Hippies are annoying. And they smell. Has it ever occurred to you — as some dreadlocked scallywag is screaming “WAR CRIMINAL” or “DOWN WITH OLD SPICE” — that it’s very hard to find someone who actually cares? A student myself, I would like to believe that my classmates are more inclined to sink their teeth into a healthy dialogue rather than resorting to mawkish slogans.

I observe a lot on this campus. I’ve noticed that students who challenge the establishment on a university campus where the majority already leans towards their agenda (they are so brave!) typically gather in small groups to discuss the pressing issues of our time. These love-ins appear to be productive social outings. Unfortunately, it is difficult for me to find a group that embraces the art of burning ants with a magnifying glass or ordering copious amounts of cheeseburgers on Meatless Monday… but whatever. On the other hand, if I’m ever searching for a host of hippies commiserating over the loss of a fallen tree while beating on a bongo drum after a sniff-sesh of Barney Frank’s panties, I know where to go to.

As kids, we are taught to respect our opponents by refraining from shouting them down in a debate. In college, we are taught that having sex with animals is a lifestyle choice that ought to be accepted as “normal.” You see, the university is teaching students to challenge the rules. It isn’t crafting fruitful minds — it is creating fruits and nuts.

The other night I watched an old televised debate between William F. Buckley, Jr. and Gore Vidal. I couldn’t believe my ears. These two men were incredibly articulate and intelligent. It amazed me how different their conversation was from, well, anything we saw between President Obama and Senator McCain. Take this interchange, for instance:

Obama: “Uhh uhh, I’m going to uhh cut taxes for 95 percent of, uhh, Americans. Aaand Kenyan nationals.”

McCain: “Senator Obama, in the prison camps of Saigon, I learned — oh wait, it’s mid-afternoon. Time for my nap!”

After these brash young myn and women gather, they take their scream-filled playbook to the streets. But what do these animalistic antics do? Nothing. People, like me, stand off to the side, point and laugh hysterically while smoking a cigar.

C’mon. Wipe that sneer off your face and admit that what I’m saying is true. I can prove it by citing recent events. President Obama doesn’t think we’re smart enough to understand his health care reform. Sarah Palin feels she needs to dumb down her mainstream appeal because she thinks the majority of Americans are simple folk who can’t understand them big words. It’s an insult.

What happened to men like Thomas Jefferson? Can political debate be driven only by raucous chants and petitions to ban the production of deodorant? This mentality is poisoning our society. As Dr. Thomas Sowell recently noted in a column, politicians today make efforts to single out specific groups of people so they can persuade Americans to target their indignation at them. Instead of actually understanding why they are mad at someone, these drone-like Americans conform to the rest of their clique.

Being a hippie isn’t as cool as you think. As time moves on and you realize you’re just another 45-year-old loser who hangs out on college campuses, you’ll begin to understand why that bong rip wasn’t quite as important as the midterm you ignored.

To everyone else out there with a brain: Be merry, be smart and go eat an animal or something.