In my college fraternity, after rush night, we would all assemble to decide who would join our illustrious, underachieving crew. By the end of the night, we would either offer a prospective brother a "bid" to join and undergo the joys (mustache, lunchbox) of pledging, or "ding" him, thereby relegating the poor bastard to three years of sexless, boozeless purgatory (Dante would have learned much from these lost souls).
I'm exaggerating, obviously, but there is a degree of truth. Admission into the fraternity wasn't based on coolness--I got in, after all--but something even more intangible. A guy had to be what you and I might call "solid," what MC Hammer deemed "legit," and what that party animal Benjamin Franklin considered an embodiment of a "steady uniform Rectitude of Conduct."
As a result, you knew that your brother--the guy booting next you at the toga party, or squeaking back and forth in the bunk inches above your face at four in the morning, or streaking naked beside you through the library--would drop everything at a moment's notice to support you in whatever capacity might be required.
Unfortunately, there is no dinging when it comes to political parties. But the events of the past few days have left me with no choice but to ask my Republican friends the question posed in the title: "Really? You want to vote like that guy?"
As many of you now know, at a recent speech Sarah Palin blamed Katie Couric's questions as the cause of her unsuccessful interview. Her words riled up supporters against "the media" to such an extent that they physically threatened and verbally abused nearby reporters and camera crews, with one Palin supporter shouting at a black sound man to, "Sit down, boy."
Then there's that rally where John McCain simply smiled after an audience member shouted "terrorist!" in reference to Barack Obama.
I won't even get into what Senator McCain was insinuating when he called Senator Obama "that one" during the second presidential debate, or whether a psychopath in the audience was referring to Obama or Bill Ayers when he shouted "Kill him!" during Sarah Palin's speech in Clearwater, Florida.
I know there are plenty of Republicans out there who wouldn't dream of acting this way, and that's whom I'd like to address now. Everybody else, you can email Arianna asking when she's going to take me to a nice dinner here in Los Angeles.
So, my thoughtful, kindhearted Republican friends: those of you who read The Wall Street Journal and The New Criterion; those of you whose churches and synagogues and mosques preach messages of love instead of hate; those of you who are generally creeped out by racist, homicidal weirdos... do you really want to align yourselves with the candidates and the campaign tacitly promoting this kind of behavior?
Or do you see yourselves as more of the dignified and, um, sane type? If that's the case, I think it's time to strongly reconsider who you're going to vote for on November 4.