Ron Swanson’s Guide to Manliness

Evening gents, it’s Max from the Young Gentleman’s Guide here! Before we get started, I just thought I should address some of the backlash that my last post has been getting as of late. I fully concede that I probably should have used more reliable sources than Prager University or Louder with Crowder, and I may have made a couple leaps in logic. That being said, as was the situation with my post about the 1950s, I still stand its original intended message, and the post is staying up. At the end of the day, I’m not going to let a couple lost followers ruin my life, and moving forward, I’ll do my best to void any political commentary like stuff like that. That was never this blog’s original intention, and for that, I apologize, and I emphasize I. Jonah had nothing to do with anything that post, it was all my idea. With that out of the way, let’s move on to something a bit more lighthearted!

So, anyone who knows me knows that on top of swing music, chocolate, and John Steinbeck novels, I also love movies and TV, and one of my favorite TV shows of all time is Parks and Recreation. For those of you who haven’t seen this fantastic show about a group of wacky people working for the local government in their wacky town, I highly recommend you do. All seven (7) seasons of the show are on Netflix right now, but it’s not necessary to understand the message of this post. One of my favorite characters in this show, and one of my favorites in TV history, is the man, the myth, the legend, Ron Swanson! One of the most iconic characters from this show, Ron has a personality that’s entirely his own, and several character traits that not only I admire, but traits that he tries to pass on to other characters on the show. So today, I thought I would aid Ron in passing on said character traits to you young gents reading today! So before this post turns into a full-length novel, let’s get started!

1. He stands up for what he believes in

For those of you who didn’t read our post about how a gentleman stands up for what he believes in, I actually quoted a line from Ron Swanson. In the Season 6, Episode 14 episode “Anniversaries”, Ron sends reviews from the Parks & Rec office to establishments he personally doesn’t like and includes his name and address with each letter. When questioned about this, he responds “If you believe something, you sign your name to it.” Throughout the course of the show, Ron displays this sentiment in spades. Ron is extremely vocal about what he believes in, including but not limited to, his distrust of the government, his advocacy for capitalism, or his love of meat and breakfast food. On top of this, he rarely, if ever deviates from these beliefs. The only time he ever seems to do so is if he’s caught in the clutches of his ex-wives. Aside from those two spawns of Hell (his words, not mine), he never backs down to anyone, and doesn’t care who he offends, or even if he offends anyone because of his beliefs. He believes what he believes, and doesn’t care who disagrees with him, which leads me to my next point.

2. He doesn’t alienate

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Anyone who’s seen Parks and Rec knows that Ron Swanson and Leslie Knope are the closest of friends that many people in the real world could only wish they had. The interesting thing is that Ron and Leslie disagree on almost everything, except for the amazingness of breakfast food. So how can they be such great friends and colleagues when in any other circumstance, they would want nothing to do each other? They simply respect each other. Specifically on Ron’s end, while he couldn’t care less about Leslie’s clearly pro-government ideas and constant need to control everything, he admires her tenacity, and get-it-done attitude. He says that he would rather work with someone who’s motivated and wants to get things done as opposed to a pushover who doesn’t do anything. He’s willing to look past Leslie’s political ideals and just sees her as a good person who just wants to do good for the people around her. And Ron seems to do this with just about every character in the show (with the exception of his ex-wives and Ron Dunn, his Parks & Rec counterpart from Eagleton). He may butt heads with other characters on the show more than once, but he does not alienate them, and in some cases, may actually help them. He pretty much follows the same philosophy that I do: if you respect me, I’ll respect you.

3. He can put up a fight

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While this picture is obviously more of a joke if anything else, Ron has shown multiple times throughout the show that he can defend himself using just about anything he has on hand, or even just his hands. And while it’s never explicitly stated, it’s implied through certain incidents across the series that he has some sort of martial arts training (my money’s on boxing) as a means of self-defense, which he’s shown to be rather good at. He even punches councilman Jeremy Jamm in the face to defend Leslie’s honor in the Season 5, Episode 14 Episode “Leslie and Ben”. So in short, if you were to tick Ron off or provoke him in any way, you’d most likely end up with some bruises and some missing teeth.

4. He likes any “manly” activity

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Now, while it is my firm belief that anyone of either gender can enjoy any kind of activity they want, practically all of Ron’s passions and hobbies are ones that men traditionally have done and/or enjoyed over the years. Among said hobbies or passions include woodworking, blacksmithing, hunting, and enjoying a neat glass of whiskey. And in reality, these can all help men become true men. I did learn quite a few of these things when I was in the Boy Scouts. Like I said in my post about my grandfather, it’s always good for a man to be handy, and be able to help in any situation (not so much the whiskey though). And that’s exactly what Ron always does. He always is able to help in any situation, whether it’s fixing April and Andy’s sink, making Leslie and Ben’s wedding rings, or fixing a park swing in the final episode of Parks and Recreation.

So there it is! Just four (4) ways that Ron Swanson is a model for the perfect gentleman! This may actually usher in a new mini-series here in the blog, similar to Jonah’s “Lessons in Manliness from the Vikings”, so if any of you would like to see how more movie and TV characters could teach you how to be real gentlemen, just let me know! In any case, I hope you enjoyed reading today’s post. Please be sure to share the post, follow the blog, and follow The Young Gentleman’s Guide on Facebook and Instagram. And on that note, this is Max from The Young Gentleman’s Guide, and I’ll see you next time!

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Disclaimer: I don’t own any of the images used in this post. They are all screenshots grabbed from Parks and Recreation.

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