations replete with racial overtones and sexual innuendos.
While the sensationalistic Newsweek cover can be brushed aside as an obvious sales gimmick, the metrosexual label applied to Obama (minus the "black Abe Lincoln") not only has merit, it aptly applies to Romney as well. Lost in the political mudslinging and shallow punditry are the deeper psychological aspects of the archetypal metrosexual that fit them both so well. Among these:
- Mr. In Between Neither outwardly effeminate nor aggressively macho, these two contestants in America’s first "Battle of the Metrosexuals" manifest their metrosexuality as straight arrow, sensitive urban guys with a well-developed feminine side.
- Clean-cut, non-threatening, even-tempered, always dressed appropriately for the occasion, these physically fit soft-core jocks are as much at home on the basketball court or in the paddock as they are sipping tea with the ladies. "I like hanging out with women," beamed President Obama, as he ingratiated himself with the flattered ladies of "The View," this past week.
- Neither Man nor Mouse When it comes to business, Metromen can be as hard as nails, but when it comes to the wife and the kids, they’re soft as kittens.
- As Commander in Chief, when it comes to making those tough military decisions about troop surges, drone strikes, and secret missions to take out Public Enemy No. 1, Obama alone calls the shots. But when it comes to social issues, such as gay marriage, not only does he talk it over with his wife, he consults his children.
- Analogously, for Metroman Mitt, on the rough and tumble business battlefield, nothing has ever stood in the way of the corporate vulture (who made his fortune raiding, looting and gutting businesses) in his pursuit of the bottom line. But when out on the campaign trail, he’s just Mr. Mittens, married to the perfect wife and loving father of five perfect boys … all of whom he drags out of their mansions for every possible photo op, to prove what a sensitive and caring family guy he really is.
- Sissy Tough Like the dignified and well-groomed citified metromen they are, whether it’s Obama declaring a war or Romney bravely declaring his willingness to start another, both talk tough, but never get tough … cravenly sending others do their fighting for them.
- Jekyll and Hyde The manicured metrosexual image – one that presents both contestants as all-around family men, the nicest, most trustworthy guys you’d ever want to meet – plays well to a junk food, junk news, junk entertainment-addicted audience.
- But the 2012 "Battle of the Metrosexuals," part sitcom, part reality show, is in fact, an American tragedy. The carefully crafted metrosexual campaign persona is merely a cover for the Jekyll that hides the Hyde … and part of the tragedy is that nobody seems to notice … or cares to notice.
June 7, 2012
Copyright © 2012 Gerald CelenteGerald Celente is founder and director of The Trends Research Institute, author of Trends 2000 and Trend Tracking (Warner Books), and publisher of The Trends Journal. He has been forecasting trends since 1980, and recently called “The Collapse of ’09.”