The principles speak
In a recent letter to LEO titled "Give a Damn," a reader responded to my column on gambling by suggesting I honor my principles and vote against Steve Beshear. To consider this option, I contacted my principles for a response. I caught up with them in the Douglass Loop Heine Bros, where we sipped café Americanos and enjoyed a wide-ranging discussion about politics. Here is a transcript of our conversation:
Me: So, what about it? Should we vote for Fletcher?
My Principles: Are you fucking kidding us? [They pretend to punch me in the face] We ought to smack you. Ernie Fletcher is the most corrupt politician this side of Mitch McConnell. And even when he's not breaking the law, he's setting Kentucky back a hundred years with regressive education-, healthcare-, and human-services policies. And when he's not busy with all that, he's fanning the flames of homophobia, religious extremism and intolerance. The man is a pox on the commonwealth.
M: But what about Beshear? Can we support him?
MP: In America you have to go with the least stinky turd. We think Benjamin Franklin said that, but it might've been Henry Clay.
M: You're on record as opposed to gambling…
MP: Wrong. We're opposed to going inside casinos. We clearly stated we're not opposed to others gambling. And in fact, we're not opposed to gambling ourselves. We just don't do it in casinos. For instance, right now we're betting if you ask one more stupid question, we're going to throw our coffee on you.
M: Are you feeling OK? You seem a little testy.
MP: [Pretending to throw coffee] Testy? Testy? We're YOUR principles, remember? Have you looked around lately? Republicans have all but destroyed the world. We're at war with an enemy we can't name, with countless victims dying on all sides every day. We're quickly destroying the only habitable planet there is. We're not educating our children, healing our sick, feeding our hungry or making our roads safe. And some LEO reader wants us to vote republican? We can barely stand to vote for democrats, the soulless fucks. We have to take twenty steps to the right just to find them; you think we've got energy left to step into the republican cesspool? We're your principles, not Uranus. Heh heh. Little astronomy joke there.
M: Very little. OK, fair enough. Testiness warranted. But if you're so disgusted, why vote at all?
MP: That's actually a good question…
M: You don't have to sound so surprised.
MP: Shut up and listen. We were roughly this disgusted in 2000… OK, we were BORN this disgusted. You try being principles. But anyway, we were this disgusted in 2000 and almost didn't vote in the presidential election. As you'll recall, the man who won that election went on to greatness as a world leader. Unfortunately, Al Gore wasn't allowed to actually be president. Now, imagine if he had been. Would America be in Iraq? Would our country acknowledge climate change? What would be the state of healthcare? Poverty? Political alienation? Bigotry? Nobody can say. But we know this much: It wouldn't be the clusterfuck it is today. If we don't vote for the least offensive candidate, the other guy might destroy your country.
M: Hmmm, are you getting patriotic in your old age?
MP: Patriotism is for intellectual pussies and narrow-minded jagoffs. Patriotism is foreplay for Nazism. We miss America and we want it back.
M: And you think voting for Steve Beshear will do that?
MP: [Mocking] "And you think Steve Beshear will do that?" You're lucky this coffee is getting cold. Of course not. But we can't give up. We just can't just let the republican criminals and the Christian jihadists run rampant. We just can't.
M: True that. One last question. How do you like the Cards' chances against…
MP: [Throws coffee on me; storms out] Harumph!