Freedom from Blog

Don't call it a comeback . . . .

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Lunchroom or Lunchcounter?

David Brooks ran another one of his fun cultural commentary columns on Monday, arguing that American politics can be understood as a continuation of cliques in the high school lunchroom. If you were a jock, socially cool but intellectually bland, you're a Republican today. On the other hand, if you were a nerd who resented those jocks, you're a Democrat. Lots of wishful thinking here. Maybe this is how the GOP would like to see themselves. But I doubt many people who were cool jocks in high school ended up as politcal shakers (Gingrich? DeLay? Bush was a cheerleader, for Pete's sake!). Even granting Brooks his metaphor, the best we can say is that the GOP is run by those geeks who worshipped the jocks, and the Dems were those geeks who resented them.

But the funniest thing about Brooks's column is this: he must obviously assume that all the "jocks" are white. That's not the way it was in my high school, where a sizeable percentage of the jock population was black. And I can almost guarantee that, oh, 90% of those folks now vote Democratic. Maybe Brooks was really thinking about the "lunchcounters" of his youth.


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