We live in a crazy and beautiful world; unfortunately, crazy and beautiful are not in an equal proportion. And for anyone who has been following the Republican primaries,  crazy seems to have had the upper hand.

I say this based on empirical observation and not because I disagree with just about every Republican idea that has ever been uttered, thought, or imagined. People disagree, which is part of what makes us human (and, as a comedian, provides me with job security; after all, if we all agreed, who would I be able to make fun of?). What strikes me as crazy, really crazy, is the depth of the looniness among the Republican presidential hopefuls.

First, there is a superficial kind of crazy. In another time or another place, if you observed a field of candidates including three minority candidates (a woman, an African American, and an anti-war candidate), you would be witnessing a Democratic primary. But not so in 2011-2012.

Second, there is a stupid kind of crazy, revealed by the candidates’ ignorance of some rather basic facts: The century in which the American Revolution occurred (the 18th century, not the 16th), which continent Libya is in (it is also a part of Africa), or that we have more natural gas than Saudi Arabia (which is true only if you include Newt Gingrich in your calculations). You would hope that the leader of the free world would have a basic grasp of these kinds of facts.

Finally, there is a kind of crazy that is just plain scary: Rep. Bachmann claimed that the HPV vaccine causes mental retardation (it does not). Speaker Gingrich thinks that judges should be arrested for making unpopular rulings (an independent judiciary seems to be as important to him as it did to General Pervez Musharraf). And, of course, there was Herman Cain….

But what explains this odd sort of behavior? There are several hypotheses.

Are the candidates idiots? Not likely. They are all well educated and have achieved levels of success that would be unachievable if someone was not very smart. They might not think before they speak or may be horribly misinformed (as in the case of Michelle Bachmann), or they might just not think at all (see Rick Perry). But that does not necessarily mean they are idiots.

Are the candidates sociopaths? While it may seem that way, there are other more reasonable explanations: Islamophobia (in the case of Rick Santorum), arrogance (see Newt Gingrich), eccentricity (Ron Paul and Herman Cain are exhibits A and B, respectively), and a craven subservience to corporate overlords (Mitt Romney) are all more plausible explanations for their anti-social agendas.

Another hypothesis–one which I am loathe to consider, but must in the interest of scientific integrity–is that they are not crazy. But I can quickly and easily dismiss this hypothesis with just one look into Michele Bachmann’s eyes.

“When you have eliminated the impossible,” said Sherlock Holmes, “whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” As improbable as this may sound, having eliminated the impossible, I am left to conclude that Republicans are from another universe.

Physicists have been playing with the idea that our universe is just one of many possible universes. That is, we are just part of a much grander multiverse. The laws of physics in our universe or so delicately tuned to support life, some physicists say, that they cannot be mere accidents. If the laws of gravity were just a little stronger or weaker, if protons were a little heavier, or if Republicans were a little crazier, life as we know it could not exist.

The idea of a multiverse emerges from string theory, a theory which tries to smooth out the inconsistencies between the theory of general relativity (which describes really, really big things, like Newt Gingrich’s head) and quantum mechanics, which describes really, really small things (like Rick Perry’s brain). String theory allows for “membranes” to exist, and we live on one of those membranes.

The problem with string theory, however, is that it can never be proven right or wrong (there are so many solutions to the basic equations in string theory, that any solution could be correct). But experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) are underway to test this theory.

The idea behind these experiments is much like a Presidential Primary: particles are crashed into each other, and the remains are picked through to see what remains. By comparing the amount of energy before the collision with the amount of energy after the collision, and if the amount after is less, then that indicates that some of the energy had flown off the membrane.

This theory explains the current Republican Party: they are “particles” flung off from a parallel universe. In that universe, corporations are people, President Obama is a Kenyan anti-colonial socialist with a fake birth certificate, and people ride unicorns through forests of lollipops and gumdrops.

But why are the Republicans here? Were they the result of an experiment done in another universe to test their version of string theory? Are they the vanguard of an invasion force from another dimension? Or are they exiles from their native universe, having f**ked that one up too?
If you want to understand today’s Republicans, you don’t need to read the Constitution, the Federalist Papers, or the Bible. Rather, you should spend your time watching The Outer Limits or The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension.

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