What the Fuck is Frat Boy Conservatism?

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On Friday Salon.com ran a piece from editor Joan Walsh entitled “Frat-boy conservatism in the Rose Garden.” The column reflects on the actions of Daily Caller reporter Neil Munro, specifically when he shamelessly interrupted President Obama’s speech about the executive order to stop the deportation of young children who were brought to the United States illegally by their parents. The article scolds Munro’s behavior and then goes on to reference several other instances of GOP disrespect for the Commander in Chief.

…it’s unbelievable how wingnuts treat this man with such unprecedented and bullying disrespect: from Rep. Joe Wilson screaming “You lie” during Obama’s 2009 speech to a joint session of Congress, to Speaker John Boehner denying him his choice of dates for another congressional address (for the first time in history) last fall, to Donald Trump’s persistent, humiliating demands for the president to show him his papers (with no rebuke from ally Mitt Romney).

Conservatism has always been associated with deference to authority, but lately it’s only for authority they respect. The Romney campaign has been glorying in this new form of frat-boy conservatism, first sending campaign supporters to heckle Obama adviser David Axelrod during a press conference, and yesterday sending its bus to circle and disrupt an Obama event, honking its horn.

Now, you’ll find no argument from me on a lot of this. Yes there are a lot of reasons to be upset with Obama. There are a lot of reasons to dislike Obama. But I doubt I’m alone in believing that no matter who holds the office of president, you respect the office. I’m reminded of a quote from Band of Brothers in which Major Richard Winters informs his former incompetent and tyrannical commander Captain Herbert Sobel, who attempted to avoid saluting the recently promoted Winters, that “you salute the rank, not the man.” I’d like to think that readers of this website, the majority of whom are both fraternity men and self proclaimed patriots, subscribe to that notion. In short, Neil Munro is an attention seeking douche bag who needs to shut the fuck up.

I’m also not really a fan of Joe Wilson yelling “you lie” during Obama’s 2009 speech. Although I’ll admit that C-SPAN would provide infinitely more entertainment if Congress devolved into the British House of Commons, or better yet if congressmen started beating the shit out of each other with walking sticks again.

“Tune into C-SPAN this Friday night for FRIDAY NIGHT STICK FIGHTS! It’s time to fili-bust some ass!” (*cue exploding graphics*)

The rest of the grievances listed are just petty politics, which is something that is incredibly annoying and counterproductive, but also something for which Democrats are equally guilty. My problem isn’t with Walsh’s complaints, but with the title of her story, and her subsequent branding of these annoying, abrasive political tactics as “frat-boy conservatism.” She’s basically using “Frat-boy” as a euphemism for douche bag. But what’s interesting is that by branding it “frat-boy” she also tries to convey that ONLY conservatives are guilty of these sorts of actions, because to call upon an image of a frat boy is to call upon an image of white privilege, i.e. conservatives.

Even if she was using the term “frat boy” because many of these actions were loud and obnoxious, two traits that we are admittedly guilty of carrying every now and then, it still doesn’t quite fit. You want loud and obnoxious? Go find a protest with a drum circle. Go watch videos of the Occupy protests. In the end “frat boy” seems to fit her point so well because of what it calls to mind, white privilege, conservatives, etc. Loud and obnoxious might be an intended part of the image, but if it were the most important part surely she could have found a better way to make this point.

I really don’t even know where to begin on how much of a load of bullcrap that is. I could start with the fact that there are so many diverse members of fraternities (and sororities) that this image she is trying to create is basically a cheap stereotype. I could point out that there are plenty of liberal “frat boys” out there. I could create a laundry list of ways George W. Bush was similarly disrespected while in office. In fact feel free to do so in the comments, we can call it hipster liberalism, since all Democrats are TOTALLY filthy hipsters. But really it’s better to just keep it simple: Labeling this political behavior as “frat-boy conservatism” paints a one sided picture of what is actually a two sided and ever deepening problem in American politics. A problem so divisive that it might eventually HAVE to be settled with stick fights. Still, I’m most annoyed that calling these actions “frat-boy conservatism” does everything I listed all the while throwing a group of people who have no direct relation to this story (Greek Life) under the bus.

