Donald Trump

What This Journalist Saw During a Holiday Detour Through Donald Trump's America

Few expressed a sense of apocalyptic dread on par with the media.

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Trump
Joe Burbank/TNS/Newscom

For this Washington, D.C.-based journalist, going home for the holidays means returning to the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan. The house where I lived for the first 18 years of my life is located in Macomb County—where a majority of voters chose Donald Trump for president last November, even though Barack Obama had won their support in both 2008 and 2012.

Macomb is one of the 209 counties across the country that went Obama, Obama, Trump. It's an overwhelmingly white place—85 percent of the 800,000 people who live there are white—with a median household hold income of $52,000, which is right in line with the nationwide average.

While the American electorate's unique and specific hatred of Hillary Clinton has been the dominant political narrative since November 8th, it does not explain the outcome in Macomb County. Trump didn't just win a higher percentage of the votes—he actually got more overall votes than Obama did in 2008 and 2012 (224,000 vs. 223,000 and 208,000). It wasn't just that people hated Clinton—they actually liked Trump. They trust that he is going to fix what's wrong with Michigan's economy.

That's what they told me, anyway.

My wife and I have lived in D.C. for two years—we share an apartment with a pair of adorable Yorkies. It's easier to transport them via car than airplane, so when the holidays roll around, we typically rent a car and all four of us drive back to Michigan.

This year, we got a flat tire about two hours outside of D.C., in rural Pennsylvania. I called the rental car company, and they dispatched roadside assistance. The man who came to change our tire was in his fifties or sixties—he pulled up in a pickup truck adorned with two bumper stickers: "INFOWARS" and "HILLARY FOR PRISON." Sean Hannity was blaring on his radio. He wore a sleeveless jacket, despite the cold.

It took him three minutes to put on the spare tire—something I couldn't have done in any amount of time. I was uncomfortable even standing outside while he did it, given how cold it was. After he finished, he wished me a Merry Christmas—emphasis on the Merry Christmas—and drove off.

On the phone, the rental car company instructed us to proceed to a rental location 20 miles away. This afforded us a detour through one of Pennsylvania's southern counties, which might as well be the capital of Trump's America. Only about 3,000 people live there, and the median household income is just $28,000. These people voted for Trump overwhelmingly. More than a month after the election, Trump signs still clung to telephone poles. Someone had even painted "TRUMP" on the side of a collapsing shack.

The branch of the rental car company was a lonely place, the day before Christmas Eve. The single employee working the office was a friendly guy in his twenties. It didn't take him long to suggest that he was keen on leaving the town after he had enough sales experience under his belt.

He only had one car left to offer me as a replacement: a maddeningly large passenger van (my wife and I dubbed it the double-decker party bus). Before we could leave, he flagged me down and brought me back into his office. He had looked up our contract, and was astonished at how much we had agreed to pay: he had never seen a rental car that cost so much. Rental rates vary according to pick-up location, and D.C.'s lowest-priced option (my initial choice) was vastly more expensive than this county's most luxurious rental. Since I was now going to be driving a different vehicle, the guy offered to delete my previous rental from the computer system and rent the new car under a more reasonable rate.

This was no easy task: the computer system did not want to let him save me money. Moreover, he was worried he would get in trouble with his bosses.

"If they call you, you have to tell them you were furious," he said. "You have to say you were ready to storm out and take your business elsewhere unless I did this for you."

I said that wouldn't be a problem.

"Great," he replied. "Thanks."

I don't know why he thanked me. He was doing me the favor.

It wasn't just southern Pennsylvania: Trump signs littered the yards of Macomb County residents, too. Over Christmas break, when I talked with friends and family members about the implications of the election, few expressed a sense of apocalyptic dread on par with my fellow journalists back in D.C. People wanted to give Trump a chance and see what he would do.

The woman who cuts my hair—and has done so for over two decades—was ecstatic. When I showed up for my appointment on Christmas Eve morning, she greeted me with a big hug and said, "He won!"

At my previous haircut appointment, during a trip back to Michigan for my brother's wedding over the summer, I had calmly informed her that Trump—the candidate she had preferred all along, even before the Republican primaries—had no shot of winning. Everyone I knew thought so, I had told her, to considerable disappointment. She wasn't sure I was right about that. But I was the one who spent time amongst all the smart, professional, political experts and writer types. What did my barber know about it?

She had bought the salon from the previous owner almost 20 years ago, slowly updating and transforming it into the popular local business it is today. There were hardships along the way—losing her husband to cancer, Michigan's economic woes—but she maintains an unshakably positive attitude.

You might have expected her to gloat when I saw her this Christmas—she had been right about Trump's chances, I was wrong—but she didn't. She even said she felt sorry for Hillary.

I couldn't help but dwell on these interactions as my wife and I returned to D.C. a little more than a week ago.

Our friends are almost universally journalists, think tanks staffers, and government employees. Most of them are at least as socially liberal as we are. We listen to the same music and watch the same television shows. We read the same news articles—in many case, we've had drinks with the people who wrote them.

It's a bubble. Can't deny it. Just is.

Macomb County and southern Pennsylvania are bubbles, too. The people who live there and expressed some optimism about Trump, some sense of hope now that he has won the presidency, might be wrong to feel that way. (I certainly believe so: if Trump fulfills his promises with respect to immigration and free trade, the country will be much worse off.)

But it's the journalist's job to inform the public about what's going on in those other bubbles. And while there was a lot of great reporting in 2016 about Trump supporters and what motivated them, I still can't shake the feeling that so many in the media discounted the possibility of a Trump presidency because they couldn't imagine anybody actually voting for him. In that way, D.C. and New York City media circles are like elite college campuses: wholly incapable of grappling with the fact that the U.S. is a massive place that includes millions of people who live very different lives and hold very different views.

It's okay to live in different bubbles if we're going to leave each other alone. (Thus the reason for the libertarian project of shrinking the oppressive power of the state.) But that's not how it works right now. As long as we are willing to give tremendous authority to a sole person chosen by the masses—be it Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama or someone else—we could all stand to do a better job empathizing with the guy who changes our tires.

NEXT: Federal Government Files for Certiorari to Supreme Court Over Its Loss in Second Amendment Case Binderup

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  1. Oh my God! Trump supporters are like unsophisticated versions of actual people!

    1. And apparently the random people he met are far, far nicer than their counterparts would be in DC.

      1. That’s what’s known as a “Dog bites Man” story.

    2. I am pretty sure the Hair is trolling us again. Tire changing including. I hope.

    3. Jonah Goldberg long ago dubbed these silly pieces “Conservatives in the Mist” stories.

      ‘Look! That savage bruit who changed my tire has opposing thumbs, just like me!’

  2. wait, what? You can’t change your own tire?

    1. *facepalm*

    2. My wife would shake her head, roll her eyes, push him out of the way, then change it. Then she’d spend the next 15 minutes explaining exactly why he’s a moron who shouldn’t be allowed to pilot a vehicle.

    3. Goddamnit, how many people were furiously reading through just to come post this?

      1. Probably 99% of us. I was going to sarcastically call him a beta male cuck, but decided to just do it in response to this comment.

        1. Seriously, Robby — you don’t know how to use the jack to raise the car up, and the lug wrench to take off the lug nuts?

          Oh, wait — you don’t even own a freakin car!

          1. That is truly pathetic. I don’t own a car and I can change a tire, paint a house and butcher a hog. It’s called being a human being. Maybe Robby-Horse should try it sometime.

            1. He needs to read more Heinlein, that’s for sure.

              1. Oh, I get it.

            2. I cannot butcher a hog, but I can do the other things. It seems a strange confluence – not owning a car but butchering hogs.

              1. Maybe he means that he rides a Harley and does his own mechanic-in’.

      2. Me. Already posted on it, in fact. Should have read first.

      3. I just got around to reading this article and I stopped cold at the bit about changing a tire.

        Holy shit, Soave. You sat your ass in the middle of nowhere in the cold to wait for someone else to change a tire? It is 5 nuts, for crying out loud.

