This is not a parody. I swear. It’s all true.
Just so you’ll know that what follows is scientifically possible, I will acquaint you with a 2003 study funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation and published in the American Psychological Association’s Psychological Bulletin.
The study found that conservatism can be explained as a set of beliefs and behaviors that result from a psyche controlled by fear, aggression, closed-minded dogmatism, and intolerance of ambiguity, compounded by mental rigidity and decreased cognitive complexity [dumbness].
Seriously, I’m not making this up.
This story is set smack-dab in the middle of the Wisconsin hinterland. But you will appreciate, once you’ve gotten to know a guy named Ron, that it’s really the story of our troubled world writ small. However, the spirit of the narrative transcends national boundaries and is no respecter of gender or race or religion or age or IQ. It is about Everyman and Everywoman and everywhere.
To begin, my essays appear periodically in a small weekly newspaper published by a liberal firebrand with a Molly Ivins’ sense of humor who does not suffer fools . . . including me, a fellow liberal, when I once wrote disparagingly about improvements to a local county road. I’ve often run into this guy named Ron on the op-ed page of this newspaper, though I’ve never laid eyes on the man. He’s not a member of our liberal cabal, by the way.
Let’s meet Ron and his wife Sandy. “It seems to my wife Sandy and I that conservatives are really being intimidated by liberals by calling us right-wing fanatics, intolerant, out of the mainstream and tolerant of racism, right-wing idiots, etc. I guess we fall into that category.” (All quotes are the product of Ron’s mind unless otherwise noted.)
I’m guessing Ron is probably between 55 and 65 years old. I say this because he can remember who orchestrated the Communist victory in Vietnam, “Wasn’t it Jane Fonda, an ultra-liberal, who went to Vietnam and sat on an enemy tank . . .” and he’s still a working stiff, though not a member of any union, “which are made up of Democrats and liberals . . . still out there fighting for higher wages and more benefits . . .” How completely un-Conservative of them. But then, “that’s why they’re the ‘humanist’ party. If I heard the words humanism, humanist, humankind once, I heard them a 100 times in the Democratic presidential campaign. Humanists put human ideals over religion. Who knows best, humans or God?” Well . . . maybe God . . . but She’s playing it close to the chest.