Special Notice 39

AMERICAN DECADENCE:  THE DEMISE OF THE NECKTIE

By William J. Dodwell

August 31, 2020

In 1968, conservative presidential candidate Alabama Governor George Wallace encountered a shaggy male hippie on the campaign trail screaming at him.  In response, he yelled back in his deep southern drawl, “What you need is a haircut!”  My sentiment exactly as I witness one man after another in media appearances today sans cravat.  I bark at the screen, “What you need is a necktie!” 

It is difficult not to suspect the retiring of this badge of gentility as yet another reflection of the left’s influence in the erosion of tradition, along with suppressing history, the flag and references to God.  Globalists must relish the passing of this Western sartorial emblem.  To be fair, comfort doubtless has something to do with the tie’s demise.  But today, feel trumps appearance to an extreme.

One might say the open neck is simply a new fashion.  But serial aesthetic changes like this can lead collectively to a larger degenerative transformation on a slippery slope that ultimately undermines discipline and self-respect to the detriment of societal wellbeing.  No tie today.  No shirt tomorrow.  Wearing pajama bottoms in public has become acceptable.  And consider how tattoo displays have gone from a small image in a hidden spot to increasingly common facial disfigurement. What’s next, a tusk through the nose?

By no means a fashion plate, I just call for traditional, tasteful, form-fitting, color-coordinated attire. By this austere standard there is no place for: baggy hip hop pants falling off the rump, jeans with holes, untucked shirts, jeans with an expensive suit jacket, or news anchors wearing expensive shirts/blouses accompanied by jeans not so well concealed under the desk.  Ok, I’m not exactly mainstream.  Hey, if I had my druthers, casual Friday at the office would be formal Friday in celebration of a culminating head of steam achieved through the inertia of daily incremental diligence.  Tux, tails and a top hat would be the dress code.  Working from home?  No matter.  Rules are rules. 

And then there is tie choice, about which I am generally quite flexible, but there are certain conventions.  President Trump is an inveterate tie-wearer who chooses appropriate, but limited, color schemes.  However, he wears his tie too long, as the tip should meet the center of the belt buckle. Tucker Carlson frequently dons a particular green, yellow and red stripe combination against a plaid shirt.  Ughhhh!  He seems to make a mere token gesture to the neckwear custom.  Or, maybe he’s rebelling against it.  Recall his early years when he always wore a bow tie. Now he denounces it as displaying the equivalent of a raised middle finger on the throat. 

I’m not alone in my support for the tie.  At a speaking engagement about monetary policy I attended, Steve Forbes opined similarly after playing a brief video produced by the Federal Reserve.  A leftist institution obsessed with diversity, the Fed featured comments of dozens of employees of various ethnicities in all manner of dress.  Afterwards, Forbes aptly pointed out that every form of diversity was represented, except a guy with a tie.

©2020 William J. Dodwell
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