22 Comments
Sep 27, 2023Liked by Hamilton Nolan

Fetterman should show up in a tri-corner hat, a wig, and breeches and then claim the mantle of dress code originalism. Good column.

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I think this also gets at the conservative concern that things are spiraling out of control, that liberals hate all traditions and structures, and they won't be satisfied until nothing means anything. Nothing is permanent, and anyone can just identify as an American, or a woman, or a fire hydrant, and everyone else has to go along with that.

A senator wearing shorts? Just another straw on the camel's back, but the camel is already dead

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Sep 27, 2023·edited Sep 27, 2023Liked by Hamilton Nolan

I don't often agree with your Hamilton, you are further to the left than I am. But on this you nailed the shit out this with brio, gusto and jib. It's what a politician says and does that matters not his suit and tie If Peggy Noonan had her way, it would still be 1955 and we would still be watching black and white movies. She lives in a world that no longer exists. Its a cautionary tale for anyone who is getting older. I will continue to read you, even if I don't always agree with you.

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In 2021 I lived in a garage apartment in a fancy neighborhood in Austin. The house across the street was a big stucco thing with a big second floor veranda, and often several vespas parked out front. They collected vespas.

They had a Bloomberg yard sign for a while. Later, when the networks called the protracted electoral results for Biden, they and their kids had a loud party on the veranda to let the whole world know how wonderful it was that Trump was out.

The thing people liked this hate about Trump isn't his administration's policies. Policies, like you say, rarely matter to them, unless they affect the tax code. What they hate about him is that he is personally insulting to their sense of themselves and the nation they think they own as the hero and ideal of all humanity. When they call themselves liberals, what "liberal" means is: relax, everything is wonderful for us, the only people who matter.

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Sep 27, 2023Liked by Hamilton Nolan

Right on with this one. I lobby at our state capitol in Springfield IL, on anti poverty issues. I - and others - have started to do this without (gasp) - wearing ties. Turns out people still talk to me and I get my work done.

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Sep 28, 2023Liked by Hamilton Nolan

like i said when i first subscribed, u rock dude

but also

this also makes me think of a few concepts surrounding the social psychology term “enclothed cognition” — aka, wearing clothes triggers associated abstract concepts and their symbolic meanings. clothing embodies its symbolic meaning and influences the wearer's psychological processes by activating associated abstract concepts.

so, wearing a suit = not just triggered by the norms of the elite, but one where people play into the idea and think they need to wear the suit to succeed.

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Sep 28, 2023Liked by Hamilton Nolan

A couple months ago, my youngest and I wanted to go out to lunch. We were on the road before we had decided what or where to eat. When she settled on "Italian", we used Google Maps to find a restaurant and just stopped in. I walked in wearing flip flops, cargo shorts, and a white t-shirt with a graphic of a bunny holding a gun (a "gunny", if you will). She wasn't any better dressed. I realized immediately that we were out of place - they wanted to seat us in the empty back room away from respectable people, but couldn't because there was a "meeting" scheduled (I got mild "construction company" vibes from the way it was said); we were seated between an ooooold Italian couple and a pair of older Italian ladies; there was quiet classical playing; the waiter wore a tux and spoke with a heavy Italian accent; etc. The only thing that saved me from death by embarrassment was that I bought us each a relatively expensive meal, paid without concern, and tipped very generously.

Moral of the story: I shouldn't have had to be embarrassed. I was, financially, the appropriate clientele. I just didn't look the part.

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Sep 28, 2023Liked by Hamilton Nolan

Thank you Hamilton. Like I said, I love reading your work and will continue. I agree people do attribute intelligence/status/professionalism to people wearing suits. You and I are on the same page. The event that pushed this issue home for me: 35 years ago I'm a lowly IT guy reporting for Jury Duty. My employer, a financial institution, required that I wear a 2 piece suit. When I left the office that morning to report for jury duty (in my 2 piece suit) and drove into the courthouse parking lot I could not find a parking spot. The lot security guard came over, looked at me, offered assistance, and walked the lot to find a parking spot, then stood in the empty parking spot until I got there. I had never experienced anything like that before and I can't help but believe my suit implied I was someone important. It's not a philosophy I subscribe to but a perspective I am now aware of.

