by Ben Werdmuller
I can't prove it, but I have a sneaking suspicion that Andy "the jock" Clark from The Breakfast Club, Stifler from American Pie and Darth Vader are all Republicans. It's something to do with their unforgiving outlook on the world; although, sure, they might like to cut loose once in a while, they're starchy collared conservatives at heart. See Andy's unspoken affinity with Principal Vernon, Stifler's frat house schtick, or Darth Vader's desire to crush the universe and rule over it using the awesome evil power of the Dark Side. All classic Republican stuff.
I've got to confess, I'm kind of jealous. My parents are big liberals, and I'm descended from fairly happy-go-lucky ancestors, if you know what I mean. Really, when it comes down to it, I've got this insatiable desire to be a person of uncompromising authority; to be, if you will, a sexist, intolerant arsehole, in the way that only a Republican knows how. And even if it turns out not to be the life for me, the experience will give me a better understanding of my fellow human beings, right? Even if I end up hating them and wanting to stamp on their faces, that's got to be worth something.
I figure there are a number of steps I need to take in order to get there.
Become a cowboy. Republicans love cowboys. They've got this romantic view of the Old West that never existed; they gloss over the fact that most cowboys were black and destitute. America was full of people like John Wayne, who filmed on nuclear test grounds and quietly died of cancer rode horses, shot varmints and came home at the end of the day to a shot of whisky and a night with a kindly prostitute. While Republicans rarely get the chance to ride horses and shoot varmints any more, they certainly try their best to fit the role.
Learn to love killing people. Goddamn, they love to kill. Whether it be the death penalty - who cares if they might turn out to be innocent later; death row inmates tend to be poor and black - or people way out on the other side of the world, killing is more than just a way to inflict a twisted, brutal justice on people who won't conform with mainstream American culture. It's also a sport and a way of life.
Find myself some illegal campaign funds. Hey, it doesn't matter if I'm not actually running for office; everyone needs some illegal funding! Arnold Schwarzenegger broke state law by taking out a personal loan to fund himself, while we all know about the back-room deals between the Bush administration and the Enron folks. I think what I really need to do is go talk to that Ken Lay, because he seems to have funded everybody. Maybe it's some sort of club.
Be pro-business and anti-American. I've just got to repeat the following mantra: big businesses rule, little guys drool. In a lot of ways, it's like psychiatric therapy: you've got to lose all those guilty feelings, because they're just bringing you down. Specifically, I've got to be at one with the idea of giving tax and legal breaks to large corporations, while making average Americans pay for it all and massively expanding the national debt. This is the one that I think is going to be the hardest; maybe the contributions from Ken Lay will make me feel better about it.
Find Jesus in the most massive way, but worship the flag like a false idol. There's nothing like religious contradiction to cement one's Republican status. I've got to worship God absolutely, but understand that God is America. Once I'm there, I can infer that as the stars and stripes are America's patriotic child, the flag is Jesus. Suddenly I've run out of theological problems - of course God is against abortion; of course He's in favour of the tax cut - although I do have to wonder why I hoist Jesus up a pole every morning.
Live in the now. This is the final, and most important, point. To be a Republican I've got to completely forget any vision of the future I might have had, and just use whatever resources we need to make the world work as it is today. That means, for example, drilling for oil in Alaska, even though it's likely to ruin the environment there and spoil that part of the world for its inhabitants for generations to come. That also means repealing environmental laws, tossing out the civil liberties portions of the constitution, and ignoring the spirit of the country as it was founded. Hey, if I'm a really good Republican, we can have a third world war.
A month or two of therapy, a giant Stetson and a big old gas guzzling car, and I'll be away. I'll let you know how I get on.