Last week, I was confronted by a horrible, horrible truth: I’m on the wrong side. And when I say I’m on the wrong side, I mean I’m on the wrong side about everything.

I’m a Democrat in a rabid red state.

I’m a bearded, bandana-wearing hippie in a town of popped-collar bros and bow tie-wearing dandies. 

I’m a hip-hop, stoner rocker surrounded by frat expats who bought Cracked Rear View in 1996 and haven’t stopped listening to it since.

Normally, I take a certain amount of pride in this, but lately, the burden has become just too much to bear. I’m tired of being on the wrong side. I’m tired of being a loser. I’m tired of being me.

And so I’ve decided to change that. I’m going to be someone else, a person I haven’t been since I left the Republican Party many years ago: a winner.

Now, I haven’t gone as far as to book a spot on the next Sister Hazel cruise, and I’m not quite ready to start wearing pastel polos and sporting Palmetto State Croakies. However, I’d be lying to you if I said that my end goal wasn’t to be hanging with Shep and T-Rav, diving head first into the cups and otherwise making a privileged, blue-blazer ass of myself.

In order to get there, I have to make one fundamental change: I’ve got to adopt the same rose-colored colorblind glasses of so many of my fellow white brothers and sisters. I have to learn how to deny the existence of racism in modern American society. I have to learn how to say with a straight face, “The NAACP is the most racist group in America today.” As a straight white male, I have to learn how to survive in a world where everyone is against me and where I have absolutely no power to fend off their attacks.

Thankfully, there are plenty of examples out there to follow, from Sean Hannity to Bill O’Reilly, Bryan Crabtree to Rocky D, real men who know all too well how to fight the real battles that white men face every day. Consider them philosopher pugilists, and if not that, then schoolyard scrapers with a penchant for politically incorrect pontificating. 

I can think of no better way try out this new way of thinking than with last week’s decision in Ferguson.

Where I otherwise would have railed against a culture of institutional racism that teaches cops that simply being a young black male is a crime, I now see the case through the eyes of Officer Darren Wilson’s white defenders. Thanks to this new way of thinking, I now understand that even though Michael Brown was unarmed, he was a threat not just to Darren Wilson but to all the citizens of Ferguson, Mo. I mean, I’ve seen Reefer Madness, so I’m well aware of the depraved, psychotic mind of a man knee-deep in the sordid depths of marijuana cigarette psychosis.

That’s not the only realization I’ve made since I decided I no longer want to be a liberal loser. So without further ado, here are a few other lessons that I’ve learned during my week-long stint as a winner  … or is that whiner? I really get those two words confused sometimes.

1. There is no more heroic person in the U.S. today than a retired white man who watches Fox News, gobbles up conspiracy spam, and dares to face off against the liberal hordes on the internet, a battlefield that is as deadly as Normandy Beach and as depraved as Thunderdome.

2. Being thin-skinned is not a fault. It is a defense mechanism. Stand your ground.

3. Victimization is a virtue, but only when a straight, white, Christian, Republican male is the target. When it comes to everyone else, it’s the worst sin since AMC spoiled The Walking Dead mid-season finale. 

4. Yo, Second Amendment-loving, Tea Partying state’s righters: The U.S. government has a FEMA coffin with your name on it. But that black guy complaining about police harassment … well, he’s bat shit cray-cray.

5. The further you are away from actual danger, the greater that danger is, whether you live in the lilly-white suburbs of Summerville, far away from America Street, or 5,000 miles from Syria. Remember: The most fearsome bogeyman is the one that is so far away, you can’t see him coming. It also helps if his skin blends into the shadows. 

6. You vote for the man but not the party, although you can’t remember the last time you voted for a Democrat.

7. You will gladly vote for a black man, but only if he: 1. Is a Republican 2. Supports the Voter ID suppression of the black vote 3. Keeps his fucking mouth shut whenever one of his GOP cohorts says something racially offensive.

8. It’s OK to insist that everyone understands the validity of your outrage while you dismiss any and all complaints from minorities. 

9. The office of the president of the United States of America has been occupied by one traitor after another, from Lincoln to Wilson, FDR to JFK, Clinton to Obama. But don’t you dare talk ill about my country. If you don’t like it, leave.

10. You don’t think African Americans are inferior. You just think black culture is inferior. Well, except for Chris Rock and Bill Cosby, who, sadly, needs our support now more than ever.

11. Watermelon is just a fruit, fried chicken is a Southern delicacy, and Song of the South is an accurate depiction of life in the pre-Civil War Confederate States of America.

12. There is no more dangerous foe a cop can face than an unarmed black man, especially one with his hands in his pockets. The only thing more dangerous than an unarmed black man is a crowd of African Americans exercising their right to peaceably assemble. And if they start singing hymns, then you better watch the fuck out.

13. White kids rioting after their college football team loses a game = Oh, kids these days. Black folks rioting after yet another unarmed black male is shot by a cop = Fucking savages.