limitations. Thcv respect competence and appreciate bluntrnhonesty. They hae a certain quality about them that is resistantrnto huckstcrism, a quality that Hemingway called a “B.S.rndetector,” and the’ thus despise lawyers and politicians andrnanybody else who makes a living through manipulation. Theyrnare an independent lot, these men: Daddy worked for himselfrnand is not a man to take orders. He, like his father before him,rnwould ratlier die than take charity. Though generous to a fault,rnhe reserves pity for the contemptible. He is the descendant ofrnyeoman farmers. Civil War veterans, and frontier lawmen, andrnliis may have been the last generation of American men whorncould truly take eare of themselves.rnThey ha’e a certain look about them, these men, with theirrnsinewy arms and thick, strong hands and sunburnt necks, theirrnkhaki work clothes, white T-shirts, and sweat socks. Theyrnwalk a certain way and have a hard stoicism about them. All ofrnthem I knew, and know, as a Texan, had a certain way of talking,rnbut not too much. There is an air of certainty aboutrnthem as solid and lasting as the things they make with theirrnown hands. Thev are strong and enduring, clannish and loyal,rnand they have a self-assured masculinity about them that underscoresrnthe phoniness of the pumped-up, aerobicizcd, selfconsciousrnIron John ideal of the 90’s. These 90’s fellows arernbeefy enough, but like a freezer-burnt steak, they lack characterrnand texture. By worshipping at the right p.e. alters andrndancing to the right corporate tunes, they degrade themselvesrnand pawn off part of their manhood for a faceless society.rnIt is the rough individualism of men like my father, temperedrnby old-time religion, that built this country, that cleared therntrails, fought the Indians, and endured drought and pestilence.rnThev built their own houses, farmed their own fields,rncared for their own families, and fought their own fights. Theyrnarc the America not so much of Washington or Jefferson, butrnof Boone, Crockett, and Houston. Frontier man was thernbuilder of the America I lo’e, but corporate man seems incapablernof building anything except his own prison, or even ofrnsustaining what has been built.rnThe men who built this house do not look like my father, norrndo thcv, I dare say, think like him. Many of them, and on somernda s most of them, don’t even speak English, not even the Appalachiarncum Chisholm Trail Texan I grew up with, nor do thevrnwant to. Some muck about in cut-offs, their ponytails flappingrnaround behind them, their jam-boxes blaring eardrum-numbingrnrock “music” or babbling in foreign tongues, as they wieldrntheir air guns and staplers, the spit and ceiling wax of modernrnconstruction work. They are busy building the homogenized,rnsteam-rollered land of America after the Americans, the throwaway,rndisposable, fast-food “nation” of strip malls and housesrnthat crumble within a decade.rnBoth liberals—who dream of the “universal nation,” thatrntower of Babel united only through a common hatred of thernWest and disdain for standards—and “conservatives”—whornidealize the politics of “development” and “growth” and seernAmericans as united only by a love of material gratification—rnarc these usurpers’ champions. Both are helping to hasten thernextinction of men like my father, and with them, the Americarnboth of Washington and Jefferson and of Boone, Crockett, andrnHouston. They swear that the wet-backed in’adcrs share ourrn”American ‘alues” and that the ponytailed trash, men whornhae not taken the time to master their trade, are doing all ofrnus a service. That is the way these folks, the liberals and conservativesrnwho grow increasingly indistinguishable from one another,rnthink: they think that foreigners who tell polltakers thatrnthey “believe in” abstractions like “democracy” or “capitalism”rnhave as much claim on this country as American citizens,rnthat building “housing units ‘ is the same as building a home,rnand that being an American is like being a member of a clubrnthat anybody can join. To these “mainstream” liberals and eonserrnativcs, “culture” means ideological adherence to abstractions;rnnational character is defined by shopping habits and notrnby all the things that are lost when men like my father are runrnout of business and become extinct, when a wa of life that includesrnthe look of a people, the way the)’ carry themselves, thernclothes they wear, the foods they cat, and the way they speakrnis forgotten.rnWhen all these things arc displaced b}- artificial fashions andrnfads, when craftsmen arc replaced by flv-by-nights and foreignersrnyvith no sense of permanency or belonging, then Americarnwill become a purely geographic entity, a country but notrna nation, whose disposable culture and deracinated peoplernwill bear as much resemblance to the land of Washington,rnJefferson, Boone, Crockett, and Houston as the inhabitantsrnand culture of Hosni Mubaraeh’s Egypt do to the land of thernPharaohs. trnWANTED: Magazine EditorrnThe American Enterprise Institute, Waslnington.rnD.C.thinktank.issharpiyexpanding itsrnbimonthly national magazine. New Editor-inchiefrnis recruiting team to begin work Fall 1994.rnCandidates for Managing Editor of majorrngeneral interest “think” magazine of broadlyrnconservative persuasion please apply. Will bernin charge of production office at AEI headqtrs.rnin D.C. Editor-in-chief will operate from N.Y.rnLooking for imaginative thinker. Excellentrnline editor with flair for lively language. Widernknowledge of current politics, economics, culturalrnissues. Must be organized and meetrndeadlines. Comfort with social and economicrnstatistics very important. Well-developed computerrnand graphical skills a strong plus. Reportingrnand writing skills a strong plus. Somernpublishing under own byline possible.rnSalary: $40k + benes., to grow with circ.rnLetter, resume, and all you’ve publishedrnover last few years to: File 6, P.O. Box 192,rnIthaca, N.Y. 14851.rnFEBRUARY 1994/19rnrnrn