- - Sunday, August 27, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Combative times require sturdy leaders, and the only reality we have comes from the world of entertainment. The word that Lou Ferrigno, aka the Hulk, may be joining the Trump administration via the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition,is just plain good news.

Mr. Ferrigno, the television actor who was “The Incredible Hulk” in the 1970s and ‘80s, and Mr. Universe in 1973, has offered to contribute everything he knows about health and exercise to the administration.

“I have been corresponding with President Trump because I want to change America and make America healthy again,” Mr. Ferrigno tells the London Daily Mail. “I am a top choice for them. I feel I am the best candidate for that. Nobody can surpass what I do, especially the life I have lived, what I have overcome and my passion with bodybuilding and fitness.” A calorie or a flabby midriff wouldn’t stand a chance against The Hulk.

Health awareness mixed with a dash of heroic panache would give a strong extra layer of resilience to any administration. Bulging muscles, even green ones, are especially suited for these out-sized times where ego and steel, rage and hyperbole turn up everywhere, daily and even hourly. Heroes with a little hulk are especially needed now, someone to shape up Congress, the White House, Pyongyang, CNN, the campus, Wall Street, Silicon Valley and Hollywood. Of course Hollywood.

The first national fitness council was created during the Eisenhower administration, called the President’s Council on Youth Fitness, and we’ve accumulated a lot of flab since. Though subsequent administrations tweaked its mandate and title over the years, it took on an increased role during the Obama administration, particularly with the participation of Michelle Obama and her Let’s Move initiative. In 2010, the council was renamed the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, and took charge of the fitness program. The nutrition part of the program blossomed into a vegetable garden at the White House. Whether Melania is pulling weeds there now is not known, but even Democrats agree that she looks pretty fit.

Mr. Ferrigno has some thoughts about how he would proceed. “I would focus on explaining to everyone, some people may have some physical handicaps or maybe injured knees, but there are so many different machines and better ways to eat, and it is all about combining the mind and the body. If you can do that anybody can get in shape. It is all about changing from lazy to positive leverage.”

Mr. Trump “fired” Mr. Ferrigno when they appeared together on “Celebrity Apprentice” in 2012, but that poses no hurdles. For the readers and not watchers among us, the Incredible Hulk sprouts an enormous green and muscled frame when he is angered or distressed by injustice, which is not scarce in Washington. When he’s not busy being The Incredible Hulk, he’s a mild-mannered physicist. Two of the Hulk’s catchphrases are “You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry” and “Hulk is strongest one there is.” He’s a natural, and could be just what the Donald needs to discipline Congress, the press and everybody else. Maybe even himself.

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