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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Bacon

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." Bacon 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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    • 0
      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 • 2 years ago
    • 0
      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 • 2 years ago
    • -1
      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 • 2 years ago
  1. 1
    Jon Osmundson

    “Conservatism has always been associated with deference to authority, but lately it’s only for authority they respect.”

    I think the “frat-boy” reference comes from that part. Fraternities are very authoritarian, clearly (the importance of pledging/seniority pretty much says enough there). Conservatism has historically shared the ideal of a relatively high degree of respect for authority, like Walsh said. I think it goes without saying, however, that frat guys generally don’t defer to all types of authority, hence the “only for authority they respect” piece. Well this article was, refreshingly, less of a conservative rant than I thought it would be, I think you missed the point perhaps. That said, I haven’t read anything on this matter aside from what is posted with the article, so I could be missing something.

    That said, I may be giving dear Joanie too much credit here, she may have just been associating frat-boy with douche-bag. As a frat guy myself, I’m clearly not on board with that. That said, I think you should probably get over it, or stop strengthening the association with this website. Look at this website (just a look at the few prior comments on this article will suffice) and tell me you’re surprised that frat-boy is synonymous with douche-bag in many circles. I follow this site a bit because a lot of the shit on here is hysterical, but I think it’s a bit backwards to complain about being stereotyped when you write for TotalFratMove. To be clear, not necessarily bashing this website (I enjoy it, I do think it probably does more harm than good though), just saying it’s probably not the place to complain that people are associating “frat-boy” with “douchebag.”

    ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 2 years ago
    • 1
      The_ChiIis_Guy

      In my experience as a seasoned Chili’s employee (no pun intended), I have seen a near infinite number of people who lack perspective. There are far too many in positions of influence, power, and reach who exhibit qualities best reserved for the cast of 16 and Pregnant. While I do not think any community has a responsibility to defend itself against an onslaught of idiocy, especially when that community is comprised of generally reasonable and well-educated individuals, the unfortunate associations that get made with fraternity life call for at least some instances of coherent, structured defense. The esteemed employees of Chili’s, myself included, commend TotalFratMove for their venture in approaching this topic, albeit in a venue where it may not be given the attention in deserves.

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 2 years ago
    • 0
      Bacon

      You make a lot of good points. I appreciate that. In regard to your defiance of authority suggestion, even if that were the case (which it could be) using “frat boy” still harkens back to the whole white privilege thing. I mean yeah we’re a relatively defiant bunch, but are we SO defiant that that aspect alone makes it worth using “frat boy” as the label? I’m not so sure. There are definitely other intentions.

      As far as it being somewhat ironic complaining about all of this from a site called “TotalFratMove,” I definitely grant you that, and the fact that we probably don’t help the stereotype, but I’d counter by saying that spreading a stereotype was never our intention. I’ve written many times before that this is a humor/parody site, not to be taken very seriously, let alone taken as literal (which many people do). One of the reasons TFMNews was created was to address that sort of thing, so in that sense this is actually the perfect place to complain about/rebut a column like Ms. Walsh’s.

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 2 years ago
    • 0
      Denzel FRATington

      “I think it’s a bit backwards to complain about being stereotyped when you write for TotalFratMove….it’s probably not the place to complain that people are associating “frat-boy” with douchebag.” Correct.

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 2 years ago
    • 0
      Jon Osmundson

      I’m not sure how I respond to a response but @Bacon: Appreciate the response, and yea I wouldn’t say “defiant” is too high on the frat guy adjective list, I guess it was just the selective defiance, if you will, that I was pointing to, and perhaps Joan was as well. But yes I agree on the other intentions for sure.

      I thought you would probably say that, and it is valid, you guys aren’t to be blamed for the stupid followers/readers out there. Unfortunately like you mentioned the reality is that those stupid people are out there reading and living by TFM. Finally, that makes sense about TFM News, I also realized it is fairly ridiculous for me to say what this “place” is and isn’t good for haha, seeing that that’s dictated by you guys essentially, but you got what i meant.

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 2 years ago
  2. 1
    Old Virginia

    I made the mistake of clicking on that link and reading the article and some of it’s comments. It truly was the hypocrisy of the Left on full display. I don’t recommend anyone else read that shit, especially the comments. The disgusting ignorance and “holier-than-thou” attitude of those people makes my blood boil. FUCK LIBERALS.

    ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 2 years ago
    • 0
      I am drot nunk

      Those comments are very atrocious. Left-side at it’s finest. I do agree, fuck holier than thou asshats. That comment section was full of them.

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 2 years ago
    • 0
      sperryville

      That comments section was disgusting. They refused to even listen to the other perspective and simply resorted to name calling when they realized they were wrong. People like that make me sick.

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 2 years ago
  3. 0
    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 • 2 years ago
  4. 0
    Charleston FratEN

    How about that Terrorist GDI throwing both his shoes at Bush. That’s about as hipster Liberal as it gets… Jokes on you pal! You don’t have shoes on anymore!

    ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 2 years ago
  5. 0
    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 • 2 years ago
  6. 0
    frabst blue ribbon

    Explain to me why I should be upset with a journalist actually doing his job, something the White House press corp clearly doesn’t. Sure, you shouldn’t interrupt the President, and Joe Frat Wilson’s “you lie” was definitely uncalled for. But if you actually follow politics, you should know this White House does everything it can to dodge a question about its unconstitutional agenda (i.e. bypassing Congress on immigration reform, among the many others). I applaud this guy for actually doing what he’s paid to do: vetting the President of the United States.

    ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 2 years ago

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