Dear 19 year-old faux-conservative self,

Let me just start off by asking you a simple question: What the hell were you thinking?

You were always a smart kid growing up. Logical thinker. Irreverent questioner of authority in most of its reaches. How then did you buy-in to the jingoistic propaganda machine of the 2004 presidential election? How could you have voted for George W. Bush? You even went out of your way to vote for him, driving two hours back up to New Hampshire just to cast this blight on my record.

I remember you. All piss and vinegar. Mocking the coeds camped out on the quad in their “tent city” at your liberal Connecticut university. “Anti-war?” you’d say, “of course I’m anti-war! But we didn’t start this war, and we need someone strong enough to get us out of it.”

Out of curiosity, and just for the sake of clarity on the record, what the fuck does that even mean?

The sad truth is that you were the type of person I’ve come to develop quite a strong distaste for. A good person at heart, but grossly misguided by ideology built on logical fallacies. Oh sure, those platitudes about patriotism and strength that were fed to you from your father and the the strong men you idolized in your youth by proxy of Karl Rove kept you warm and comfortable, but for a self-proclaimed intellectual the shallowness of your arguments were hypocritical at best and intellectually indolent at worst.

I know you were dealing with a lot. Breaking ties with 18 years of Catholic doctrine and the crises of faith that accompanies was not easy. I get that. But while you can take the Catholic out the church, you can’t take the guilt out of the Catholic. There is not a week that goes by that I don’t feel immense and crushing guilt and responsibility for the four years that followed the casting of your ballot. John Roberts? Your fault. The response to Hurricane Katrina? Your fault. Stunting stem-cell research? Your fault. The collapse of the economy based on poor economic policies? So, so, so your fault.

In order to make reparations for your actions I have to donate monthly to environmental groups and political action committees. Your ignorance is costing me a fortune. Do you know how often I receive personal emails from Barack Obama and Joe Biden asking me directly for money? Every. Single. Day. They know what you did, younger me. We may not be Catholic anymore, but I’m still stuck paying your penance.

What I’m trying to get at here, and I hope this is sinking in, is that you are kind of a dick. I don’t really like you, your jeans look dumb, and you deserve all of those girl problems you got yourself into sophomore year. Maybe if you hadn’t avoided making tough decisions you would have had a little more fun and I wouldn’t still be cleaning up this mess.

Read a fucking book.

— Future Joey