So please Joan Walsh, find a better way to get your point across. Just call a douche bag a douche bag, because Neil Munro certainly is a douche bag.

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    • 4
      JParksCaldwell1855

      Pretty recent event to cite as counterproof, but I’ll bite.

      I’m not all that emotionally invested in immigration, so I’m not going to come one here and say I’m an expert on the bill. It’s tough to do so living thousands of miles away from that border. But I understand the concerns. This bill seems like a continuation of the thinking behind President Bush’s ’07 immigration reform, which I supported. Why the GOP would want to alienate the largest growing population in this country seems short-sighted. Whether you like it or not, the political electorate is changing, and the GOP will come out on the wrong side of that. But I digress.

      Presidents make (unpopular) executive orders all of the time that circumvent Congress (see: anti-terrorism legislation under Bush, George W.). Whether it’s unconstitutional or not, it’s hardly unprecedented.

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 3 years ago
    • -2
      Halls_Of_Ivy

      ^^and what about overriding the Constitution to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants? that’s taking a shit on something more important, my friend

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 3 years ago
    • -3
      JParksCaldwell1855

      He failed to pass health care reform. He failed to raise the tax rate for the wealthiest of Americans from 36% to 39%, what they were under President Clinton. He failed to stem the massive debt and rising unemployment left to him, and even worsened it.

      If by taking a massive, steaming shit on the office of the Presidency means that he hasn’t really changed anything since he’s gotten into office, then yes, he’s made a lot of feces.

      Seriously, guys- the rhetoric distorts the reality, and is driving all of the moderates and independents in the nation to the left. And that’s the vote that wins elections.

      Ryan-Huntsman ’16

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 3 years ago
    • -2
      I am drot nunk

      ^You are not frat if you disagree with said statement. Go idolize your liberal, cargo-wearing, weed-legalizing, hippy-loving, 99 percent supporter.

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 3 years ago
    • -4
      Brobert F Kennedy

      He didn’t say “Fuck the President.” That would be wrong. He said “Fuck Obama”. That’s attacking the man as a whole. A few years ago he wasn’t the president. Could I tell him to fuck off then? Next year he’ll be an ex president. Can we direct it towards the future or is it still not okay to insult someone just because he used to be president?

      I want Obama to win at being the president, but he’s blowing the game and we’re going to have to pull his ass. Just calling it like it is. Luckily Obama has been forced to be more conservative than he’d like, which has basically alienated the radicals in his base and the conservative base are mad about all the bs he’s pulled.

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 3 years ago
  1. -1
    Donald_Draper

    I read an article once that talked about “frat house legislation” used to deny women access to birth control. Don’t see where they got THAT stereotype– I think all of us can agree that birth control/Plan B is one of the best things to ever happen to the act of hooking up. I REALLY hate these stereotypes, which are often pushed by people who have no concept of greek life as a whole, I’d wager.

    ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 3 years ago
  2. -1
    Miz_Secpledge

    GDIs in their extreme jealousy like to conclude that we are all conformists that believe the exact same thing as each other…Unlike Liberal Hipsters of course… but in reality you are right there are plenty of liberal frat guys, I don’t understand why, but they exist. This GDI bitch can shut the fuck up or try to come up with a better example to illustrate her shit journalism.

    ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 3 years ago
    • 1
      The_ChiIis_Guy

      But it’s their life. It’s not forced upon those effected the same way a physical assault is. Suicide is a touchy issue, so I’ll try not to get into it, but willingly killing yourself and dying a criminal is probably the lowest dishonor you can do to someone who is obviously low enough. The fact that the government can tell someone else not to take my life is fine, but when the government becomes an entity that makes it illegal to make decisions for yourself, even the decision to die, then that, in my opinion, goes beyond what the government has a responsibility to dictate.

