MARGIN OF TERROR

Hey, Hipsters: Please Save Us From Ted Cruz

If you goddamn millennials get off P.J. O'Rourke’s lawn and into a voting booth, we could actually have a decent president.

12.21.15 6:00 AM ET

A plea to America’s Youth!

Now is the time for all good millennials to come to the aid of their country!

Young people of the U.S.A., you must save our nation. Because America’s old people have gone completely insane. Look who they’re supporting for president.

The 2016 presidential campaign is the most severe case of American mass psychosis since the Salem witch trials of 1692. In fact, it’s worse. What kind of witch hunt leaves Goodwife Hillary not dunked in a pond, pressed under stones or fastened by the ankles in the It-Takes-A-Village stocks?

And Hillary is, arguably, the front-running candidate possessed by the fewest demons. (Although watching her head spin around while she spews campaign vomit is scary.)

Enter Ben Carson. Caldron boiling.

Eye of Newt (Gingrich), facts of fog,
Hare of brain, tongue of blog…

Bernie Sanders is going to and fro in the earth.

And then there’s Trump—Landlord of the Flies.

No one knows what caused mature adult Americans to lose their minds. Maybe it’s long over-due LSD flashbacks. Perhaps sharing cute kitty videos on Facebook is an Alzheimer’s trigger. Or it could be post-traumatic stress syndrome from when you kids came home with neck tats and nipple piercings.

Anyway, crazy old people are to blame for the presidential frontrunners. Who else answers the phone in the middle of dinner when “asshole political pollster” is on the Caller ID?

And crazy old people will be to blame for whichever spawn of Satan slithers its way into the Oval Office.

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The whole electoral process is in the hands of don’t-trust-anyone-over-the-age-I-was-under-when-I-was-saying-don’t-trust-anyone-over-that-age.

Eighty-six percent of Republicans and voters who “lean Republican” are on the wrong side of 30. That doesn’t make the blue states hip and happening. Eighty-two percent of Democrats and voters who “lean Democratic” are likewise.

People who actually vote in presidential elections are, on average, nearly 50. The highest voter turnout is among those who are 60+.

But before we have presidential elections we have presidential primaries.

You young people don’t vote much, and, when it comes to primaries, you don’t vote at all.

“Primaries?” you ask. “Whoa, what are they, primarily?” And, “What’s up with them being all whenever and wherever, during weird months in states I’ve never heard of?”

In fact, nobody votes in primaries. In 2012, when the entire country was supposedly full of the political hots and bothers, just 15.9 percent of the electorate cast a primary vote. We don’t know how old these primary-voting nobodies are, but I’m guessing their average age is dead.

Brain-dead, for certain.

Therefore I’m asking you young people to make an enormous sacrifice. I’m asking you to find a presidential primary and vote in it.

But that’s not all I’m asking. I’m asking you to make a much greater sacrifice, a terrible sacrifice.

I’m asking you to find a Republican presidential primary and vote in it.

Here’s why.

Americans over 30 are such deranged maniacs that Hillary Clinton might not be heinous and abominable enough for them. A Republican frontrunner could be elected.

You say, “Oh, go on, get outta here.” Surely Ben Carson will be checking himself into the memory-care facility soon. And it can’t be long before Donald Trump is exposed as a Democratic double agent and goes into hiding at the Chappaqua safe house, or wherever it is Hillary has Bill stashed.

But now there is another Republican frontrunner. Ted Cruz. He’s ahead of Trump in the Iowa polls. He’s closing in on Trump in the national polls. There’s even an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll with the two of them in margin-of-error territory—Trump 27 percent, Cruz 22 percent.

Call it “margin-of-terror.” Cruz is way too close to being electable. He’s got the crazy thing going for him, but it’s crazy like a fox or, anyway, like a Fox News broadcast. In contrast to one GOP frontrunner I could name, Cruz knows who’s buried in Lenin’s tomb. And, in contrast to another, he isn’t angling to get a sweetheart deal on a hotel and casino in Raqqa as a reward for inflaming anti-American hatred worldwide.

Ted Cruz could beat Hillary Clinton. He’s 161 years younger than she is—in dog years. Dogs are all we’ve got this election cycle, so it’s a fair measure.

