Uncle Joe and I chatted as we watched my cousins pick off beer cans on the makeshift shooting range in the corn field behind the barn. It was just weeks before the election. We talked about his time spent teaching gun safety to local kids, and the reasons we both disliked Obama. I was twenty-eight, and had been working for several years as a journalist at progressive publications in New York City. Uncle Joe, who went into farming right out of high school, was and is as conservative as they come. Uncle Joe recalled how Bill Clinton had ended subsidies for farmers back in the s, and how it had turned family farming from a squeeze into a struggle. I shared some of my own issues with Hillary Clinton, as a political progressive who considers her a corporate war hawk. The new President had just announced his ban on travel from majority Muslim countries, and my friend, a war correspondent who had covered ISIS and the plight of refugees in Syria, was justifiably angered.
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Ryan Morgan is seventeen and happy to be a guy. Probably the hardest job in the world. Also, he might not think football was as interesting. Ryan lives in West Bend, Wisconsin, a town of just over thirty thousand outside Milwaukee. He has a kid face, with big brown eyes. His mom, Tori, usually cuts his hair, which he sometimes styles into a side sweep. They got together in eighth grade after she gave him a birthday card with a twenty- dollar bill inside. Ryan thought, Who does that? It is just one of those things Ryan thinks girls do. They are more tentative, no fault of theirs.
Morgan is featured in a powerful cover image on the March issue of Esquire. In one section that unpacks how Morgan, who lives in a predominately Trump-voting territory, feels politically. People were making friends based on their politics more than anything. Like, what did I do wrong? There are countless narratives of white men in history. Why, in , are we adding yet another? The white male experience. Just imagine.