        And then to hold up the guy who rescued you as some sort of neanderthal because he listens to one of the most popular radio hosts in north america? Jeez dude, you really slipped on this one.

        I keep rooting for you, but any douche who would write a “wow, look at all the primitives in middle america” piece is really hard to root for. Particularly if he thinks a shout-out to how he can’t change a tire is somehow endearing to the audience. Dang, dude…. what kind of people do you hang out with?

        1. fetch master soave his pajamas, it’s time for his nap…

    4. I’m just a simple country programmer but I can change my own tires – and do simple car repairs like brakes, spark plugs, etc. I’ve also – in a fit of madness – done two engine swaps back in my hotrod days. I’ve also built a shed from scratch, wired a garage for electricity, installed lights, done plumbing, painted houses – both inside and out, built speakers, built amplifiers and preamplifiers, hauled wood, cut trees, string a fence, and wrote a few cruddy self-published novels.

      I call it being “well-rounded”.

      The world is nothing but a set of problems to be solved.

      1. Programmers and engineers tend to be all about problem solving. It’s what makes them such incredible spouses.

        Wife: I had a horrible day.

        Husband: Tell me all about it. We’ll figure out where you went wrong in no time.

        1. Wife *shoots look of white hot anger*

          1. Husband: Say, you’re *cute* when you’re angry!

            1. Wife puts “you’re cute when you’re angry” on his tombstone.

              1. with problem still unsolved…

        2. Try marrying a programmer/engineer wife.

          Husband: Why isn’t this working damnit!
          Wife: Because you are stupid.

          1. My wife is nowhere any kind of engineer (her critical thinking skills are non-existent) and I still get that.

      2. “A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”

        -Robert A. Heinlein

        1. While I may not know specifically how to butcher a hog, if I needed to I could probably learn it pretty fast. It should be in one of my FireFox books, The US Army Guide to Survival, The Practical Guide To Practically Anything or The American Boy’s Handy Book. Assuming, of course, that there’s no more internet access.

          I’ve pretty much got the rest covered.

          May Lazarus Long live and love forever 🙂

        2. Most of us don’t live hundreds of years though. Or go back in time and have an affair with our mothers while our fathers are going off to war. Or knock up our gender reversed identical twin clones.

          Heinlein was a weird guy.

          1. How can you say something like

            Heinlein was a weird guy.

            When the likes of Agile Cyborg and Sugarfree stalk this very blog?

          2. Heinlein was a weird guy.

            RAH was about as normal as anyone. He did write some weird stories. It’s a deeply-held secret among authors, but most of us don’t actually live the kind of lives our characters do.

            1. Bill Burroughs?

    5. I don’t have the procedure for changing a tire for different cares memorized, but there are actual instructions in the glove box.

      1. Robby wants to know where the glove box is.

        1. wants to know what a glove box is…

          1. +1 death cab

    6. Oh get off your fucken high horses.

      Some of us have no time to spend an hour changing FUCKEN tires. I certainly don’t and couldn’t care less. Sure, I can do basic stuff like change a flat tire (though I’ve never had to knock on wood. Well, except that time I got stranded on a remote high way in -30 degree weather and decided it was too dangerous and cold so I called CAA – Yes, I did so fuck off).

      Jesus Christ you people.

      1. I was going to close, who cares if he can’t?

      2. lighten up, Francis.

        “It took him three minutes to put on the spare tire?something I couldn’t have done in any amount of time.”

        The funny-sad part isn’t that he called someone to change his tire. It’s that he admitted that he couldn’t do it himself, period.

        Part of being an adult is being able to function within the adult world. A person may certainly engage professionals to provide a service, but to admit that one is incapable of handling a very basic task is un-adult….borderline childish….and pretty much the norm for coastal big-city elites. They treat it almost like virtue signaling…that the very nature of mundane work is outside their world.
        Perhaps he meant to say “It took him three minutes to put on the spare tire — something that would have taken me far longer to figure out on my unfamiliar rental, so I’m glad I called for his assistance”. but that is not what he wrote.

        1. I AM LIGHTENED UP.

          It came off stronger than ‘intended.’

        2. Oh FFS. You’re reading way too much into Robby’s statement here. You WANT to hate him as some coastal elite so you try to deconstruct his words as some sort of sneering judgment against menial labor. How about – he can’t change a tire, and that’s that? You know, not everyone in DC hates the supposedly “real Muricans” who live in places like Macomb County. The country is divided enough as it is, stop trying to turn inocuous statements into hateful judgments, especially when it comes to someone living in DC who is ostensibly more on our side than most anyone else living there.

          Furthermore, there are certain skills that one doesn’t NEED to acquire if living in a big metro area, like DC. I got the impression from the article that Robby doesn’t even own a car. Maybe he’s never owned a car. If he doesn’t own a car, why is it important for him, or anyone similarly situated, to know how to change a tire? It doesn’t make anyone “childish” for admitting that one doesn’t possess a skill to do something that one has absolutely no need to know how to do.

          1. Some people just need things to complain about, so they invent them if they aren’t really there.

            1. I know I can never have hair as glorious as Robby, so I poke fun at his lack of tire changing abilities to make myself feel superior…if only for a fleeting moment.

              1. I for one would trade my tire changing abilities for Robby’s hair without hesitation or regret.

                1. +1 wavy locks

          2. I think you are the one reading too much into things here.

            I am taking Robby at his own words. To me, the admission of the completely inability to handle a simple menial task is indicative of the very common virtue signaling we see from ‘elites’. Robby does this in many of his articles, using phrasing and caveats to signal that he is still “in the club”.

            I find it to be sad and a bit pathetic. And yeh, worthy of mockery.

            True story. I was working on as a gopher (useless 18 yr-old newbie) on a fencing crew that had a job down in ritzy main-line Philly. I was digging with a hand shovel near a garden where we couldn’t get the equipment in. The mother and a young boy around 5 were watching to make sure I didn’t disturb the flower bed…seriously. Boy says to mother “mom, his hands are covered in mud”. Mother says “that’s okay, some people are just dirty”. And yes….all the inference and connotations were loaded into her tone and phrasing. I suspect Robby knows a lot of people like that and maintains them as friends and associates.

            1. Such an admission might be virtue signaling in some other context, but not here. It seemed like a self-deprecating admission.

              1. Virtue signalling is dog whistling for the right wing now.

                Pack it in guys, we got nothing to offer.

            2. You are confusing having money with being a pussy. Robby is the latter.

            3. Have to say I found Robby’s admission kinda condescending. But I’m much more concerned that he gets his hair cut twice a year whether it needs it or not. I almost cut mine. Happened just the other day. But I’m not givin’ in an inch to fear. Lettin’ my freak flag fly, as it were.

          3. “You WANT to hate him as some coastal elite…”

            Maybe so, but if he didn’t want to be hated by a bunch of self reliant libertarians, why does he make it so easy?

          4. First, let’s start with this–

            You WANT to hate him as some coastal elite so you try to deconstruct his words as some sort of sneering judgment against menial labor

            Robby’s NOT a ‘coastal elite’. He’s a hick from Michigan that’s got hisself sum airs.

            And they are the worst. Moron ‘sophisticates’ aping their betters to the extent that their tiny Midwestern minds can grasp.

            They’ve positively ruined the coasts. I would not be surprised if they are, in fact the majority on the coasts now–imbeciles feigning sophistication by mimicking other imbeciles just like themselves–and every one of them not knowing it.

            I think you have to actually be FROM the coasts to truly grasp this.

            1. damned tags

          5. you do know where you are on the internewz, don’t you?

        3. to admit that one is incapable of handling a very basic task is un-adult….borderline childish

          Indeed, nothing more childish than admitting one’s incapabilities. Lie next time, Rico!

