Recently, I decided to kick my journalistic endeavors up a proverbial "notch" and embark on an undercover mission into the core of the Young Republican Movement in our nation's capital. Now if you're anything like me (read: awesome), this is the image that pops up in your mind when you hear the phrase "young republican."
Buck Bush, the most potent strain of Bush to date. (Expected presidency: 2024-2032)
But apparently, there are young republicans out there who claim to never have tipped a single cow in their lives. These were the individuals I was attempting to blend in with, the sect of our society in which I was to infiltrate.
First, I had to look the part. There was no way a totally gangster person like me, who's not even a little pathetic for thinking that he's black, to blend in with a bunch of stiff whities. I had to brush up on white people TV (yo, did you know Friends got cancelled? Oh, and they changed the name of ER to Grey's Anatomy for some reason. Still pretty gay), I had to go back to calling Diddy "Puff Daddy," and I had to go from this:
to this: It was grueling, but after taking a wine tasting class, studying their culture, and developing an irrational fear and hatred for various marginalized groups of Americans, I was ready. Time to go into the belly of the beast. There I was, standing in front of the Top of the Hill bar, wearing a navy blue blazer, khakis, a white button down and a red tie. The douchebag who sold this tie to me claimed that it held some sort of "power." I said a silent prayer to Al Gore that this "power" tie would be enough to keep me safe throughout the night. Deep breaths, Berbalerbs. I've read they can smell fear.
The place was a veritable Who's Who of young, politically active Republicans. All 7 of them in one place. MSNBC (who I'm totally not stealing all of the info I'm about to use to make it seem like I actually went to this thing) described them thusly:
Here were the executive director of the Young Republicans, and the 20-something who helped steer Fred Thompson's Internet operation, and the young woman who put Mitt Romney's Web site on the map, and the 24-year-old staffer for Newt Gingrich's American Solutions for Winning the Future, who had brought them all together to cry in their free Blue Moon beer.
Basically, all the people who for some reason thought it prudent to help some terrible, old, greedy white guys setup their MySpace pages. I grabbed one of their "wheat beers" from the bar, and made my way over to introduce myself.
Moment of truth.
"Hey guys, did you check out the Fox News website today? It's awesome how, like, relevant and dignified they are."
Silence. SHIT. They didn't buy it, they--
"Heck yeah, man!"
Phew. That was close. I was in.
I stood listening to them talk and pounding beers until one of them informed me that the open bar was all night, not just for the first hour (touché, Republican open bar) and you know what? I learned something that may have changed my perspective forever:
Young Republicans are pretty cool...in that they basically know they suck.
One self-loathing dude in particular, David All, recalls when his 2008 Republican Presidential Debate cherry was popped, and describes the awkward, bloody mess as such:
...it was a veritable Reagan love-fest, with each contender claiming to be more like the conservative icon than his opponents. They sounded like old fogies and intoned the icon's name at least a dozen times. For me, I don't even know what that means.
"Maybe they're arguing about who can best subdue and undermine the Black urban community!" I said, and offered my hand up for a high five. "Huh? 'Cause...he did the whole...uh, y'know...'cause, crack in the 80's..."
You don't hear Barack Obama going around saying, 'I'm John F. Kennedy.' He's saying, 'I'm Barack Obama.'
Um...pwned? I thought maybe this was a devious Republican reverse-psychology mind trick, or that he was doing some sort of political Punch and Judy show, and just forgot his "liberal guy" puppet at home.
"So you guys don't think John McCain is hip and cool?"
"I think the Republican Party is staring down a very long, dark, quiet night," All said.
Holy shit. I hope this guy isn't a Cubs fan too, 'cause he's a heartbreak away from trying to stop tomorrow morning's MetroRail with his forehead.
"It's always darkest before the dawn," says Mindy Finn, 27, who ran [Shitt] Romney's site.
"Shut up, bitch!" exclaimed the entire room, in terrifyingly accurate unison.
"Gosh, man," I said. "What're they--WE, what're WE going to do about the fact that more than likely the Democrats are going to hammer us from behind and then right before they climax stick it in our butts and punch us in the back of the head?"
Austin Walne, a recent grad from the University of Tenessee (ugh, gag me with a spiked dildo), tried to look at the positive (read: non-existent) side of things:
"Congress's approval rates are [approaching] 19 percent, so nobody's thrilled," he says. "People that didn't grow up under Jimmy Carter don't remember the stagflation of the '70s or the Iran standoff. Our job is to educate them on the failed policies of the past."
The evening went on and, in all honesty, it wasn't a bad time. They were all smart, fairly funny kids with a dream for a better America, a truly united future, a blah blah blah, I'm guestimating what they actually said because I didn't slow down on the free Blue Moon's that much.
Mindy (the only female at the event) excused herself to "powder her nose," (really, that's how the fuck she put it) and in the interest of avoiding a conservative sausage party I thought it was a good time to go. I had survived the night, and what's more, I had learned something about young republicans, and about myself too.
We're totally different in the sense that I believe in rational things that don't suck and they tend toward the opposite. As I left, David grabbed my arm and said, "hold up, man. I just slipped Mindy a roofie. We're going to run a train on her right after we finish these beers."
Maybe we aren't so different after all...