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Towards an understanding with Ned Flanders

by Scott Locklin

Towards an understanding
with Ned Flanders

Ned Flanders is a personality type any kind of right-wing movement has to deal with. They’re nerds who marry other nerds, or are in some subculture consisting of remnants of a past society at least somewhat preserved, such as the Mormons. The psychological type of Ned Flanders used to be a sort of median of society. Unfortunately they’re so out of touch with normies and the current year conditions of society it has become a form of insanity.

Ned Flanders has a lot going for him: he makes a good neighbor, keeps his lawn trimmed and will help you shovel your car out of the snowbank. In wartime, he’ll uncomplainingly serve in the army no matter how imbecile the reason his country is fighting a war. He loves his wife and kids and attends religious services. He even manages to remain somewhat physically fit while having a lucrative profession and a family.

Ned Flanders’ main problem in 2023 is solipsism. He lives this way and doesn’t understand why others can’t. Ned Flanders doesn’t understand he lives in some narrow subculture of wholesome people who have their shit together. Or clueless nerdoids who remain in some social Ozzie and Harriet time capsule; there are examples of each.

Ned is a conservative; nobody told him the society he’s trying to conserve died out 75 years ago. Ned lives according to the old rules, but the actual conditions on the ground are not conducive to this for normal people. Unlike, say, the Amish, Ned doesn’t understand that their world has fallen, and we live under different conditions today.

Josh Hawley is the most public current year Ned Flanders. Like the fictional Ned Flanders he’s a good egg and we’re lucky to have him in Congress. He occasionally stands up for things that any sane person should support; sometimes standing alone. All admirable qualities; like all Neds he’s probably a good neighbor.

Hawley wrote a book allegedly on manhood, but mostly about his own life and biblical views. It’s something that would have seemed hokey and out of touch 80 years ago when there were still a majority of people who lived like this. If only men would have good character and observe the ancient virtues, marry and have kids, well things would be hey diddley do, wouldn’t they, neighborino? Yah, no, not really Ned. Normal people face serious issues, like the fact that some huge fraction of the country are mentally ill, obese and not only disbelieving of the former common decencies; they are actively hostile to people like Ned and seek to destroy their ability to exist.

There’s something else about Ned. Ned is afraid of his wife. The Ned Flanders on the TV show has an amusingly henpecked home life; sure they all do. Even when he doesn’t his life revolves around his family. As the philosopher Francis Bacon puts it, “He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune; for they are impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue or mischief.” This was true when Bacon wrote it in 1600, a time when burning witches was still considered an important government function. This was true long before no-fault divorce, ipotato dating, and having your eight-year-old pick his gender. This aphorism is even more true now: exceptions are so rare as to be not worth talking about.

Problems of the current year require groups of men who cultivate excellence of mind and body. Ned Flanders is busy being a honey-do. Even if Ned has a job with Ben Shapiro writing toothless “right wing” invective or going on podcasts to make opinions, his thoughts are of no importance. His ideas for reforming society aren’t important; they aren’t even connected with elemental facts, and there is no plan for moving from current year to Ned Flanders utopia of happy normal kids and well-manicured lawns. Ned Flanders is probably the guy who will fire you for not getting some experimental science juice, or using language which is a little too fruity. He will at least go along with it, and circle the wagons with the rest of the creeps who want Ned’s kids to have blue hair, pronouns and nose rings.

Flanders has mostly gone along with creeping totalitarianism for the last 70 years, and he’ll continue doing so because otherwise his wife might get mad at him. Whether or not his wife is hypnotized by the electric devil in the living room or in her pocket, some of her friends are. Women fear social disapproval in the same way men fear death. Since Ned’s life revolves around his wife and her needs, he has become a spiritual Church Lady himself.


The Ned Flanders types in the conservative movement are spiritually dead. You can see this in their pathetic and humorless attempts to come to terms with our friend BAP. Ross Douthat making a fool of himself, managing to lose a twitter argument with BAP in his own Catholic minstrel show column for the New York Times. The outrage of the others that someone like BAP might say things and make funny jokes which displease big mummy is also illustrative of their spiritual indolence. It was the same with Trump; rat-like scurrying at bold and important truths couched in humor. “How dare he say things? My wife will get mad at me if I don’t denounce the bad man!”

The rare occasion when Ned Flanders can muster enough thumos to give a shit about anything it’s either people politicizing their muh sportsball, transgender beer commercials or someone attempting to molest their kids at school. It seems a little bit late in the game to notice the latter at least: Ned sat around like a lump wallowing in his squalid family life while most of Western Civilization marshalled its powers against him. I have a feeling he and his wife will find a way to fuck even this mild sort of rebellion up, as they have the attention span of celery.

William F Buckley is the one who mobilized the Ned Flanders type, again back when people like this were demographically relevant. Back then, actually right-wing people had their own broad social groups, such as the John Birch Society. Buckley and his Church ladies excluded them: mustering the prune-faced social disapproval of legions of Church lady “men” while letting in thousands of actual Trotskyist neocons to positions of authority because they claimed to have a “come to Jesus” moment and were more clubbable and went to the right schools. Ned continues to attempt to police people on the actual right as if he had the demographic weight he did in 1965. He can’t: his time is over and outside of his narrow subculture he is finished.

I’ll say it again, Ned Flanders is a good guy, but he’s clueless and irrelevant. He’s the type of numbskull who will try to tone police a presidential candidate because he doesn’t act like Dwight Eisenhower. We know this kind of person is politically irrelevant because Jeb wasn’t the 2016 Republican candidate for president. Mostly, Ned should be ignored. Acting like Ross Douthat or David French has a political constituency which makes them worth listening to is sort of like acting as if Bronies have a political constituency. Bronies probably represent a larger and more effective class of people than Ned Flanders does.

It’s somewhat cruel to make fun of Ned, but it’s probably necessary. In any case such spiritual church ladies should mostly be ignored. Let them waste their lives arguing with shitlibs about sportsball; don’t mistake them for people who make sound decisions, have insight into anything or who matter in any way.

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