        4. So you are responding to a story about how people should look outside of their bubbles by bragging about being in your own bubble? Yes, being able to change a tire is a needed skill to function as an adult for many people. But not everyone. For instance, if you don’t own a car (which isn’t surprising if you live in DC, have you tried driving in that hell hole?), it’s not a scenario you are likely to run into. I’m sure there are plenty of “basic skills” for people in other worlds that can’t do simply because it’s not something you’ve had to encounter in your life.
          As for virtue signaling, is that any different from you treating “being able to change one’s tire” as signaling virtue?

          1. Some people don’t even know how to write a functional do-loop, how can you expect to be a functioning adult in the computer age without that skill?

            1. For structured programming purists:
              sequence
              selection (if-then-else)
              iteration (do until)
              I have often wondered why there have to be three constructs to control a binary system.

              1. I thought you used recursion and list processing in functional. Iteration is like so mutable.

                1. You can differ, but always remember there are 10 kinds of people in the world- those that know binary, and those that don’t…

      3. Jesus Christ you people.

        Is this an anti-American thing?

      4. -30 weather? Isn’t that like all the time in Canada?? 😉

    7. I can change a tire in very short time but I would only do it on a rental car in a life or death situation. You potentially take on way too much liability if you do it yourself on someone else’s car.

      1. You potentially take on way too much liability if you do it yourself on someone else’s car.

        I think some rental car companies prefer it if you don’t change the tire yourself for that very reason.

        1. Which wouldn’t be mockworthy at all — if that was why he left it to trained professionals.

          But, kudos for admitting he can’t do stuff Red Staters take for granted in a non-sneering manner.

      2. Pfft. I’ve changed the tire on a rental car. On the side of a Philadelphia freeway in heavy traffic. They didn’t say boo when I brought it in on the donut spare. Who’s got time to wait around for someone to do a job I can do in five minutes?

    8. How the hell does his “wife” even put up with him?

    9. I’m probably not changing the tire on a rental unless there is an appreciable difference in how long it will take for the agency’s contractor to get there and me doing it myself. If the guy says he’ll be there in 15 minutes I can wait; it’s worth being protected from the liability if something goes wrong.

      1. What the fuck can go wrong? It’s a tire change. If you drop the car on yourself, liability is the least of your problems. Obama made sure you had insurance, right? If you’re so damn stupid that you forgot to set the car on park and engage the parking brake and it rolls away and damages someone/something, then you’re a huge idiot and deserve the liability.

        1. Hence why I’d rather someone else assume that risk. It’s not my car, I’m renting it. I’d rather not be held responsible for something I can avoid by taking advantage of the service offered by the rental car company.

      2. Personally, I’ll take road service. I used to change my own, but then I discovered I could get a big tow-truck driver with much better tools to do it for $12/year added to my insurance.

        Never mind the liability, I just don’t want to pop something on my 70-year-old body.

    10. What a fuckin’ beta male cuck, amiright!

      1. It’s not the tire. It’s the ADORABLE YORKIEZ!

    11. True story: I had to call AAA to change my tire this summer. Well, finish changing it. It was like the wheel had been welded on there. I couldn’t get it off, and the guy whose farm I had pulled off in front of couldn’t, either. So I figure I’m paying for it, might as well use it (plus, I’m in a shirt and tie).

      I have this truck jacked up on the side of the road at a precarious angle on berm gravel, and this guy takes his official mechanic’s 4×4 piece of lumber, crawls under and hammers at the wheel until it breaks loose. If the jack gave way, there was no way I was going to be able to pull his 300 lbs out from under there. Crazy.

      I finished putting on the spare myself. Couldn’t tell who he planned on voting for, but as I was about 4 miles from home, I was still inside my bubble.

      1. Whenever you get new tires or go to a mechanic, ask them to hand tighten the lug-nuts. I’ve had to rig something to get a 4-foot lever arm to loosen them before.

        1. I’ve had that happen as well. However, in this case it wasn’t the nuts. I removed them easily. The wheel was fused to the hub.

          1. If you can find something heavy to hit it with, hit it from the outside at alternating spots along the rim, instead of crawling underneath. Lever action will eventually break free a spot opposite from where you’re hitting.

            1. I attempted all of this. I was at the point of damaging my rims just to get the thing off.

        2. When I was a lil kid, was on a trip in my great-uncle’s station wagon when we heard a loud thump. Sounded like something had hit the car. He got out, couldn’t find anything. Drove some more….heard it again. Then again a few minutes later. He got out and finally found the issue. The lug nuts and bolts where popping off the wheel mount. There was only 1 left holding the tire on. Apparently, he had the tires rotated just before the trip when it was in for service and they grossly over-tightened the lugnuts, to the point that it stressed the bolts to failure. American steel, baby.

          1. This very thing happened to my wife. We’d gotten a Highlander new from a local dealer and had taken it in to get the tires rotated as part of the routine maintenance package we’d bought. Drove off and didn’t notice anything for a few weeks, although there was an odd knocking or clicking at speed. One day as she’s taking a ramp to get on to the DC Beltway from College Park, the passenger front wheel flies off the car, landing on the Beltway below before rolling off into the woods.

            She had the car towed back to the dealership. The mechanic on duty gave her his “well here’s your problem little lady” look and said that someone had overtorqued the lug nuts, and asked her if she’d gotten the car worked on lately. “Yeah. Here. Last week.” And then all of a sudden it had nothing to do with overtorquing and it was a freak accident. We were going to sue but between one thing and another we never did. But, to this day, every time I drive past Koons Toyota in Annapolis I think about firebombing the place some night.

          2. They quality of the steel wasn’t the problem. It is the fault of the installer who over-tightened the lug nuts. A given size stud has a torque specification, yet many shops have tire installers who use impact wrenches and tighten the nuts way, way too tight. Not only can over torque lead to stud failure: It can also warp your brake rotors and aluminum wheels.

    12. Was going to be my comment as well!
      I did want to add surprise that anyone is actually allowed to touch the hair….

    13. Probably can’t change culture either. There are things standing in the way. Like city culture and country culture.

      http://classicalvalues.com/2016/12/two-ecologies/

      A Thermodynamic Explanation Of Politics

      The Thermodynamics is against it.

      1. Good links, thanks.

    14. I have had several flat tires I couldn’t change. Two were on the same stretch of road — nails from some construction. The problem is, both were on two lane roads with soft sandy shoulders — jack wouldn’t raise a red wagon, let alone a car. Others were in the snow, same problem. I suspect the snow was the problem here.

  3. It took him three minutes to put on the spare tire?something I couldn’t have done in any amount of time.

    Bahahahaha! Oh, I’m sorry, that and the Yorkies, I just couldn’t handle it. Seriously though, congratulations on reconnecting with the people you were born and raised around all those arduous years ago.

    1. Seriously – I hope he wasn’t walking the Yorkies and telling the tire story back home. The locals would jump to some conclusions, not that there’s anything wrong with that…

      1. He did bring his wife with him.

        1. Even the yokels know what a beard is.

      2. Doesn’t mean anything. Walter from the Big Lebo waking had a Yorkie iirc

          1. He didn’t rent it shoes. He’s not buying it a fucking beer. It’s not taking Robby’s fucking turn.

            1. And it don’t roll on shabbat.

    2. My wife, who is a tiny little thing, can change a tire for herself. The only time she cannot is when we’ve had the car in a shop where they use a pneumatic wrench to put the lugs on (fuck those people), and even I can’t always get those things off without a lot of leverage on the tire iron. Seriously, I’ve snapped off every lug post on one wheel because of that before.

      She can also jump a car for the hapless while they stand around with their thumbs up their butts trying to pretend they know where the wires go.

      I’m certain he knows more about hair care products than she does. I guess that’s why he’s The Soave, and we are not. So metro.

      1. Of course, the funniest thing of all is that he has to be trolling us to get the best reactions in the comments. Everyone can change a tire. I refuse to believe there are people who don’t know how.

        1. Second hand story, but I believe it. A friend of mine was telling me how a young woman at work popped a button off her shirt and said “Darn. This was my favorite shirt. Now I’ll have to buy a new one.” She honestly didn’t know that you could sew a button back on in under five minutes (which includes time spent digging out the sewing box).

