As per usual, The Onion proves itself the most reliable source of cultural commentary. In case you don’t feel like clicking the link, it’s a story about a guy who revolutionizes new media by writing about politics and culture in a sarcastic tone! Its pretty much spot on, and I’m as guilty as the next guy. I throw myself on the mercy of the court! I submit that sarcasm is only rational response to the news these days.
Here’s exhibit A: One of the Tea Party leaders wants to file a class-action suit against homosexuality. Now, it is entirely possible that he’s being facetious or trying to make a joke. Even with the most-charitable reading, this is a joke in unspeakably poor taste.
And how about this one from “Joe-The-Never-Ever-Has-Been-A-Plumber?”: America needs a white Republican president. There’s no humor or irony in this one. Apparently, if you criticize a black president for doing the stuff you’d be on board with if he were white, you’re a “racist.”
Then there’s Dr. Ben Carson, who claims that “we will have a single payer system if we don’t stop this (the Affordable Care Act) from happening.” Yeah, this is the guy who claimed that the ACA was the worst thing since slavery. I mean, yes, that would, in fact, be ideal, but I think he’s trying to say this is a bad thing.
And for the love of Pete: Michele Bachmann is on the House intelligence committee. Repeat: Michele Bachmann is on the House intelligence committee.
See what I mean? Did you not read these example and think “Why not just file a suit against ‘old’ since old-age kills more people than AIDS?” or “That makes sense! If you can’t avoid being a racist when we have a black president, elect a white one. Problem solved!” or “Yes, God help us if we do the thing that has worked in almost every other economically similar country and is, mathematically, the most obvious and efficient way to pay for health care”? The other option would be to carefully dissect these absurd stories and expose them for their utter moral vacuity, their wildly out-of-touch positions, and their absurdly flawed logic? That would risk being dull and probably not convince anyone anyway. No, better to subject them to the mockery they so richly deserve and then move on.
So, while I’m not proud of stooping to sarcasm, I submit that it’s the only reasonable way to deal with modern conservatism. I am not repentant and will accept the judgement of this court.