In 1778, Benjamin Franklin secured the Treaty of Alliance with France, helping the United States defeat Great Britain in the Revolutionary War. In 1919, Woodrow Wilson helped negotiate the Treaty of Versailles with Germany to bring an end to World War I. John F. Kennedy, in 1962, narrowly averted nuclear war by bringing an end to the Cuban Missile Crisis. How did all of these men (women didn’t exist back then) secure diplomatic agreements that would shape the course of history? They stood across from their counterparts and freaking wailed on boxing speed bags — not breaking a sweat, their impossibly fast fists disappearing into a blur while they held intense, borderline-erotic eye contact with the leaders across the table.
Or so goes the history of diplomacy according to First Boy and noted political scientist Donald Trump Jr., who on Wednesday morning posted a video of Bernie Sanders at the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, Kentucky, this week, getting smacked in the face with a speed bag. “This wouldn’t exactly strike fear in the minds of our adversaries. Imagine this guy sitting accross [sic] the table negotiating with world leaders?” Don Jr. wrote.
The video, I will concede, is very funny and is begging to be turned into a meme where you’d write “me” over Sanders and “that embarrassing thing I said three months ago” over the punching bag, or something like that. But it doesn’t say anything about Sanders’s diplomatic potential as far as I can tell. (Maybe this is what Don Jr. thought the Boxer Rebellion was about?)
It’s not entirely surprising that Don Jr., a fitness fanatic who knows how important it is to lift with your lower back, would consider “hand speed” an absolute necessity when it comes to arbitrating complex international issues. And who can blame him, really, given the models of diplomacy around him?