    3. Does his wife identify as a lesbian?

  4. Wait, what? You have your hair CUT?

    1. The follicles that cannot meet the highest of standards are ruthlessly weeded out.

  5. “….we share an apartment with a pair of adorable Yorkies.”

    Of course you do.

    1. I noticed that too.

  6. The woman who cuts my hair?and has done so for over two decades

    This is obviously part of some ritualistic cult. Grooming him for possession by Mephistopheles.

  7. What did my barber know about it?

    Barber…yeah, right. Go ahead and say it…she’s not your barber, she’s your hair stylist>/i>

    1. I go to a barber shop that has 4 male barbers and one older lady barber. I wouldn’t call her a stylist. She cuts men’s hair all day. They do exist.

      1. Yup. I have one, too.

      2. I go out on the front porch, Mrs. Animal ties a towel around my shoulders, plugs in the clippers and administers a pretty damn good GI buzz-cut. Can’t beat the price, and I get to flirt with my lady barber and not get slapped.

  8. Robby manages to do what so many other journalists, minus the now-respected Salena Zito, have failed to do. Write an article about these people without being a condescending, self-righteous douchebag. Good job. I’m a gay man who’s lived around the country. I’d much rather break down in the middle of Kentucky than break down in the East Village.
    I have good friends who think marriageshould only between a man and a woman, but who would be the first to start a fight if somebody called me a faggot at the bar. At some point, whether or not you are a good person became about thoughts and beliefs instead of actions and words. I’ve met some slightly racist homophobes who treat gays and blacks as individuals no different than they would treat anybody else, even going out of their way to help them. On the other hand, I know plenty of liberals with all the proper social views who are selfish, horrible, mean human beings.
    I consider the first group to be much better people.

    1. ^This

      Absolutely the shittest person I have ever worked with spent at least 30% of any interaction virtue signalling, but was one of the meanest, rudest, most hateful people I think I have ever (or ever will) encounter. The most blatant sexist bullshit has come my way from two holier than thou progressives. They never need to be polite, respectful or helpful to the person in front of them because, dammit, THEY’RE SAVING THE WORLD!!!

    2. Well said. It’s been pretty much my experience (minus the gayness). The shittiest people I’ve known – as IFH notes – have been stupid left-wingers. They act like they’re all rainbows and love but in action they’re all envy and rage.

    3. Nicely said.

      I’ll go a step further and say that I’ve seen some pretty significant regional differences. To put it bluntly, people in the DMV (the DC metro, including Maryland and northern Virginia) are hellish dicks. I’ve grown up here, so I’m used to it, but I distinctly remember my first experience with a local after spending two weeks driving around Savannah and Orlando was getting out of my car at the shopping center by my house, walking into a drug store, holding the door for the woman behind me and her not just not acknowledging me but giving me a shitty look, like I was in her way.

      Two years later after a few weeks in New Orleans and east Texas, we get back to town. Same shopping center, stopping to get beer before we got home so we could just relax for the rest of the day. I walk up to an ATM and start getting money out, when I hear behind me, “Yeah, I’m trying to hurry, but there’s some guy taking forever at the ATM.” Some bitch is on her cell phone immediately behind me talking shit to her friend about me. I was gobsmacked.

      It’s gotten so that I stay inside for a day or two after travelling in the South just so I don’t lose my shit on a local.

  9. Robby has to be trolling.

    1. Yeah, I think he likes to provide the commentariat with fodder.

      1. Thirded.

        (she must be really good if he goes back to Detroit to get his hair cut)

    2. Yeah, he’s got to be trolling us here. Having lived all but a decade of my 50 years in Macomb County and what with his being unable to change a tire, calling his Yorkies “adorable” and his obvious stylist masquerading as a “Barber”, I have to ask Robby: What bubble of Macomb County did you grow up in? because it certainly isn’t the one I know……

  10. After he finished, he wished me a Merry Christmas?emphasis on the Merry Christmas?and drove off.

    This has got to be parody.

      1. Why do you always ask stupid fucking questions like this when you already know perfectly well the answer?

        Heh, and suddenly I just realized now I’m doing the same thing. You do it to be an annoying dickhead.

        1. No, I have no idea what he thinks it is a parody of. It was a sincere question. I suppose he could have meant “satire”.

          Sounds like a reasonable interpretation of what happened. People do make a point of saying “Merry Christmas” rather than some watered down “inclusive” thing like “Happy Holidays”. I do it sometimes.

          1. This is especially likely around Christmas. Odd how that works.

          2. In the Real World(TM) people just say ‘Merry Christmas’ around Christmastime. They’re not being pointed, they’re not trying to be in anyone’s face. They just tend to say ‘Merry Christmas’

            Like people have done for centuries.

    1. I doubt the guy thought he was putting any emphasis on “Merry Christmas”. He probably didn’t think anything differently about this interaction than he did about any other.

      1. It certainly happens that people make a point of saying “Christmas” rather than “Holidays”.

  11. But I was the one who spent time amongst all the smart, professional, political experts and writer types. What did my barber know about it?

    PJ O’Rourke said long ago that if you want to really know what the man in the street’s thinking, you talk to taxi drivers and bartenders and prostitutes. Probably could have added barbers – any professional service person that meets and talks to a lot of people knows that people will say things honestly and openly to them that they wouldn’t say in a social setting to a peer. I mean, it’s even a clich? that women go to the beauty salons to get all the latest gossip, isn’t it?

    1. “PJ O’Rourke said long ago that if you want to really know what the man in the street’s thinking, you talk to taxi drivers and bartenders and prostitutes.”

      “Honey, if talking politics is your kink that’s great, but it’s gonna cost you extra – I charge more for the really perverted stuff.”

    2. Weird. I was raised to believe that one never discusses politics or religion in mixed company.

  12. In that way, D.C. and New York City media circles are like elite college campuses: wholly incapable of grappling with the fact that the U.S. is a massive place that includes millions of people who live very different lives and hold very different views.

    Least you understand that. But then…

    This year, we got a flat tire about two hours outside of D.C., in rural southwestern Pennsylvania. I called the rental car company, and they dispatched roadside assistance. The man who came to change our tire was in his fifties or sixties…It took him three minutes to put on the spare tire?something I couldn’t have done in any amount of time.

    Robby, if you can’t change a tire at your age you should be embarrassed.

    I said that wouldn’t be a problem.

    “Great,” he replied. “Thanks.”

    I don’t know why he thanked me. He was doing me the favor.

    American fails to understand general etiquette, news at eleven.

    /Canadian snobbery.

    1. You probably wouldn’t get that response in the DC-NYC axis.

      1. Has the New Jersey style of social interaction completely overrun the East Coast?!?

        1. The New Jersey style of social interaction is a step above what is coming out of the East Coast cities.

          Service people look at you like your pond scum and treat you accordingly. If you are anywhere around NYC/Philly/DC and need to interact with someone in service, go to the oldest person there. By and large they have remnants of common courtesy taught when they were kids. failing that, find the one younger male who is dressed well. There always seems to be one. The one kid that is standing away from the others and is working the job because its a stepping stone….not because its the only place that would hire him.

      2. In the DC-NYC axis, you wouldn’t even get the guy doing you a favor in the first place. They’d probably be more interested in getting you out the door so that can go back to whatever they were doing before you so rudely interrupted them with your demand that they get off their ass and do their fucking job.

        1. I expected the guy to suggest he might be able to get him a deal for a cut of the money saved. In cash.

          People going out of their way to save some random stranger’s money? Are you kidding?

  13. Lest Robby take all the tire-change heat in this thread, I’ll tell one on me that happened nearly 20 years ago. Me and a buddy headed to San Antonio one Sunday afternoon when he blew a tire. We got out to fix things and had no luck loosening the lug nuts. My buddy had recently acquired his Chevy Blazer; my car had the same tire changing equipment, and in my experience it was crap. I advised him that we needed to get our hands on a better lug wrench, lest the one on hand strip the lug bolts.

