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.

Rob Fox

Rob Fox (né Bacon) is Director of Video Content and a Senior Writer for Total Frat Move, Rowdy Gentleman, and Post Grad Problems. He is a graduate, without honors, from the University of Missouri. His fake best-selling novel series, The Frat Romance Novel, has been self-described as a "pioneering achievement in satirical erotica." Rob is originally from St. Louis, and currently lives in Austin, Texas. He still has not admitted to his family what he does for a living, and is prone to having wet nightmares ever since losing his virginity in a haunted house. Email: rob@grandex.co

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    • 4

      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

      ^^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

      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
    • 0

      It hardens my dick to know that TFM has finally dove into the political arena. “Actually knowing about politics and not just throwing up misdirected nonsense. Faf”

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 3 years ago
    • -2

      Bacon, I just want to remind you. This is what we thought we were getting in to when the Total Frat News section started. Not this Wendy’s child porn shit you guys have been posting the last couple of days.

      ^ 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
    • -3
      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. 0
    Bros A Bank

    I have the choice to salute neither the man nor the rank, no matter if its the president. We, the people, created this government and hold the ultimate power even over the president, and by God I respectfully reserve the right to say whatever I damn well please to those that choose to serve me.

    ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 3 years ago
    • -2

      ^^^ Right, but like I replied to an earlier comment, there’s a difference between kneeling before him or saluting him and having the common courtesy to let him speak. There is a time and place to speak up- during the middle of a prepared speech at the white house is neither.

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 3 years ago
    • -3

      ^this. Too many ultra-patriots think patriotism is blind. Think for yourself, act for yourself.

      “A free man is compelled in nothing but his own.” -The_ChiIi’s_Guy

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

      ^^This. The president is a public servant who is not immune from ridicule or criticism. The only respect he gets is the respect he earns. The reason W. commanded respect as president is because he comported himself in a presidential manner while in office. The same cannot be said of Obama. He’s spent the bulk of his first term disrespecting Republican leaders in Congress with childish tantrums, apologizing to foreign enemies for non-existent American “transgressions”, demonizing hard workers in the private sector, and using taxpayer money to set up fundraisers for his own re-election.

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

    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

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