Thanks again Hamilton. Keep up the GREAT work!

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Sep 28, 2023Liked by Hamilton Nolan

I'd wager that more people would feel they'd be less likely to be lied to by someone dressed like Fetterman than someone else dressed in a suit.

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founding

I will start listening to anything the conservatives say on what to wear when they take off those fucking gun pins.

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Reads as if composed with a single middle finger.

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"Peggy Noonan and Kathleen Parker both wrote columns"

The best way to know you are on the right side of an issue is to be able to make fun of Peggy Noonan and Kathleen Parker.

Also the best way to know you are not an absolute tool is to be able to make fun of David Brooks.

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Sep 28, 2023Liked by Hamilton Nolan

A point in favor of a Congressional dress code: It prevents some of those dipsticks from making dumb statements with their outfits, trying to look "cool". If the dress code keeps Ted Cruz from showing up dressed as Elvis or in some rhinestone cowboy outfit - and I truly believe that he would! - then that code might be worth it.

But, as someone who has worn a suit to work, I know that they don't make a person one iota smarter or kinder. Fetterman, at least, is being authentic.

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Sep 27, 2023Liked by Hamilton Nolan

I love your writing. It makes me think. (Thank You!)

I remember Peggy Noonan as being one of the more "reasonable" voices of conservatism from her many appearances on Meet The Press with Tim Russert. Kathleen Parker was also a frequent guest.

I'm a (mostly) life-long Democrat and continue to be active in both democratic and Democratic campaigns. And, I value the input/feedback of "The Media". (You knew the job was dangerous when you took it.)

I appreciate my Governmental Representatives being honest and sincere about their beliefs and priorities. I have GREAT Representation these days, yet as we are seeing, wearing formal attire only works for a short period of time.

I agree we want our Representatives to be "honest" with us (as best they can). Yet, attire is telling of a person's perspective about themselves and the world they inhabit. Just like you, "I'm talking about normal people whose allergy to bullshit outweighs the discomfort of all the sideways glances ...". I'm one of those people who value honesty. However, over time I've learned context matters. When we negotiate, attire is important. Thankfully (naively?), honesty outweighs attire.

I want my Governmental Representative to be more knowledgeable, better informed, willing to work HARD for me, their constituent. I appreciate and understand John Fetterman's desire for more comfortable clothing. The question is: Where is the line? We (The People) see the deterioration of our political system and the growing inability to communicate with those who have different opinions than our own. "How far is too far?" is a question we must all ask and, honestly, answer.

I'm grateful to John Fetterman for making the sacrifice. YES, political life is a SACRIFICE. His role in our political system IS SO IMPORTANT. I am not, nor have I ever been, a political candidate. I have only supported those who chose to run for office. The phrase "You're a better (wo)man than I Gunga Din" repeatedly comes to mind.

That being said, if John Fetterman can find a tailor to provide him with a comfortable suit he can wear 50% of his time on the floor, he'll probably find his relationship improved to his constituents. I'm an Oregonian and I'll throw in $100 to help defer his cost though I doubt that will be necessary.

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““As little as I have loved Republicans the past few years, coinciding with the rise of our own little autocrat, at least Donald Trump knows how to dress,” is a sentence that Kathleen Parker wrote and published in a major newspaper.”

Am I missing the point when my first thought was, “No, he doesn’t! His suits don’t fit right, and his ties are too long!”?

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Thanks Hamilton. It is always a pleasure reading your articles. In relation to the dress code, my mum used to say: how you present yourself they treat you. Perhaps she was right, I am not sure. It is about the first impression and all that shit. Take care mate.

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