    It was quite a walk down in the Texas heat to the nearest convenience store, but we managed to get our hands on another lug wrench. Unfortunately, it was pretty much the same thing my buddy and I had, but we tried it anyway. No luck. We returned the wrench with thanks, but I made sure to let the kind woman who lent it know: get yourself a new lug wrench, lest the same thing happens to you. She was grateful for the advice.

    1. This is why you put aluminium grease on your lug bolts and then tighten your nuts to the specified torque, no tighter. You don’t want to be that guy who rounds off the shitty wrench in his spare tire kit.

  14. Another lengthy walk brought us to the Dairy Queen, where we struck gold: a woman there not only had an awesome lug wrench, but a length of pipe for additional leverage. This would surely do the job. We were pleased.

    Unfortunately, it STILL wasn’t working. I tried it, it wouldn’t budge. My friend tried it – same thing. As I was taking another crack at it, my friend asked the $10,000 question:

    “Why…why are we tightening it?”

    Followed by a good ten minutes of gut laughs. I couldn’t breathe and neither could my friend. Any time I felt my laughing subside, I reminded myself of telling the first helpful woman how bad her lug wrench was. My friend pointed out how pissed off our dads would be. Holy shit, what a couple of idiots.

    1. Uh, righty tighty, lefty loosy?

      I’m no mechanic or carpenter, but I recite that little ditty whenever I approach something I’m going to have to turn.

      1. I’d like to say I just remember the right hand rule, but I also find myself reciting that from time to time.

        On a related note, who can recite the alphabet without the alphabet song playing in your head?

    2. That’s hilarious. Also happened to my cousin. He managed to take us off a shoulder driving his mom’s van (she didn’t want me driving it since It had been 8 years since my parents had owned something that big, and I drive a little car), and the should was about 4 inches deep. New pavement, he took the tire right to the edge, and blew out the sidewall. While he was trying to change it (after unlocking the lug nuts), he started making them tighter, then complained about how the Japanese build everything backwards (it was a Honda). I had been trying to use his sister’s cell to get a hold of the other car traveling with us, so we could send the younger kids home, and reduce the weight on the spare (It was Sunday, so the tire store locally was closed, and it was ~50 Miles to our local residence then to the tire store). My poor uncle is lucky though, they’ve gone through 5 or 6 tires in our time visiting this town for the last 25 years, so the local tire guy sells him the tires at cost, and only charges him half for labor. Solid guy, even gives that discount to my parents, who live there now.

    3. So what happened to the “woman” with the lug wrench and “pipe”?

  15. 24 years later and The Kids in the Hall still rock:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1tFbZ5kaY8

  16. Good article. I won’t jump on with the tire changing cheap shots. My ex wife could not change a tire either. I will not judge.

    As long as we are willing to give tremendous authority to a sole person chosen by the masses

    Who are you calling “we”? It wasn’t the unwashed masses who let the power of the Executive get out of hand. It was the politicians you and your friends talk to.

    1. Key word “wife” which signifies a female.

  17. All I want to know is, who is this goddess who is able to run her fingers through Robbies magnificant mane. Wait you grew up in Detroit and don’t know how to change a tire!?! Good thing you didn’t get a flat tire in Montana… because there that sleeveless speciman of a tow truck driver would’ve changed your tire, sexed up your mrs. and then wished you a merry christmas…

  18. Macomb is one of the 209 counties across the country that went Obama, Obama, Trump. It’s an overwhelmingly white place?85 percent of the 800,000 people who live there are white…

    Unpossible. All “right thinking people” know that the only reason why Trump won is because white people are a bunch of racisty racists, so how could a county that’s 85% white possibly have gone to Obama twice and then flipped to Trump? Surely all those goodthinkfull people aren’t wrong, are they?! /sarc

  19. So Robby, are you now going to get the fuck out of DC on a regular basis? It would greatly improve your perspective and writing.

    The only National Review author I bother reading these days is Victor Davis Hanson – who’s home is in rural California. He writes devastating pieces from that perspective.

    1. I had forgotten that VDH wrote for National Review. I go directly to his personal web site.

      Him and Mark Steyn.

  20. Robby. Your goals for 2017 are to learn to change a tire, and to charge a battery using jumper cables. This is important. Please report back when accomplished. You have to actually do both of those things, not just read about them.

    1. “Okay, but I can’t find a plug on either end of the jumper cables.”

    2. So, not to hammer a point too much, but if you live in the city, car mechanics are nice to haves, not need to haves.

      When I lived in Boston I’d go months without getting behind the wheels of a car and walked everywhere, only driving when I visited my folks back home.

      1. Right, but by the same logic swimming isn’t something you’re going to need to do on a day-to-day basis, but the rare time you need to do it isn’t the time to learn. You lose nothing by knowing basic auto maintenance and gain the security of preparedness. Or, as I’ve seen it put elsewhere, every man should be able to save his own life.

        1. If I lived in a desert area with limited access to swim and almost no need, I can’t guarantee I’d have bothered to learn. I likely would have learned skills and developed resources more suited to where I lived.

          1. And then you’d drown the one time in 50 years when the wash flooded. Life’s funny that way.

  21. While some are laughing at Robby’s lack of tire changing skills, we should remember how funny it is when a tourist is trying to figure out how to use the subway turnstile or hail a cab or do any of a thousand things the big city slicker takes for granted. There’s been many movies made about how funny a yokel is in the city, and how funny the city boy is in rural America.

    1. This is true.

      I can’t really understand why people don’t want to know how to do everything. But I might not be normal.

      1. I have a limited amount of time in my life and will prioritize based on return on investment from the task.

    2. As an old person, I can remember when you were expected to know how to change a tire, change a fan belt, change the oil and the spark plugs, too. But back then nobody I knew would have known what a serpentine belt or a fuel injector or a steel-belted radial was and cars had more than 4 inches of ground clearance where you could actually slide under the thing to get at the oil filter. (And nobody had cars where the motor sits in there sideways and you’d no more refer to a car being “rear-wheel drive” than you’d refer to it having a “gasoline engine” or “crank-operated windows” or a “push-button radio” – what the hell else would it have?) Knowing how to change a tire is about as useful a skill as knowing how to change a typewriter ribbon, the matter just doesn’t come up very often. (Last time I had to change a tire was maybe 20 years ago, but regularly driving onto job sites means you carry a little compressor that plugs into the cigarette lighter and a tire-plugging kit in the truck because you’re forever picking up stray screws and nails.)

      1. Related: Today (or more likely a day when it is warmer) I have to change a headlight bulb, and doing so will take me the better part of an hour. It is going to be a huge hassle.

        1. You have to take the battery out to change one bulb in my car, and take apart the air filter to get at the other one.

          I liked it when you just changed the whole big glass thing rather than the tiny bulb. Then you got nice fresh lenses too rather than having plastic ones that keep getting scratched and cloudy.

          1. You have to take the battery out to change one bulb in my car

            I had a Grand Cherokee with the same process.

        2. Sorry to hear that. I’ve been there. At least it’s a job that almost never needs to be done.

          Changing headlights is a major pain in the ass on modern cars. They want the front ends to look sleek and cool and aerodynamic. Sometimes I yearn for the 80’s because pretty much the only cars you’d find in America that were hard to work on were Japanese. Now all cars are like Japanese cars.

          1. A few of the old ones were just as bad. Many, many years ago I was doing a tune up on a friend’s old 1959 Lincoln. To get to that last plug in the back right I had to use two universal joints to get the socket wrench on it.

      2. Changing belts, doing your own oil charge, and some of the other previously operator-level maintenance items might be something you don’t need to (or even couldn’t do on most new cars without specialized equipment) do, knowing how to, and being able, to change a tire seems different. You probably won’t have something unexpectedly catastrophic happen to your car due to not having the oil changed (if you’ve gone 65,000 miles without changing or replacing oil it’s not “unexpected” when it goes sideways) but having a tire blow out because of striking road debris or coming out to a flat tire because you picked up a nail somewhere can happen whether the tires are 80k miles old or 8.

