As the Republican candidates have been madly scrambling rightward to capture the hearts and minds of their party base, have you noticed they seem to think their party base consists of people with no hearts and closed minds? This odd, cold parallel universe has been unfolding where the rich are especially noble and frail and deserving of protection, where rape victims should be forced to carry their babies, where bragging about executions gets a standing ovation, and where the United States should cut off aid to impoverished nations.

Now, I’m so liberal trees hug me; still, I can’t be the only one who thinks this is crazy. But for the benefit of those of you who have problems comprehending simple truths, I will now explain them to you in words of one syllable.

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You know how most kids think their moms and dads are the best darned moms and dads in the whole wide world, and so can do no wrong? That is cute and sweet, but dumb. Well, when pols say that to mean the land we all live in, it is not cute or sweet. It is just dumb. If you think our land has done bad things, that does not mean you do not love it, or that you are a Red, or that you want our foes to win. Got it? Swell. On to the next point!

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(by Eric Shansby)

Times are tough. Lots of folk are out of work. Plus, we are rich and we are poor and not much else — as big a split as we have seen. The way to fix this, say the pols on the right, is to make the rich pay less tax. Sure, that’s nuts, but when the pols say it with a straight face, some poor folks seem to buy it. (I guess it’s all they can buy.) It may be true that if the rich get more dough they will make some jobs for us. But, heck, they might just eat more foie gras. It’s their dough.

And, “9-9-9” is not a fair split of the pie. It is a big, fat gift to rich folks — rich folks like the guy whose plan it is, the guy who sold the pies!

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To run for the White House, you should not have to prove you think Christ is God. The whole point of this land of ours is that there should be no such test — but you sure can’t tell that from the race so far. (Have you found that the folks who brag the most that they have deep faith and love God more than you do tend to be the ones who, like, get caught nude with a goat?)

And by the way, the law of the land is the thing that starts “We the peo…” It is not the thing carved in stone with rules 1 through 10. So, it is fine to pray to no God at all.

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Is air a prune? No, you say, it is a gas. Well, I do not think so. I think it is a prune. Let’s talk it out, then vote on it, and then we will know which is true.

That does not sound so smart, does it? Some things are just facts — there is no “blue” or “red” way to look at them. When folks in lab coats have found a truth, we should not say, “No, that is wrong” if we just don’t want it to be that way. One such truth is that man and ape are kin; that is why it should be taught in the schools. One more truth is that we help make Earth get too warm, and we all have to fix that.

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And last: It is not a bad thing to make all girls get the H. P. V. shot, just as it was not a bad thing when we all had to get the Salk shot. It’s for our own good. Those who say it is bad won’t say what they mean, which is this: “We don’t like you to have fun with sex.”

I hope this clears things up. If this has riled you at all, by all means write to me in care of the New York Times.