Working at a high-tech company making state-of-the art electron microscopes used to discover diseases enables me to be at the forefront of scientific discoveries. Yet it is not through science where I have uncovered a new and disturbing condition. Recently I’ve observed an influx of emails focusing on extreme conservative views and the increasing popularity of the Tea Party, Sarah Palin, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and craziest of them all, Glenn Beck. I call this epidemic “old man Republican dementia” as it seems to infect otherwise intelligent generally middle- aged and older men with such severity that it completely alters their ability to reason and think clearly. Here are some tell-tale signs of early onset:
- Complaining about the increase in minimum wage while rolling over your certificates of deposit.
- Cancelling the Sunday newspaper as it’s too wordy and liberal, plus reading it interferes with your viewing of the morning Fox news.
- Bashing “Obama-care” and how little the government does for YOU as you use Medicare and cash your social security and state pension checks.
- Complaining about wasteful “stimulus” spending while receiving a tax rebate on a new Sub-Zero refrigerator as it qualifies for an energy credit.
- Sending ill-informed emails to everyone you know on conservative topics and hitting “reply all” on any such emails you receive.
- Denying that man has played any part in altering our climate.
- Saying that taxes are sky-high while individual income tax rates have never been lower since Congress started taxing income and are way lower now than under Ronald Reagan.
- Insisting that Obama is not a citizen, is a Muslim and hates white people.
- Believing the Iraq War was a good idea and had something to do with 9/11.
- Donating to so many conservative causes that the postman asks you to get a larger mailbox to handle all the replies.
As an aging white male Republican I too suffer from this syndrome from time to time. Possible remedies for this insidious disease include reading the New York Times, watching The Daily Show, looking at time-lapsed pictures of glaciers, visiting a foreign country, reviewing your net worth compared to “average Americans”, and last but possibly most important, asking your wife what she really thinks of your views.