      3. My problem wasn’t changing the tire but remembering how to get the spare out from under my pickup truck. There’s a long rod I have to insert into the back and turn a screw which lowers the tire so I can get at it.. By the time I need to be able to change a tire (rarely), I’ve forgotten about how to do this.

    3. BUT IT’S SUCH A BASIC THING!!

  22. Our friends are almost universally journalists, think tanks staffers, and government employees.

    It sucks to be you.

    1. No shit. I kind of feel bad for kicking Robby around so much. I had no idea his life sucked that badly.

  23. D.C. and New York City media circles are like elite college campuses: wholly incapable of grappling with the fact that the U.S. is a massive place that includes millions of people who live very different lives and hold very different views.

    That’s why we need really smart people to tell us what to think. Just like we need really smart people to plan and run the economy, so people won’t buy and sell the wrong things.

  24. What did my barber know about it?

    Barber. Yeah, right.

    1. Yes, we all know hear real title is, “Master Hairsmith”.

      1. Sensei of Coiffe-Fu Dojo

  25. See? I’m such an out of touch millennial coastal elitist that I didn’t even know I should be ashamed of not being able to change a tire. And… I’m not ashamed, actually.

    1. And… I’m not ashamed, actually.

      This unintentionally summarizes the problem.

      1. Yes. Learning to change a tire isn’t something you go to school for, it’s something you do when it happens.

        Pull out the manual, read the section, put the spare on. I never changed a battery myself until I went to start my car and it wouldn’t. Go down to the store, get a new one, watch the numerous Youtube videos available now (it’s easier than ever to find instructional videos for home/car repair, certainly better than when I was a kid), change the damned thing, and get your core deposit back.

        It’s not that fucking hard unless you are stubbornly determined not to roll up your sleeves and just take a stab at it.

        1. Sarah Palin can change a tire. But who would you rather hang out with? The author or Sarah Palin?

          1. Sarah Palin.

            1. 2nd

        2. Robby is the Anti-Mike Rowe.

    2. You should just learn. Watch a Youtube video or something, it’s so easy that I just taught myself to do it when I first had to as a teen.

    3. Robby, I will actually, honest to God pay you to come up here to northern Ontario (I may record it for reality tv show purposes however), and train you in the ways of basic human survival. You will learn such skills as:

      1. Basic automobile repair that my ten year old niece can do.
      2. Killing your own food and field-dressing it.
      3. Shelter construction and general wilderness survival tips.
      4. How to survive in sub-zero temperatures.
      5. How to survive bear attacks (you may have to sign some paperwork for this one).
      6. How to survive moose with parasites in their brain attacks (yes this is a thing).

      1. How to survive moose with parasites in their brain attacks (yes this is a thing).

        You should hit it with a flash grenade then shoot the Las Plagas that pop out. Ez.

      2. 7. How to pay for beer with Tire money.
        8. How to wear denim everything.
        9. How to curdle milk from a bag to put onto your fries.

        1. 10. Ins and outs of moonshine operations.
          11. Growing pot in a back 40.
          12. Proper hockey fight techniques.

    4. It isn’t the lack of knowledge. It is the unwillingness to reach into the glove box, read the instructions and figure it out that is disturbing.

    5. I’m by no means the greatest fix-it guy, but if you can’t even change a tire, that means you basically can’t do anything yourself, and you’re pretty much completely useless as a man.

      It blows my mind that there are women out there today who will put up with this.

      1. All this focus on it being a requirement for being a man and such is whatever to me. I just think that changing a car tire is something with a very high ratio of usefulness to easiness. He should learn it, his wife should learn it, it should probably be taught when people are learning to drive.

        As cars get more reliable and newer, a lot of the electronics and such hold up, and it becomes less necessary to be able to do that for yourself. But tires still break regularly, and doing it yourself is a 10 minute thing.

        1. It’s really not a manliness thing, it’s a basic degree of personal independence thing.

          1. This, I agree with more.

          2. Yes, a woman should get no more of a pass (or criticized) for this than a man.

          3. Exactly, manliness. In other words think to yourself “everyone else can do this, so I should be able to as well”. Shame is something we need to bring back, and if that takes insulting Robby’s (he should call himself Robert, Rob, or Bob for fuck’s sake. Robby is a nine year old’s name) testosterone level gets it done, then consider such insults as a necessary evil.

            1. He’s more of a Roberto. And he doesn’t always drink beer, but when he does, he prefers Dos Equis.

              Out of a glass, of course.

          4. I was raised to believe that you shouldn’t pay someone to do something you can do yourself unless the value of the time required of you outweighs the cost. In the case of a rental car with a flat I might decide that since I’d already paid for the service I’d wait for the service guy. If time was an issue I’d just do it myself.

        2. doing it yourself is a 10 minute thing.

          It can take much longer than that.

          1. How much more though? I haven’t really seen one tire take much longer that. Almost all the effort is in the raising of the car, and unscrewing of the lug nuts.

            Though, my intention with “10 minute thing” was just to imply some relatively quick endeavor. And my overall point is that it’s a very easy and valuable thing to know. If it was really cold, or an unfamiliar car and he didn’t want to mess with it, that is fine. I just think its good to know.

            1. It is a good skill to know – and it is not that difficult – but changing a tire is not always a simple process, especially with substandard tools.

              1. It is not a skill. It is the equivalent of mailing a letter.

              2. Sure. And it could be so cold out that its worth calling someone, or you might just not WANT to. All are fine, I am simply asserting that it is easy to learn how to do, and is useful to know. The ratio of ease-to-usefulness is so high, that I would recommend they take a little bit of time to see how its done, and then they have it in their back pocket.

          2. This man edges.

            1. Edging is great. When you finally come after days of edging it is mindblowing.

          3. doing it yourself is a 10 minute thing.

            It can take much longer than that.

            And it can be much quicker than that

      2. We just learn how to do it on our own … although after I had told my husband to flip the breaker before I went in to fix the fan in the freezer and he didn’t because he couldn’t see why it was needed. Quite a shocking result (pun intended). Never trusted him to do anything around the house afterwards.

        Then there were the friends who were trying to remove the transmission from a truck and couldn’t figure out how to get it out. Finally called me after a few hours. I went under, looked at the supporting strut felt around to the ends where the bolts had to be and couldn’t find anything weird, so I just said “Once you get those bolts out I don’t see why it wouldn’t come out.” “What bolts?” they asked. “The ones on the end of the struts.” “There’s no bolts there.” Yes there are.” Ten minutes later as they were pulling it off I was asked “How did you know those bolts were there?” “I just looked at it. They had to be there.”

        Some people just don’t have any mechanical sense. Just the way they are.

    6. I am with you, Rob. The smart ones pay a fee to AAA so when they have a flat tire someone else can change it. You shouldn’t change a tire on a rental car anyway unless it is an emergency.

      1. Okay, here is the thing. Robby did not mention that he had the roadside service do it for him because it is a rental. Liability could come into play there, you know, all of that plain old libertarian stuff even if there were not some unknowable number of statutes mucking up the works.

        No, he said he called them because he can’t do basic, normal person, stuff.

    7. You do realize you’ll be among the first to go in a zombie apocalypse.

    8. And… nobody is shocked either.

    9. Does your father know about this?

  26. (I say this literally: we pool HBO GO, Netflix, and Hulu accounts with several other people).

    Uh, I didn’t realize Robby hated capitalism so much he would break the law to avoid it!

  27. “The house where I lived for the first 18 years of my life is located in Macomb County…
    …It’s an overwhelmingly white place”

    Would never have guessed.

    “My wife and I have lived…”

    Welp, guess I need to get that gaydar recalibrated.

    1. Did you miss the whole “metrosexual” (what a stupid term) thing?

      1. To be fair the ‘adorable Yorkies’ is making me question whether his wife’s a beard now.

        1. She’s pretty cute (you can see his wife through the Instagram links provided, so I’m not being too much of a creep).

          And as he is part of the coastal elite journalist set, I don’t think he’d have any reason to lie about sexual orientation.

