HOW TO TELL IF YOU ARE TURNING REPUBLICAN (By Dave Barry) The Republicans Have A High Beady-eyed

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(By Dave Barry)

The Republicans have a high Beady-eyed, self-righteous, scary, borderline loon
quotient, as evidenced by Phyllis Schlafly, Pat Robertson, and the entire
state of Utah, etc. It's very common for people reaching middle age to turn
into Republicans. It can happen overnight. You go to bed as your regular old
T-shirt-wearing self, and you wake up the next morning with Ralph Lauren
clothing and friends named "Muffy". Here are some other signs to watch for:

-- You find yourself judging political candidates solely on the
basis of whether or not they'd raise your taxes. "Well", you
say, "He *was* convicted in those machete slaying, but at least
he won't raise my taxes."

-- You start clapping wrong to music. This is something I've noticed
about Republicans at the conventions. The band will start playing
something vaguely upbeat - a real GOB rocker such as "Bad, Bad
Leroy Brown" - and the delegates will decide to get funky and
clap along, and it immediately becomes clear that they all suffer
from a tragic Rhythm Deficiency, possibly caused by years of
dancing the Bunny Hop to bands with names like "Leon Wudge and
His Sounds of Clinical Depression." To determine whether Repub-
lican Rhythm Impairment is afflicting you, you should take the
Ray Charles Clapping Test. All you do is hum the song "Hit the
Road Jack" and clap along. A rhythmically normal person will
clap as follows: "Hit the road, (clap, clap)." (By the way, if
you don't even *know* the song "Hit the Road Jack," then not
only are you a Republican, but you might even be Cabinet

I'll tell you what's weird. Not only is our generation turning into Repub-
licans, but we also have a whole generation coming after us that's starting
*out* as Republicans. With the exception of a few dozen spittle-emitting
radicals I saw at the 1988 Democratic convention in Atlanta, the younger
generations today are already so conservative they make William F. Buckley
Jr. look like Ho Chi Minh. What I'm wondering is, what will they be like
when they are our age? Will they, too, change their political philosophy?
Will millions of young urban professionals turn 40 and all of a sudden start
turning into left-wing anti-establishment hippies, smoking pot on the
racquetball court and putting Che Guevara posters up in the conference room
and pasting flower decals all over their cellular telephone? It will be an
exciting time to look forward to. I plan to be dead.

("Dave Berry Turns 40")