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 3 years ago
    • 1
      I am drot nunk

      ^Well, I don’t want to touch that subject either, but I’ll tell you this. Yes, it is our lives and the government should just leave them alone…FOR THE MOST PART. For example, we were brought up and raised by our parents. They taught us their morals, religion, education, and ethics. THEY guided US so we would lead successful and meaningful lives. But, by your logic, it’s OUR lives, so shouldn’t they just leave us alone and let us figure life out itself? It’s a faulty logic. The government is only trying to protect the sanctity of life so people can prosper, not falter. I don’t know, we all have our opinions, but that’s just my two cents.

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 3 years ago
    • 0
      Bronan the Barbarian

      I’m not so much a liberal fraternity man as I am a conservative fraternity man who thinks the government should stay the ever living fuck out of social issues. Social conservatism is what has effectively splintered the party and brought the religious right into the party.

      Before some of you start defending the religious right, know that they fucking hate us. I’ve only ever once gotten into a debate on the street with someone, and it was a crazy right wing fundie church protesting on rt 1 near UMD. Liberals, for one reason or another, tend to not actually be that confrontational most times. You put the “mandate of God” mentality on a group and they turn into a bunch of retarded, wanna-be crusader kings.

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 3 years ago
    • 0
      The_ChiIis_Guy

      Libertarianism = FAF. I do support the Ron Swanson school of thought that the government shouldn’t be telling me what I can and can’t do. For example, I support the legalization of all drugs, the legalization of suicide, abortion, prostitution, etc. Virtually all victimless crimes are an overstepping of the government’s purview.

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 3 years ago
    • 0
      Miz_Secpledge

      I would absolutely consider myself more of a libertarian than a republican as well. My social beliefs as well as everyone else’s should not be a government issue. I am still struggling to understand how my original comment “gives fraternity men a bad reputation”?

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 3 years ago
    • 0
      TrickleDown

      Miz I think your original comment was just harsh in your word choice (ie GDI bitch) which plays to the stereotype in the article. But whatever, I don’t really give a fuck about that anyway.

      More importantly, yeah I’d agree that young conservatives today are really more libertarian. My guess is that at this rate, the GOP in thirty years is basically going to be socially moderate and fiscally conservative. I say moderate because liberals are always coming up with new “causes” but there does seem to be a more rapid change in the youth’s views of social issues today.

      If you wanna take it in the pooper, I don’t personally like it butt fuck it (pun intended) I’d rather you be a flamer than see some bureaucrat tell you not to be. Freedom, TFM.

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 3 years ago
    • 0
      Accepted_to Fill U

      ^^^^ I’m also libertarian, but if you label suicide as a victimless crime, you certainly do not know anyone who has taken their life. I hurts everyone who knows the individual.

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 3 years ago
    • 0
      Next In Line

      drot nunk, you’re being nitpicky. I think Chili’s Guy is talking about adults. Obviously parental guidance is an important boundary, which is why parents have the right to make decisions like whether or not to vaccinate their kids. The kid isn’t in a position to make decisions like that, so the parents make it for them. Once that kid hits 18 and becomes a legal adult though (even if he’s still a stupid shit with no earthly idea how to take care of himself), he gets to start making his own decisions about his life without interference.

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 3 years ago
    • -2
      Brobert F Kennedy

      I wouldn’t call abortion or suicide victim-less, but I know what you mean. Definitely agree with drugs and prostitution. I don’t really feel a desire to do heroin, but that’s a personal choice. Prostitution is even easier to justify as good old fashioned American free trade. Capitalism: God’s way to determining who is smart and who is poor.

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 3 years ago
  3. -1
    Joran van der Frat

    Joan Walsh is a whiny liberal who writes for a whiny liberal website that only whiny liberals read. Explain to me why anything she has to say is worthy of a response from us.

    ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 3 years ago

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