The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

It’s Not Like Intellectuals Hating Their Stupid Parents Is a Cliché or Anything

Posted on | January 18, 2013 | 23 Comments

Being clever and funny about the stupidity of one’s elders is one of the more vicious habits of youthful ingrates, and it’s generally impossible to appreciate one’s elders until you are yourself compelled to cope with the burden of responsibility and authority. Even then, some people are so smugly satisfied with their own superiority that they can’t recognize maybe they owe a little bit of respect to their ancestors.

Part of the problem of modern Youth Culture is that it teaches young people that they are smarter than their parents because . . . Well, mainly because old people are always stupid and young people are always smart. This is the basic theme of every network sitcom, and it’s also the basic lesson that smart kids learn in school, because (a) everybody with an IQ over 110 knows that being a teacher is the crappiest job in the world, which is why (b) if your kid has an IQ above 110, it’s only a matter of time until they realize they’re smarter than nearly all their teachers.

(Necessary caveat: My daughter graduated summa cum laude. She is a grade-school teacher. Likely explanation: She was home-schooled.)

OK, so I glanced over at Memeorandum and saw a rather clever satire of the future as liberals imagine that conservatives imagine the future. Kind of a complex theme, and it was handled with great cleverness by “Ed,” the pseudonymous host of the blog Gin and Tacos.

Ed is very smart and very bitter, but more the latter than the former. He has that special kind of arrogance that one associates with academia nowadays and — surprise!he is an academic:

Ed is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at Midwestern Liberal Arts University after receiving his Ph.D. in political science from Giant Midwestern Public University and teaching for three years at Giant Southern Public University. He teaches Intro to American Government, Public Opinion, Elections, and The Presidency to a select group of very lucky boys and girls each semester.

And he hates stupid Republicans like his parents:

Like many Americans now between the ages of 21 and 40, Ed was raised in a household in which Ronald Reagan was worshipped more fervently than Jesus, Santa, and Carl Weathers combined. One of his first clear memories is being taken to a Reagan/Bush 84 campaign event in the old Chicago Stadium, the highlight of which (bear in mind, we’re talking about a 5 year old) was Reagan’s entrance atop a fire engine. Accordingly, Teenage Ed was a well-read, viciously conservative little bastard, the ruiner of many an otherwise good time. Then one day in 1998 something snapped and he realized that A) he gave a flying shit about people other than himself and B) making a lot of money in order to emulate the miserable lives of our parents was not all that appealing. That’s when things got a lot more tolerable for everyone involved.

Born about 1979, then, this political science professor is now 34, and infinitely superior to stupid Republicans like his parents, thanks to that great Road to Damascus insight when he was 19. This is how to become an academic, see? During your sophomore year of college, you realize that you love your professors and hate your parents, and decide to pursue a Ph.D. so that you can spend the rest of your life teaching future generations to hate their parents, too.

My parents were Democrats, but my turning against the Democratic Party wasn’t undertaken as a youthful rebellion. My “youthful rebellion” phase involved drugs, long hair and loud music — the normal American adolescent stuff — and it wasn’t until I was a 35-year-old married taxpaying father of three that I realized the Democratic Party was actively pursuing the destruction of everything good and decent in the world.

Weird, isn’t it? I was a long-haired 19-year-old freak tripping out on psilocybin about the time “Ed” was born, and I was covering the impeachment of Bill Clinton just about the time 19-year-old “Ed” decided he hated his Republican parents.

Too bad his parents didn’t abort him, huh?


  • McGehee

    “Then one day in 1998 something snapped…”


  • Mike F.

    When I read about such stories, where everything perfectly fits ones preconceptions of the other, I answer BS, you’re a liar. Until you offer concrete proof I don’t believe your parents are Republicans, I don’t believe you were ever conservative, I don’t believe you were at that rally, I believe nothing you’ve written.

  • Finrod Felagund

    I realized I was smarter than my teachers when I beat my second-grade teacher at tic-tac-toe.

  • Chris

    This is hilarious! Thanks!

