A modest proposal for Real Americans

Dear Real Americans,

Whenever I see these videos of you saying super crazypants things like “Gay marriage will make my straight marriage less special!”, “The Buddhists are invading!”, and “Obama is a Socialist Muslim Atheist who went to a Christian Church that hated white people for 20 years!” and what have you—my first thought is not so much that you are painfully stupid. I mean, it’s at least my second, because those are really, really bizarre, crazy, and truly stupid things to say- but for the most part I see people who are in a great deal of pain. People who are in a great deal of pain say crazy, delusional, histrionic things, as anyone who’s ever been dumped really badly by someone they thought they were way better than in the first place can testify. Even *I* must sometimes admit that not all of my relationships failed as a result of my being “too awesome”.

No matter how vehemently I disagree with what you say and everything you stand for in life—not to mention your spelling—I kind of hate seeing anyone in pain. It’s the really annoying end of being a bleeding heart. As much as I agree with my mom, who says that anyone who votes Republican has to be either mean or stupid, I don’t even like seeing mean and stupid people feel hurt, even if it’s for really gross reasons.

At the end of the day, it seems to me like you are all freaking the fuck out because you just don’t feel special enough and you don’t feel like you’re the cool kids. What you want is an insane amount of street cred for being a Straight, White, Christian, Small Town American. With bonus points for having a penis. You don’t want gay people to get married because it will somehow make your marriage less special if EVERYONE gets to do it. You want a president who will go to other countries and be all “Yee-haw! Suck it Finland! America Rules! NASCAR!” or something, instead of acting like a reasonable and polite human. You want America to be a “Christian Nation” because you happen to be a Christian, but you just can’t really enjoy it unless everyone who is not a Christian feels like an outsider. You’re all huffy because all the movie stars and the musicians and the funny people and the really smart people are on the left, are part of the “Liberal Elite”. Like it’s some kind of real conspiracy, rather than you just not liking the same drama geeks, outsiders and nerds you hated back in high school. You keep pretending it’s all about taxes, which, hi, no the fuck it’s not—taxes were way higher during  your precious Eisenhower Era, and even Lee freaking Atwater admitted that the whole “lower taxes” line was total racist dogwhistle bullshit.

So what the hell are you all going to do if Obama is re-elected tomorrow, which, barring some serious fraud on the Romney side (not that I’d put it past them), is probably going to happen? Are you going to just continue with the histrionics and the nervous breakdowns? Is that really helping anything? My suggestion is that you find something else to feel superior about.

My suggestion is veganism! Yes, veganism.

Sure, it sounds contrary to most things you might believe in (for instance, eating cheese, which is delicious), but hear me out. Vegans get to feel like they’re way better than everyone else all of the time, always. It’s pretty much the ultimate in moral superiority. They get to lecture people and look down at them for putting cream in their coffee, for eating a steak, for wearing a leather jacket, etc. etc. If you are a vegan, you get to look at waiters disappointedly when they don’t have enough items on a menu for you. If you are a vegan, all of your non-vegan friends have to adjust dinner plans for you, delicate non-animal product eating flower that you are. And regardless of whether or not they would ever want to be a vegan themselves, they still kind of have to accept that you’re probably a better person than they are. You know, like, food consuming wise. So they’ll just sit there patiently while you tell them of the horrid conditions of factory farms, and look appropriately shamed, and then go and eat a cheeseburger anyway. You get to act like a douchebag, but you get to be a douchebag who is always going to win. And then, eventually, all the hurt, all of the anger you feel over not being appropriately lauded for being a White, Christian, Heterosexual person living in Small Town America will dissipate and be replaced by the inner warmth that is true smugness.

So there you go. I solved your problem for you. Be vegans. Be smug. Enjoy.


Robyn Pennacchia,  who is totally not a vegan