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weight room politics

President Calvin Coolidge working out on the right. Image via

Who does the lifting in weight room politics? And where?

Next time you’re in the gym take a good look around, I mean a really good look, and you’ll see something different.

Without asking, BoomerPdx discovered the lifting habits of Democrats and Republicans.

Using skills of pure observation, the old muckraker makes the call.

And it wasn’t that hard.

Republicans, the conservative wing of the two major parties, stand for tradition and custom. They are the old school when you hear the words ‘old school.’

These good old boys and gals just want things to work they way they used to work, whether they worked or not.

In the weight room this means free weights and bars, not that they expect anything free, because they don’t.

Free weights mean the metal plates you fit onto bars, see. It’s not some gerrymandering giveaway to slackers who refuse to pull their own, well, weight. No sirree.

Republicans in weight room politics.

Lifters from the right stick with barbells, the long steel poles used to bench press and squat, which are the two main exercises they focus on.

Ignore the bench and squat rack and say hello to ‘moobs’ and a soggy bottom for the men. It’s worse for the women when their droopy men judge them.

And they judge hard. If you don’t look like a cocktail waitress, or Fox News anchor woman, you’ve got problems.

They don’t use dumbbells, or do dumbbell workouts. They want no association with dumbbells. It gives the other side an easy opening.

Democrats in weight room politics.

These people aren’t afraid of dumbbells, or dumbbell workouts, even if republicans don’t see using a dumbbell as a real lift.

You can’t make America Strong Again using a dumbbell. Hillary Clinton probably carries those nice colored hand weights in her luggage in case she needs a quick pump before taking the stump.

Democrats stay on the weight machine side of the gym, sitting down on a padded seat after making adjustments on the weight stack, the angle of the lift, and their profile in the mirror.

Where republicans will load up a bar and crank a lift, democrats fuss around with the details before the strain.

One train of thought goes like this: if you need a machine to lift, you’re not a lifter. If you sit down to exercise, you’re not really exercising.

If a republican didn’t have free weights, they’d drive to the American countryside until they found a farmer baling hay and jump out in their gym clothes and help.

If a democrat didn’t have weight machines, they’d take a chance with the dumbbells.

Where both parties meet in weight room politics are cable machines. These are sitting, or standing, stations with a hand grip attached to cable attached to a weight stack.

They resemble free weights for the mobility machines don’t give, which means you can still wreck your shoulder with too much flexibility.

Cables give republicans the chance of getting a dumbbell workout without the dumbbell stigma, and give democrats a chance to show they won’t choke themselves when given too much cable.

Bi-partisan weight room politics.

Just like the old saying about no atheists in a foxhole, there’s no aisle to cross in a gym emergency.

Right or left, conservative or liberal, and yes, republican or democrat, none of it matters when someone gets stuck under the bar.

How they get out is key.

Picture Donald Trump on the bench. He’s about to do a personal record, a PR, the biggest lift of his lifetime, and he’s lifted a ton already. More like two tons.

Without a spotter, because face it, who really needs a spotter when you know yourself well enough, he gets the lift off, then the drop, then, then, then…then he gets stuck under the bar.

Like the USC football player who dropped a barbell on his neck, Mr. Trump is in big trouble.

Everyone knows he’s in big trouble, but no one moves because he forbids help. Doesn’t need it. Instead, he arches the bar with bad form to the bottom hooks, the bail out when a lift goes wrong.

The effort he expends tears his rotator cuff, pops a disc in his back, and leaves nerve damage in his neck. Other than that, he’s fine and rolls off the bench, hobbles to his car, and gets driven to the nearest emergency room for treatment all on the hush-hush.

A few weeks later when he can raise his hands, he declares it the greatest lift in human history. Calls himself Atlas.

Now picture Hillary Clinton on the same bench. She wipes everything down, then lays back on a clean towel.

She has a spotter on each end of the bar, and one near her head for the lift off.

Her form is perfect, her hair is perfect, and the pant suit that passes as gym apparel is perfect.

She’s warmed up and ready, and instead of lifting the heaviest first, she climbs the ladder, passing the Trump max weight with ease.

Then she works her way down the weight scale, whipping a handkerchief out of sleeve after her last rep to pat her brow.

She straddles the bench, shaking her arms, rotating her shoulders in backward arcs, and asks, “What did Trump lift?”

She’s told and nods her head.

“He tried his best and it broke him. No shame in that. He didn’t know any better. This isn’t easy stuff to just jump into. Not like getting in shape for a high school reunion. You’ve got to be smart or pay the price. I know I have. Eventually you learn, or you quit, and nobody likes a quitter.”

About David Gillaspie
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