Friday, July 11, 2014

It's Not My Fault I'm Wrong

Some of you have been asking how my cat Elliott's bid for the American presidency in 2016 is going. Things are moving along swimmingly, thanks for asking. Elliott has lost a pound – mostly in hair, I suspect, since his winter coat was pretty heavy – and he's looking sleek. His appetite is good. The other day his sister Rue (the soon-to-be First Lady) killed a rabbit and shared it with her brother under the decorative bridge in our backyard. It was a heartwarming family scene that the press would have loved if only they had responded to my call for a press conference.

Speaking of politics, the New York Times had an interesting article yesterday that has practical implications for Elliott's campaign in 2016. You know how you've got that bleeding heart liberal friend who's always moaning about the plight of the underprivileged or immigrants or whatever? She wants to give everyone's money to people who don't work or won't go through the legal immigration system. You can't even go out for lunch with this girl without her bringing everyone down by talking about disease in Africa or kidnappings in Central America. For some reason, she's got a mental block and can't understand when you explain how impractical her proposals for curing the world's ills are.

Or maybe you've got an uncle who insists on listening to Rush Limbaugh on the radio every day and spends family parties trying to convince everyone that George W. Bush was the greatest American president who ever lived. This uncle of yours insists that Bush's proactive invasion of two countries on the other side of the world protected the lives and property of all Americans. No matter how many times you point out the myriad reasons that these arguments don't make sense and how Bush should be behind bars, he won't listen.

Well, stop beating your head against the wall with your ultra-liberal or fanatically conservative friends and relatives. No matter what you say, it won't matter. That's the message of new studies that suggest political beliefs are genetically determined. In other words, it's in a person's DNA, and no matter how rational your arguments are, you're not going to convince people that their beliefs are wrong.
That takes a load off, doesn't it? Thank you, New York Times for discussing this research and helping us understand that we can stop wasting our breath trying to change the minds of everyone who holds different political viewpoints from our own. Elliott the Cat's campaign will use this information to avoid all discussion of political topics during his speeches and debates. Instead of talking politics which will just annoy people who have a genetic inability to agree with him, Elliott will simply rely on his cuteness factor by rubbing on the legs of voters and purring. He'll also catch mice in the garages of Electoral College members. Performing personal services like that for constituents is what Congress members call "casework."
In light of this new research, the only question that remains is what we will talk about at parties when we're not debating politics with friends and family? Maybe we can go back to making fun of that weird Greek guy your friend Maddy dated when she was studying abroad that year? Or maybe we can argue about who gets Grandma's jewelry when she dies someday? That's always good for a few laughs.

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