21 October 2008

NYT Op-Ed Basically Says Suburban Guys Are a Bunch of Wimps

American Dad About To Get His Lunch Money Taken

David Brooks, conservative columnist for the NY Times, has a Modo moment and attempts to assign specific characteristics to a broad part of the population. After saying that most suburban guys are absolutely distraught that Sharper Image went belly up, the overpriced store that had useless crap like a combination tie-rack/tazer, he proclaims that most stuffed shirts out in the burbs are simply looking for a little bit of order and "respectability" [NYT]:
If you wanted to pick words to capture Patio Man’s political ideals, they would be responsibility, respectability and order. Patio Man moved to his home because he wanted an orderly place where he could raise his kids. His ideal neighborhood is Mayberry with BlackBerries.

He doesn’t expect much of government. He believes that he is responsible for his own economic destiny. But he does expect government to provide him with a background level of order.
This Patio Man caricature sounds like a real asshole you would want to punch in the face as he's slurping down Margaritas at the Chi-Chi's happy hour. Is America so self-centered that people only determine their voting patterns based on the President ensuring an individual will have enough time to go golfing on the weekend? The latest campaign grumblings focusing specifically on whether or not you will get a tax cut seem to suggest this. The trend of democracy to focus on "What's in it For Me" is counter productive to the purpose of the federal government to protect rights on a country-wide level and defend national sovereignty. Everyone wants a ride on Uncle Sugar's train, and the politician who can provide the most goodies is probably going to win.

There may be a bunch of these "Patio Men" lurking in the burbs wondering why their neighbor's lawn is greener than theirs, but I hope there is a least a couple of "Duffel Bag Full of Guns Men" like Michael Douglas' character in Falling Down. A laid-off schmoe who is pissed off by the decay and bullshit of society and isn't afraid to confront it with an arsenal.