Cruz has a national political record going back only as far as his Senate race in 2013. Clinton is dragging a hundred miles of public policy toilet-paper-trail stuck to her campaign shoe.

Hillary reminds every man in America of his first wife. Voters are 47.9 percent male. And 47.9 happens to be exactly the percent of the popular vote that won George W. Bush the presidency in 2000.

We need Cruz Control.

I know, I know, you young people are saying, “P.J., you’re an elderly and unhinged Republican yourself. What’s up with getting your plaid XL boxers in a wad over Ted Cruz? Isn’t he your kind of guy?”

No, he’s not. I mean, OK, yes, I like Ted’s flat-tax idea—the same clever plan for tax reform that put Steve Forbes in the White House in 1996.

And usually I am, like Ted, opposed to stricter gun controls. But Cruz told radio host Hugh Hewiit, “the simple fact is the overwhelming majority of violent criminals are Democrats.” So maybe gun purchase background checks should include a question about party affiliation.

Cruz seems a little clueless on foreign policy. I don’t think carpet-bombing ISIS will work. Didn’t they pretty much invent the carpet over there?

Cruz doesn’t believe in climate change. That’s nonsense. I’ve been around for a long time. Climate change is real. Temperatures go up in the summer and down in the winter every year.

Cruz opposes legalization of marijuana. I have two teenage daughters. I worry about them. And marijuana is a drug that makes teenage boys drive slow.

Cruz opposes gay marriage and adoption by gay couples. Ted, you idiot. We want the Republican Party to win elections. What do you call people who get married and have children? You call them Republicans.

The rest of the Ted Cruz’s platform is just the standard-issue delusional right-wing ravings that keep anyone to the left of me (and practically everybody is) from even thinking about voting Republican.

Take a Thorazine or something, Ted, and stop the anti-immigrant rants. I’m 68. What am I supposed to do, raise my own children? Plus you’re practically an immigrant yourself, Ted, or would be if we cared what crosses between Alberta and Texas. You Canadian, you.

And stop the anti-abortion rants. As I mentioned, I’ve got teenage daughters. If abortion laws need any tweaking, it’s this: The woman gets to decide what to do with the baby. And I get to decide what to do with the boyfriend.

But where Ted Cruz goes completely off the rails is when he refuses to criticize Donald Trump. Refuses to criticize Donald Trump? That’s inconceivable. That’s impossible. That’s like… like… Nicki Minaj refusing to wear an outfit because it’s too revealing. Like Ben and Jerry refusing to sell Leonardo DiCappuccino Ice Cream. Simile fails me.

I’m ethnically Republican. (I know you young people understand Identity Politics.) My grandmother was born in the 19th century near Springfield, Illinois, where the only Democrat anybody had ever heard of was John Wilkes Booth.

Please, please help put a regular doofus Republican on the ballot.

I know you young people are comfortable with Hillary Clinton. She’s familiar. You’re used to her. She’s the spitting image of the worn-out, bitter, sarcastic Second Wave feminist adjunct professor teaching your Gender Studies class. Easy A, if you can wade through the Betty Friedan crap.

But what if America decides to drop that course? What if Americans just can’t stand another minute of Clinton smug and Clinton smirk?

Every presidential election needs two candidates, neither of whom will cause you to leap off a bridge or move to Ted Cruz’s Canada if the other one wins.

When America doesn’t have two candidates like that, bad things happen.

In 1968 one candidate was Hubert Humphrey. He was a doofus and LBJ’s butt boy and nobody really liked him. But he was mostly harmless.

The Republicans also could have run a doofus nobody really liked. They had plenty available, such as Nelson Rockefeller and Mitt Romney’s dad, George. But they failed to nominate someone who was mostly harmless.

Instead, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, Richard Nixon, won the election with 60.7 percent of the popular vote. And, pay attention here, 1968 was the first time 18-year-olds had voting rights.

Young people, don’t let this happen to you.

You have the power. There are 53.5 million of you between the ages of 18 and 29. There were only 32.9 million primary voters in 2012 (total, Republicans and Democrats). You have a 163 percent advantage.

Just pick any regular doofus Republican polling below 13 percent—Rubio, Paul, Kasich, Fiorina, Pataki, the Jebster, whatever. They’re mostly harmless.

And they’re definitely harmless compared to the crazy old people currently in control of the whole electoral process. You know, people like me.