Commentary

GOP knew the ëburbs better

David Brooks writes that the Republicans won partly because Karl Rove understands the new world of suburbia: That’s why I’m so impressed by Karl Rove. As a group of Times reporters demonstrated in Sunday’s paper, the Republicans achieved huge turnout gains in exurbs like the ones in central Florida. The Republicans permeated those communities, and spread their message. During his recent book tour, Brooks had a hard time getting non suburbanites interested in his work on suburbia: I couldn’t get most of the people I spoke to really fascinated, even in an anthropological sense, by these new places. That’s in part because I was struggling against a half-century of stereotyping. Movies from “The Graduate” to “American Beauty” have reinforced the idea that the suburbs are bland, materialistic, ticky-tacky boxes in a hillside where people are conformist on the outside and hollow within. The stereotype is absurd, but it closes off fresh thinking.

Ted Balaker is an award-winning filmmaker, journalist, and founding partner of Korchula Productions, a film and new media production company devoted to making important ideas entertaining.