Candidate Rand Paul; Campaigner Sarah Palin
One of the knocks against social sciences is its supposed inability to predict the future. That may be true sometimes, but when conditions are right it’s possible to make some pretty good predictions. Take the recent buzz around Tea Party superstar Rand Paul’s race for the senate in Kentucky. Paul’s campaign has seen the largest influx of extreme right-wing politicians to any campaign site in all of recorded history: Rand’s libertarian father, Texas congressman Ron Paul; Tea Party darling Sarah Palin herself; the Senate’s most radical conservative, Jim DeMint; right-wing Republican Governor Haley Barbour of Mississippi; Kentuckian and Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell; and a parade of lesser ideologues. The intensity of it all has whipped up such a storm of anger and paranoid resentment that toxic vibrations have spread through the atmosphere and are corroding people’s brains. After some careful social scientific mulling, I came up with a bunch of predictions about the destructive effects of all this agitation. Here are just a few of the things likely to happen:
(1) Violence will escalate with local folk using bizarre weaponry like Japanese swords and bows and arrows.
(2) Postal workers will go berserk and attack foreign immigrants.
(3) Given their marginality, Hispanic immigrants will turn upon one another in an orgy of in-group violence.
(4) Rich anti-tax people will resort to theft to avoid paying for fine wines and other highly taxed commodities.
(5) Alienated from the government, conservatives will start impersonating government officials to gain illicit ends (e.g., by pretending to be Secret Service agents).
Palinites Infected by Tea Party Vapors in Kentucky [www.internetweekly.org]
Once I had my predictions in place, I started monitoring the local news. I wasn’t in the least bit surprised when the following stories turned up in the Cincinnati Enquirer (yes, no kidding, these are for real, though pseudonyms are used here):
Five Finger Sword Assault. Angela Offwul, 29 of South Fairview, is being held on $15,000 bond for attempting to slice off her ex-boyfriend’s fingers with a Japanese Katan sword. [Hypothesis 1 supported; Enquirer, Oct. 5]
Archered to Near-Death. Sanford Staley invited Harold Spicey to live with him for a while because the latter was out of work. But when the two men argued about Staley’s 11-year-old daughter, Spicey shot Staley three times with his bow and arrow, leaving him for dead. [Hyp. 1 supported; Enquirer, Sept. 8]
Postal Clerk Takes Action. When Tenju Wang found the mailbox filled to capacity and nobody at the front desk of the Monfort Post Office, he went around to the back door to report the problem. Ever alert postal clerk Shawn Tollabee, sensing an Asian presence, picked up a large knife, grabbed Wang, held the knife to his throat, and slammed his head against a metal post. The Postal Service is conducting an inquiry. [Hyp. 2 supported; Enquirer, Oct. 5]
Hispanic Wilding. 150 Hispanic people, including 30 children, gathered for a little girl’s birthday party at the Elks’ Hall in Oakwood Place. When a fight broke out between a woman’s boyfriend and her ex-husband, 75 people began throwing punches and beer bottles at one another. Twenty police officers swarmed the scene but their investigation failed because they couldn’t find anybody who could speak English. [Hyp. 3 supported; Enquirer, Sept. 28]
How to Get Good Bargain Wines. Dr. Domino Riccolo, program director for a local hospital’s heart transplant clinic, was convicted on two counts of theft for changing the bar codes on expensive bottles of wine and purchasing them for as little as $1.59. The judge put the doctor on probation and advised him to stay out of Kroger stores. [Hyp. 4 supported; Enquirer, Sept. 28]
Secret Secret Identity. When a Fort Granger KY police officer arrested a woman for trying to cash a counterfeit payroll check, Vurdell Hix intervened, identifying himself as a Secret Service agent and insisting that the woman be released so he could follow her and uncover the counterfeiting operation. It turns out that Vurdell Hix himself was the counterfeiter, and the secret service agent he was impersonating was the very person who was investigating him. [Hyp. 5 supported; Enquirer, 8-23-10]
You might think that this amazing confirmation of all my predictions is evidence of a supernatural ability to foresee the future. However, in all modesty, it’s nothing more than the application of modern-day social science methods. I also made some additional predictions about what will happen when Rand Paul and the other Tea Party candidates win the election and take over Congress. However, these are so mind-shattering that I locked them away in a sealed envelope and mailed them to my sister Vicki by Special Delivery. I asked Vicki to open the envelope on November 3rd and let everybody know the terrible news.
-Jennifer M (10-23): It's time to come out of retirement. :-)
Phyllis SS (10-21): Dave, Your story is horrifyingly funny.