A reader writes:
As to why weight lifters are more likely to be Republican than joggers, I’d think that this is a combination of cultural factors (those seeking bigger muscles are buying into a more traditional definition of masculinity) and also that the joggers are less likely to have felt a profound physical change; they’re more likely jogging as a way of maintaining, or preventing negative change, rather than to become something completely different from what they were before. Simply, jogging doesn’t create the same feeling of mastery over the body that muscle-building does.
Just wanted to give you an “atta boy” on being literally the only person I’ve seen commenting on this issue at all.
Long term, I think the Republicans could likely win themselves many voters by backing various community health initiatives, but not of the heavy-handed “Let’s tax soda!” variety. Democrats will generally get into things like having public body weight gyms (like Muscle Beach), and the tiny percentage of Americans that go from obese to healthy will likely veer more conservative than they were before.
The perhaps last-ever Republican governor of California moved there in large part because FDR’s Works Progress Administration built a gymnastics and weightlifting facility next to Santa Monica pier in 1934, Muscle Beach.