  • willpeir

    I’m more Conservative than my parents. More religious too. Oh, noes! Maybe soullessly pursuing money doesn’t define the Conservative movement. Maybe, just maybe, it’s about respecting other people to make their own choices and not force-caring them into your fascist, idiotic worldview.

  • Finrod Felagund

    As it turns out, I disagree with my parents on many things, but politics isn’t one of them.

  • Quartermaster

    “Likely explanation: She was home-schooled.”

    Unlikely explanation: she got it from her old man.

    The real question is why an other wise intelligent girl would go into teaching school if the job is so sorry. Maybe she got something from you, besides half her DNA?

  • rmnixondeceased

    As humor, this is fairly funny. As fantasy, this is above average. As a real life, “No-Shit, there I was” account, it’s pure crap, formulated as a panacea for aching liberals attempting to fill that empty spot formerly occupied by a soul.

  • Bob Belvedere

    One hopes that Little Eddie grows-up in time for his parents to see him mature.

  • Bob Belvedere

    All the credit goes to Mrs. Other McCain [and I’m sure Stacy would second this – he’d better].

  • Bob Belvedere

    Damn well put.

  • Evi L. Bloggerlady

    And you wonder why they are pro choice?

  • bobbymike34

    Stole my post 🙂 I do not know of a conservative who ‘worships’ leaders. You see typical liberal leftist projection they worship we resepct even highly respect.
    But you’re right all that was missing was his dad yelling racist epithets or yelling at them gays.

  • Wombat_socho

    Some people have a vocation for teaching and can stomach all the crap being thrown around in ed school. I wasn’t one of them, but clearly Stacy’s daughter was. More power to her.

  • Eric Ashley

    The Right saints Reagan; the Left considered Obama the Divinity. Its a sizeable difference between a good and great man and a god.

  • Steve Skubinna

    Even when I disagree with my parents, I don’t take it as ineffable proof of my own moral and intellectual superiority.

    Leftism is a secular religion. One of its basic tenets is “Thou shalt interfere.” Since that by itself is unsupportable, they add “… because we care so much more than anyone else.”

  • Patrick Carroll

    My father, a man from 1920’s Worcester, MA, worshiped the Kennedys.

    Me, not so much.

    I think the world has gained a bit by this.

  • bobbymike34

    And with Reagan as in ‘We want another Reagan’ it is basically two things;
    1) Conservative Policy
    2) The ability to articulate that policy
    With Liberals it is all about the ‘man as cult’ how else can you explain the silence over rendition, Gitmo, drone attacks killing innocents, etc. It is all about the Demi-god as our leader the perfect being to bring light to the darkeness, that he is the 2nd coming but no one in the media has ever said stuff like this right?

  • Douglas6

    I must be about the same age as you, Mr. McCain, and share much of the same 60s-radical-student to conservative-father trip you do. My still very Democratic mother still can’t figure out how her three children all ended up conservative Republicans.

  • Finrod Felagund

    Oh, I’d never consider myself morally superior to my parents; we just see certain things differently.

    Re secular religion: you’re not the first to make that observation. Walter Martin, who did a lot of research into non-Christian cults, once gave a speech called The Cult of Liberalism, where he showed how modern-day leftists fit all the definitions of a non-Christian cult.

  • Sinead

    This post makes me very fond of ‘Ed’. I’d like to meet him and shake his hand.

    All this “I hate clever people, with their DEGREES and stuff” posturing is hilarious.

    And yes, ‘Ed’ might end up having more conservative views – people tend to become more conservative as they get older. People’s IQs decrease as they get older too.

    Obviously correlation doesn’t imply causation but in this case I’ll give it a free pass.

  • robertstacymccain

    Well, I wasn’t really a radical, just an adolescent dopehead with plans for a rock-and-roll star and, given that I planned to make gazillions of dollars that way, it sort of lmited my interest in the Commie attitude toward capitalism. The closest I came to “radical” was when I banged a girl who was on the ballot as a Cranston delegate in ’84.

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