Posted By Caulimovirus on April 13, 2007
“A Letter Written to One Person, for the Benefit of All”
Dear Guy in my Political Science Class,
.: I understand you’re a conservative; you made that perfectly clear on the first day of class. Your blog even boasts proudly of this fact in its title, Too Conservative. I understand that you have disagreements with our professor. I also understand how odd it feels to come to a predominantly conservative and Baptist campus only to find out your political science professor is a liberal Jewish woman.
.: I used to enjoy your little interruptions. I thought they were quaint. They provided me a glimpse into the past of how men of previous generations viewed the way society ought to be, and I’ve enjoyed that, at least on an anthropological level. You’ve even corrected the professor on some non-trivial points, and that’s always appreciated. You’re certainly more enjoyable than that other guy. You know the one I’m talking about: the anarcho-capitalist whose muddled thoughts match perfectly his muffled speech.
.: But the more I think about it, the more I’m convinced you’ve become a parody. It’s an interesting phenomenon among conservatives, so don’t feel too embarrassed if my conclusion is incorrect and you do indeed believe the things you say. I’m claiming that you’re a clever parody because, on balance, it’s the most charitable thing I can do. I also think you’re hilarious, in a Stephen Colbert kind of way.
.: I found it funny — and the rest of the class did as well — when you said Ann Coulter was a scholar. And the reason your statement was funny is that implicit in your description of Miss Coulter lies a hilarious denigration of the most literate group of people in our society. But I’m sure you’re well aware of that; you made the joke, after all. When asked by our professor what the peer-reviewed scholarly literature’s consensus was on Miss Coulter’s book, Treason, you jokingly referred to George W. Bush’s enthusiastic endorsement. Again — highly amusing. When she asked if anyone had seen Good Night, and Good Luck, you mimicked perfectly the stereotypical conservative response: “You mean that agenda-pushing movie by Hollywood liberal George Clooney?”
.: I don’t know why or when you decided to become a parody — I could have sworn you were sincere in your beliefs at the beginning of the semester. Now that I think about it, your earlier statements were even more brilliant than the ones you made today. “What if the little brat was lying?” I remember you say during the discussion on child testimony. Your character’s invariable distrust of all things that weren’t adult, white, straight, or male worked towards a subtle sort of charm. I fell for it, too. You made me believe that other people could seriously think that way.
.: But maybe you really are a conservative; maybe you’re just annoyed by the soft-thinking, jingoistic philosophy that modern conservatism has become, and you’re trying to change that with humor. It is possible to be an intelligent conservative and to criticize the lazy thinkers within your ranks. Even Jon Stewart makes fun of democrats sometimes.
.: But now that you’ve made it obvious that you’re just a parody, I think the magic is gone. You were more effective when your comments were merely ill-informed and only subtly unreasoned. Making outrageous statements like “If you’re friends with a commie, then you’re a commie” will blow your cover, and people won’t fall for it anymore.
That Other Guy in Class