          1. Those Instagram pics are goldmine for analyzing Robbie.

  28. I’m not ashamed, actually.

    That’s fine. There are many people who consider helplessness (feigned or not) to be endearing.

    I don’t. But then again, I am not a journalist, think tank wonk, government agent, or NGO parasite.

  29. >””If they call you, you have to tell them you were furious,” he said. “You have to say you were ready to storm out and take your business elsewhere unless I did this for you.” — I said that wouldn’t be a problem.

    Nice job publicly outing that rental car dealer who cut you a break on the price. If his boss reads this and he gets fired for helping you, I hope you got room for him and his family.

    1. This, all the tire changing shit and hardly anyone cares that Robby rat-fucked the rental guy.

    2. If his boss reads this

      I doubt that his boss is one of Robby’s regular readers.

  30. It’s a bubble. Can’t deny it. Just is.

    Macomb County and Bedford County are bubbles, too.

    So everyone is in a bubble. Yet do you think it’s more likely that someone in Macomb and Bedford has more knowledge about the happenings in DC than someone in DC has about the happenings in Macomb and Beford? There are bubbles and then there are bubbles.

    1. Hell, I’m guessing the Macombers might be better at seeing what is happening in DC than someone living in DC in Robbie’s circle:

      DCer: “Inflation is up unexpectedly. We’re not quite sure why!”

      Macomber: “You’re printing it real fast. That makes it worth less.”

      DCer: “The prefacing clause in the Second Amendment means only people in the National Guard and other government regulated militia have the right to weapons.”

      Macomber: “It says we have to right to arm ourselves against tyrants, including the existing government, just like happened back in the mid-1770s. Shooting deer for meat was also important for staying alive back then, too.”

    2. There are bubbles and then there are bubbles.

      Funny how that “empathy” stuff sort of goes out the window if tire-changing guy dares to write an editorial.

      1. Tire Change Guy: “I’m voting for Donald Trump.”

        DC Guy with Great Hair: “Only because you lack the sleeves necessary to tell you that he is a loser who can’t win.”

  31. Hound: Of course you live with Yorkies.

    Arya: Lots of people live with Yorkies.

    Hound: Lots of cunts.

  32. I didn’t get past the part about his yorkies, not being able to change a tire, and calling a ‘vest’ some form of “sleeveless jacket” previously unbeknownst to him.

    after that, i’m not sure i was ready for his impressionistic assessment of “real america”

    1. Hey, Biff, get a load of this guy’s life preserver. Dork thinks he’s gonna drown.

      1. i’d have skipped the tire changing episode entirely if i hadn’t skipped to the last sentence and found it echoing in the conclusion.

        I really don’t think its his audience being troglodytes.

      2. oh, right = back to the future

        well played

    2. I thought it was pretty good.

      1. needed a prison-rape scene

    3. To be fair, no many yorkies can change a tire.

  33. Everyone has their own bubble. It is human nature. As someone who inhabits the DC bubble but also has lots of friends and family in different bubbles, I think I can speak with some authority on this subject. My experience is that while everyone has their own bubbles, the people who inhabit the DC bubble are profoundly ignorant of the rest of the country in a way that those in other bubbles are not. Washington is a special bubble of stupidity, ignorance and narrow mindedness.

    1. People living in the Middle America “bubble” are constantly exposed to the thoughts and beliefs of those living on the coast through the media. Far more conservatives could pass a liberal Turing Test than vice versa. Seriously, how many retarded articles have been written in leftists rags psychoanalyzing conservatives and concluding that they are all just angry aging white men upset by the growing number of minorities and are scared of “losing their power”.

      1. Pretty much that.

      2. Seriously, how many retarded articles have been written in leftists rags psychoanalyzing conservatives and concluding that they are all just angry aging white men

        All of them?

        The conclusions to the “How did we get it so wrong?” post-mortem articles written in the WaPo and NYT were almost 100% = “We didn’t realize how unbelievably racist [all these former Obama*] voters were”

        Its always, “its them, not us”. Its “they lied to our polls”, not “maybe we need better tools than “just polling”.

        Not, “maybe our 1000s of hyperventilating editorials actually had a counter-productive effect”

        1. And then their answer to the problem is learning how to talk to us so they can explain their solutions better so we’ll understand and vote their way next time.

          The idea that we might already know what they want to do, and have seen it fail time after time, doesn’t compute.

      3. angry aging white men upset by the growing number of minorities and are scared of “losing their power”.

        Oh, you mean sloopy.

    2. Washington is a special bubble of stupidity, ignorance and narrow mindedness.

      Don’t forget arrogance.

      1. Washington is the bubble where everyone believes they have that right to rule all the icky peasants in the other bubbles.

  34. By the way, I love that counties that went for Obama twice and Trump once are now officially “Trump’s America”.

    Anything less than total 100% lifelong fidelity to the progressives is enough to make you an enemy of the state and the people I guess.

    1. I don’t know about you, but I love Trump’s America. I’m just grabbing pussies left and right and they let me do it.

      1. They only “let” you? I get encouraged.

        1. Resigned indifference is how I like it.

  35. WHEN ARE AIRLESS TIRES FINALLY GOING TO BE AN ACTUAL THING?

    1. Just wait until Google puts a set of them on one of their driverless car. Bailey will wrote a 3,000 word article about what a great leap forward it is for humanity.

  36. Regarding bubbles, my mother always said that people in big cities are the most provincial people she ever met. We lived in a small farm town of less than 3000 people, but we read, we traveled, we knew there was a whole big world out there. That map of the New Yorker’s view of the world is no joke.

    So now Robbie discovers he lives in a bubble, but comforts himself with the rationalization that everyone lives in a bubble. No, sorry.

  37. Robby just needs to go the whole hog and finish the story off with how he’ll never forget those “Proles in the mist”.

  38. Good article, Robbo. My puppy would eat your yorkies but I’m gladdened to hear that you are a dog owner. F.Y.I. – I worked at an Auto Auction in St.Louis as a “safety truck” driver(I had to change tires and other basic maintenance to get them through the auction) and I would be the first one calling someone else to do it if it was free.

  39. I live in Southern Pennsylvania, and have changed many a tire, but if I was in a rental, I’d damn sure let them pay somebody else to crawl in the mud to change it.

    Still Robby, damn, you should do it just once, just so you can’t honestly say you don’t know how.

  40. Yeah, yeah, everybody lives in a bubble.

    But here’s the thing about living in non-urban communities: you are pretty well forced into associating with a broader spectrum of people. This, OTOH, is a pretty small bubble:

    Our friends are almost universally journalists, think tanks staffers, and government employees.

    It would be hard to have a bubble that small in a smaller community. Because holy crap, that’s a small bubble. Most of my bubble right now is hospital people, but that includes administrators, nurses, doctors, and a slew of people with other kinds of jobs (marketing, etc.).

  41. The rural bubble gets to see how we coastal elite types live whenever they watch movies or TV. LA and New York are the most common settings because that’s where everyone in those industries lives. But depictions of a rural community as anything other than idiots to be ridiculed is exceedingly rare. As far as TV, I can only really think of Friday Night Lights and Rectify, and maybe Fargo, though they still poke fun at both rural and city types quite a bit. Either way, they probably understand us far more than we understand them. That shouldn’t have been news this past year

  42. Would’ve loved to hear the convo when the sleeveless tow truck guy got back to the yard… Cute little fella, hands like a little girl, with 2 punter dogs. His sister was cute though….

  43. My last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
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  44. And we get an origin story exposition on The Source Of The Hair.

  45. Good piece, but I’ll bet Robby is thinking: “Cripes, I should not have mentioned the flat tire….”

  46. It took him three minutes to put on the spare tire?something I couldn’t have done in any amount of time

    Frickin’ seriously, Robby? And you announce that in public? That kind of incompetence is the sort of thing men are supposed to hide with the same level of shame they would feel if they were pedophiles or soccer fans.

