Make Me A Republican is a recurring column from Funny Or Die News staff writer Melinda Taub.
Hey Republican party. You guys are in trouble. Although you currently still have a lot of clout in American politics, your base of old, white, straight voters is shrinking as they die off and come out of the closet. In 20 years, America will be a multiracial, polyamorous paradise straight out of Rick Perry’s nightmares, and the Republican Party will be done.
But guys, I have a solution. Make me a Republican.
As a liberal woman living, loving, and recycling in Manhattan, I probably seem on the surface like a lost cause for the Republican party. But I’m actually ripe for the picking. I’m a white person with rich parents and a secret yearning for the lifestyle espoused in Mormon mommy blogs. Sometime in the next decade I’ll probably move to the suburbs and get very concerned about property taxes. I’m yours if you want me. But you guys just aren’t laying the groundwork.
Take the issue of police brutality. This should be a gold mine for you. This has been a horrible summer for police brutality, especially in Ferguson, Missouri, where a police officer shot Michael Brown to death. During ensuing demonstrations, cops have acted as though the protesters were holding nuclear warheads instead of homemade signs. You know what I thought while I watched small-town cops point sniper rifles at unarmed civilians from armored trucks?
“Holy crap, the government has way too much power.”
That was your moment, Republicans! “The government has too much power” is your jam! You’ve been screaming about smaller government for years, and Ferguson proved that you were 100% right. The government should absolutely be too small for suburban PDs to get their hands on grenade launchers. Seeing cops tear gas children just days after one of their fellow officers shot a teenager six times made me more distrustful of Big Government than I’ve ever been in my life. In the wake of Ferguson you guys could have danced around us dumb liberals chanting “We told you so, we told you so,” and it would have been in poor taste but you would have absolutely earned it.
But instead, Republicans chanted nothing. OK, Rand Paul wrote a reasonable op-ed for Time, titled “We Must Demilitarize the Police,” but he doesn’t count - he’s pretty much your Dennis Kucinich. Why the silence, Republicans? Could it be that you’re not that interested in squashing big government when big government is squashing the rights of black people? Or that you’ve got such a boner for law and order that you didn’t care that the Ferguson PD just staged a tiny Midwestern coup?*
I don’t know. I don’t know what’s in your hearts, Republicans. (Well, I think I do, but I’m trying to give you the benefit of the doubt.) All I know is that you’ve got midterm elections coming up, and if you’re smart, you’ll use this awful summer to start winning the hearts and minds of people like me. I’ve even worked up a few campaign slogans for you guys.
“Vote Republican: Because cops have grenade launchers now, and we’re the party that thinks you should get to have one too.”
“Vote Republican: We defund everything. Sooner or later we’ll get around to Barney Fife’s tanks.”
“You know the St. Louis district attorney who refused to step down from the Michael Brown case despite his close ties to the Ferguson sheriff, then presented the case to the grand jury in the weakest way possible? That guy’s a Democrat! Vote Republican.”
Let me be very clear: I am in earnest. I would be very tempted to switch parties if you guys were the ones leading the charge against police overreach. But somehow I don’t think you’re going to do that - maybe because you know how many of your current voters are this guy:
But look. Say what you will about that guy (I don’t care for him) but you can’t rely on him anymore. You need people like me. And I’m gettable. My price is just a little less police brutality, and maybe an introduction to Natalie Jean.
*A tiny Midwestern coup is just like a regular coup, but with more casseroles.