I have to admit that I'm very disappointed with Dan Savage. Appearing on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher Friday night, Dan muttered something about wishing that all Republicans would drop dead. A jarring sentiment, I know. But then Dan really crossed the line: He apologized.
"It was a stupid, rude, thoughtless remark," Dan atoned on Slog. "I regret it and I retract it and I apologize to anyone watching at home."
"Rude," maybe, but "stupid" and "thoughtless," Dan? Absolutely not. And certainly not worthy of a retraction. Of course you wish all Republicans would drop dead. I wish all Republicans would drop dead. We should all wish that all Republicans would drop dead. Even the Republicans. For the frightening alternative—a world in which Republicans never die—would be an unholy and unnatural disaster.
Just imagine the horrible consequences, demographic and otherwise, should Republicans somehow attain immortality. Social Security and Medicare, already under attack from the GOP, would quickly plunge into insolvency as the average number of retirement years for Republican-Americans suddenly stretched from a little more than a decade to infinity. And, as older Republicans failed to make way for the little GOPers that followed, not only would the political landscape be grossly distorted, but the physical landscape as well. After only a few generations, NASCAR races, Walmarts, Wall Street, K Street, country clubs, gun shows, megachurches, Mormon tabernacles, airport bathrooms, and other native GOP habitat would soon be bursting at the seams, stripped clean of resources in a Malthusian catastrophe, as Republicans relentlessly multiplied but chillingly refused to die!
It would be a living nightmare, not just for us, but for them, a party of the undead, walking skeletons all (no longer just Slade Gorton). What at first appeared a blessing would ultimately prove a curse, their deathless yet ever diminishing bodies and minds slowly worn down by age, inevitably growing as withered, enfeebled, and decrepit as their political ideology. The longer Death denied them his sweet embrace, the more Republicans would grow weary of "life" and the cruel mockery it had become.
Now I know what you're thinking: That's not what Dan meant. Surely, any scenario in which Republicans achieved immortality would more likely mirror the plot to Highlander, their bodies proving as immune to age as they are to death. But as much as I would like to imagine the presidential debate in which Michele Bachmann captures her party's base by lopping off Mitt Romney's carefully coiffed head ("There can be only one!" Bachmann screams maniacally to the FOX News cameras as she triumphantly holds her bloody sword aloft), if popular fiction has taught us anything it's that the promise of immortality is nothing if not a Faustian bargain, fraught with the sort of ironic suffering that comes to men who dare to tread in the footsteps of gods.
So rather than being angry or outraged at his comments, Republicans everywhere should thank Dan for his kindness. Yes, Dan probably could have chosen more tactful words, but given the alternative, his offhand wish that the Republicans were all "fucking dead" can only be understood as a merciful desire to spare them the Hell on Earth that would surely come from eternal life.
And in that sense, Dan has shown the gay-bashing/bankster-pimping/Bible-spewing Christianist fucktards that comprise the Republican base more compassion than they have ever shown him.