Jim Austin's Vermonter at Large
Jim Austin
Jim Austin
is a freelance writer from Putney, Vermont.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 011.12.05


Passport to adventure or Strange GOP Ways

In our lives together Ruth and I have been fortunate enough to travel to strange and wonderful places all over the globe.

We have hiked under a midnight canopy at noon observing colobus monkeys in Borneo and visited a tribe in the Southern Highlands of New Guinea where the people smoked their dead like beef jerky.

We have seen elephants on the streets of downtown Bangkok and ate boiled turtle eggs in Malaysia.

We have delighted in the strange customs of the citizens of these lands and never considered trying to introduce our culture to them.

We have decided to bring that attitude to the Republican voters here at home.

I would normally rant, fume, and fulminate against the red states when voters sweep their primeval nominees to power. Am I being cruel in criticizing a people that clearly can't make the connection between politics and government?

Am I smacking the terrier with a rolled up newspaper for eating a dead rat? It is, after all, their nature to eat dead and nasty things much like the Republican voter's insistence on electing corrupted ideologues.

After all the deception, debasement, deaths, inefficiency, influence peddling, indictments, and other various and sundry malfeasances of this administration, only a citizenry steeped in some kind of autonomic zealotry would vote for them.

In other words, "They can't help it." Why should I criticize or try and bring my enlightened views to these morally squalid, but presumably happy folk?

From now on I will travel the USA as an observer. I'll sample their turtle eggs and watch fascinated at their bizarre rituals.

"Look, Ruth," I'll say on our trip to the heart of darkness, "Kansans don't believe in evolution. See how cranky they are. Do you suppose it's from stepping on their knuckles? Maybe their prominent brows and love of bananas has contributed to their view that man has not evolved. Watch how their hairy little children learn religion in science class."

A trip to the courthouses of Alabama shows some interesting statuary. They have the Ten Commandments displayed for all to see. Apparently, despite collecting taxes from religiously diverse citizens, only Christians get to display their stone coda.

"That's be OK," they drawl. "See yer first commandment says that you ain't even "allowed" to have other gods."

It's like when the genie pops out of the lamp and gives you three wishes and your first wish is for 100 more wishes. It 's sort of cheating but it gets you where you want to go. Would it not be selfish of me to expose these simple goobers to rational thought? (Or modern oral hygiene, for that matter.)

Next we'll travel to darkest Texas. There they have a warlord who wields a hammer of power over all he surveys. In their primitive form of democracy they have moved from stuffing ballot boxes to gerrymandering.

The warlord didn't like it that some other tribal leaders were elected to the council so he just annexed their land and excommunicated his supporters. There is hope that some day real democracy might flourish from the tiny minds of these primal beings. Not any time soon, though.

The final leg of our journey is to California, a land of sun, ocean, mountains and the eighth largest economy in the world. Only a people steeped in carbon monoxide fumes could possibly elect a governor like Arnold.

He is a film star known for huge muscles and grunting monotone dialogue opined in a cartoon Austrian accent. Perhaps the voters thought that their fiscal problems, pollution, crime and immigration woes could be solved by a syringe full of anabolic steroids and a body slam administered by the "Governator." It is my understanding that the Democrats are going to run Batman against him next term. Give the people what they want.

The blind fakirs of India, the Filipino zealots who hang themselves from hooks, and the tribesman on Mongolia who play polo with a dead goat have nothing over the people of this country who vote Republican.

They mustn't be railed against and no attempt to reason with them should be made. Just observe. Remember, dinosaurs ruled the earth for millions of years…why shouldn't brainless reptiles once again govern this land?

Just remember, when making your observations, not to approach them -- they bite.