By Alex H. Nagler

In today’s political climate, people tend to forget that there is a middle ground. The perception that people are either abortion-loving baby killers who think gays should marry dogs or gun-humping Jesus lovers who think that Rush Limbaugh is the Messiah is false, as there are plenty of people in between. Marty Beckerman’s new book, Dumbocracy: Adventures with the Loony Left, the Rabid Right and Other American Idiots examines this idea through a series of topical rants detailing a wide spread of issues from terrorism to gay rights, taking time to assault puritans as he goes.

Mr. Beckerman believes that the extreme activists on both sides are well intentioned, but go too far to try to enforce the ideals of their respective movements. Most normal people wouldn’t demand that children be acknowledged as sexual beings or demand an abrupt halt to trimming sideburns, but those on the radical wings of gay and religious rights would say that.

Some of Beckerman’s most enjoyable work comes when he details everything going on around him at the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City. He focuses on what’s going on inside and outside, interviewing everyone he can and pointing out how damn ridiculous everyone with a poster, flyer, or megaphone really was. His discussions with RNC delegates about the sanctimony of George Bush, referred to as King Retard throughout the book, are enlightening, especially when the chairman of the Iowa Republican Party asserted that, “This is the GOP. God’s Official Party.”

Republicans aren’t the only idiots at the RNC. The Democrats screeching about the First Amendment are just as entertaining as the Republicans screeching about Jesus. Rather than elaborate on the statements, I’ll allow one Democratic protester, Henry, to explain why he was protesting:

“So we should go to war with the whole country—let’s just fuck up the whole country. We’re killin’ innocent people. We’re killin’ children. We’re killin’ … killin’ everyone. And people here were like, ‘We’re bombin’ children, it’s so much fun, we’re bombin’ kids, we’re bombin’ people who don’t have shit to do with anything, it’s so much fun.’ What the fuck, man? We’re … We’re … we’re united, and  we fucking stand for freedom, but what the fuck are we doing? All the countries ahead of us are against us now! [King Retard], you’re a liar! You’re a politician, and you lie!”

The book is full of quotes, just like this, from both sides of the aisle on every hot button issue today. If this sounds like the sort of thing that’s interesting, read “Dumbocracy.” Hunter S. Thompson was right when he called Marty Beckerman a “morbid little bastard.” American youths have become politically active for the first time in a generation. “Dumbocracy” is a book that anyone politically active should read to ensure that this generation doesn’t become as idiotic as the last.