  47. Two conclusions:
    One, Robby is paid by the number of comments generated.
    Two, Inspector Callahan was right; “A man’s got to know his limitations”.

  48. The media and Hollywood are saying this is actual hell and Trump is the living breathing Satan. Rachel Maddow openly suggested she will be dragged off to a concentration camp THIS WEEK. Meryl Streep calls herself the American Anne Frank.

    1. Well, if the truck driving Rachel Maddow to the concentration camp gets a flat, don’t expect Robbie to fix it.

  49. It took him three minutes to put on the spare tire?something I couldn’t have done in any amount of time.

    Seriously? How helpless are you? I was changing tractor tires when I was ten or eleven. It’s just not that damn hard, if you have the upper body strength of PeeWee Herman and the brains of Barbra Streisand you can change adamn tire.

  50. It took him three minutes to put on the spare tire?something I couldn’t have done in any amount of time.

    LOL Holy smoke Robby, did your balls just never drop?

  51. couldn’t change a tire? another worthless fucking millennial. I bet he puts peanut butter on his nuts and tries to get his little dogs to lick it off.

  52. The tire thing was meh, dude lives in a city, and is a proud progressive. What I can’t figure out is his outing of the poor clerk that helped him get a discount on his rental. I remember reading about the grand tradition of journalists going to jail to protect a source, but that was when the profession was respected.

  53. I note that now that the Trump holds the whip, there is a lot of talk about peace, love, and understanding between the bubbles.

    Didn’t notice a lot of those articles last summer. Seem to recall more “only racist hicks support Trump, but they’re old, white, and dying off anyway, and if they’re not dying off, they *should* be”.

    Kevin Williamson at National Review on “downscale” white communities:

    The truth about these dysfunctional, downscale communities is that they deserve to die.

    This is the attitude they have when they hold the whip. Never forget it.

  54. Watching election returns all night is a rediculous, silly, meaningless act of narcicism; much better to hear the final outcome in the morning.

    But last November I sat up all night, on the edge of my seat, watching PBS. It was thrilling watching the meltdown unfold. We could have been under attack by Martians judging by the disorientation of the “DC-based journalists.”

    1. Me too ^^ First time ever

  55. Didn’t make it all the way through the comments yet. Tomorrow if I have time.

    But. I can and have: shot, skinned, and butchered moose, caribou, and a variety of other critters. I canned a lot of that meat too. And tanned the hides. And sewed mukluks and hats–with wolverine and beaver fur. Added some beading too. Also made holsters and sheaths. I cooked on and in a 55 gallon barrel stove for years. I can make a tasty meal without having been to a store in months. I’ve used dogs–many, many, many miles from a road or people–just to haul my shit around, and haul wood and ice I chopped to melt for water. I’ve hauled a helluva lot of water in 5 gallon buckets too. Had many baths in my ol’ washtub.

    I’ve put on lead weights over a drysuit and dove in barely-above-freezing water to get gold from the river. I melted the lead to make those weights. I’ve also helped enclose the dredge to get gold through ice. I’ve built fires to thaw out many a sluicebox. I’ve worked various dozers, backhoes, and other equipment. Cleaned lots of gold out of tons of rock.

    I’ve built fires thousands of times–to survive. I’ve swam across an extremely powerful-and cold-river with a bow saw tied to my back and a rope tied to me to tie off on the other side to cut standing dead trees for firewood. (The drag was awful; figured out a better way after that)! Tied the load of trees to the rope, and the current brought them right to the bar in front of camp. I still cut and split most of my wood.

    1. nice resume there D. Boone…

  56. I’ve changed tires in more places and situations than I can possibly begin to remember. Made parts from scrap metal for broken snowmachines and such. I don’t even want to begin on mechanical shit.

    I fought the feds, and the pseudo-greenies–with credible, legal facts, (doesn’t matter), to be able to live a cleaner, simpler, and more environmentally sound lifestyle than those money-grubbing bureaucrat pussy mother fuckers could ever imagine–or live. Wanted to sink a few, but didn’t. Dealt with the big-time political movers and shakers–but they don’t move and shake much. I found we bumpkins to be real movers and shakers in the “real” world.

    This is all true. Understated, really..

    1. I’ve done a helluva lot more. And I’m college educated. And originally from the east coast., (although it was about 15 years here before I began admitting it. ANILCA and Carter and east coast pseudo-greenies and government and all that).

      I did a lot of this while I was pregnant. While I had babies, then pregnant with babies, then again. Yeah, I’m a girl. And I haven’t scratched the surface. But I’m sick of writing, I’m going to bed, and I still have to stoke my fire and plug in my truck and pour me some bourbon and brush my teeth first.

      I subscribed to Reason through the ’80’s, the ’90’s, and early aughts. (I won’t go into how I used to get my mail–took months sometimes). I’ve been reading online–and I’ve turned tons of people onto this site–for a decade or more. I’ll stick around. I turned on to Ron Paul in “77, (thanks Mom). I voted for Gary Johnson 2012 and 2016. I’ve always voted Libertarian–except I think I wrote Ron Paul in once when he wasn’t on the ticket.

      My view of Reason staff has really changed over the last year. Citified fucks. I can barely believe this article. This place has seemed like a passive-aggressive Hillary fan club. It’s disgusting

      1. Good post!

    2. sounds like you buy a lot of cheap tires

  57. I once overhauled my engine in a truck stop parking lot while sleeping in my van. I had no other choice because I was too broke to do anything else. I had to replace the crankshaft and rod bearings. Changing a tire? Maybe the toughest was when I had three flats at once while driving to an abandoned mine on an Indian reservation next to the Grand Canyon. I was 60 miles from a road. That was during my thesis research. Changing tires in Africa on a split rim, also miles from any road and in danger of attack from wildlife. No big deal. I used to have a truck that I carried a spare engine in so that I could change it when needed.

    What I find most incredibly stupid about this article is that those flyover states live better and have more education and advanced technological skills than MOST of the world. Where I worked in Africa, near Somalia, most people herd goats and live in grass huts, storing camel milk in bags made of goatskin and cooled by evaporation. ONE BILLION people in this world have never had electricity. And this pompous ass thinks that rural people in the United States are disconnected and uninformed? He is the MOST uninformed, least worldly person in this story. He probably thinks cell phones work everywhere. Apparently journalism is dominated by very ignorant and very naive assholes who have little if any real education in the ways of the world.

  58. Nevaeh. I agree that Richard`s storry is shocking… last wednesday I got a great BMW M3 from earning $5318 this-past/4 weeks and just a little over 10/k lass month. without a question it is the most comfortable job Ive ever had. I began this 10-months ago and pretty much straight away got me at least $83, p/h. see here now

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  59. Why does the author claim to be a Libertarian, and still looks down and disparages people for what they do or don’t do in life?
    Why not accept each according to who they are?

  60. Over the years, I’ve watched and read, the elitism in REASON. It’s why I unsubscribed, when you went so far as to advocate for wanton immigration, you lost me at the constitutional level. A country that does not define it’s borders and it’s acceptance of who it lets become citizens is nothing but Anarchy, and is not a Country that respects its Constitutional Government. In our Government as so comprised the People are sovereign, not the Federal Government. Also, the lack of respect for the wisdom of the founding shows the lack of Libertarianism,..

    I expect every Editor to go back to Universities, and take basic courses in Science..all of them,..or stop expounding on them, That means : Chemistry (analytic, Organic), Geology, Archeology, Zoology, Biological science, Microbiology, Geography, Plate Tectonics, Astronomy, don’t stop there There are more. then you will have a greater understanding, of computer constructs….so far not one editor has shown a basic knowledge of a falsified theory. Nor have they looked for the extracts that did it.

    I’m seriously disappointed in REASON, as being a Voice of reason, since it ignores a great body of knowledge.

  61. Ella . although Margaret `s article is super, on friday I got a new McLaren F1 after having earned $4887 this-past/four weeks and just over ten grand last-month . this is actually my favourite-work Ive had . I actually started six months/ago and right away began to earn minimum $82 p/h
    . Read more on this site…..

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