I was surprised and incensed when I read the November 1989 issue of American Heritage. Judging from its name and self-proclaimed prestige, I expected AH to be a conservative source of American history. Instead the cover read “Must All Our Presidents Act Like John Wayne? (The Wimp Factor in U.S. History)” and the article by Bruce Curtis was demeaning to John Wayne and some of our history’s greatest Presidents. As a captain in the Marine Corps reserve, a small businessman, and an outdoorsman, I am not ashamed to admit that I hold John Wayne in high esteem, as does Ronald Reagan. As a student of history, I also believe Teddy Roosevelt’s concern on feminism to be valid, and not the result of personal insecurity as Curtis implies.
Masculinity is a part of man’s nature and is the driving force that led him to leave the caves of the forest and become the master of his own destiny (God willing, of course). To suppress masculinity will inhibit man and adversely affect further democratic social progress. As civilized man is further emasculated, he will become easy prey to the barbarians waiting to conquer.