The CokePepsi Election (Thanks, Adbusters!)

It’s the Coke/Pepsi taste test all over again and again and again and again. Or should I say Koch/Soros? Or pro wrestling featuring Tweedledee and Tweedledum?



The Candidates

Tweedledee and Tweedledum
Were alike as a pair of thumbs
Joined with steepled hands
Democrats, Republicans
Each equally adept at theft
Passing the ball from Pete to Paul
Though one be right, the other left
Equally ready with a promise and a lie
Equally able to hold a twinkle in an eye
Doubly able to look dignified on cable
Or chew the fat at a banquet table
Courting the high rollers in his or her stable
Could I go on until the dawn?
Could I go on until you yawn?
Yet I prefer to show some mercy
Rather than endlessly versi-
Though one may win and one may lose
There's really not that much to choose
Leastways I can see
Tween Tweedledum and Tweedledee


Every election brings the war back home -- into the living room, the kitchen, the bedroom, maybe even the bath. Anywhere, in fact, a TV blares.

Accusations, angry denials, protests of innocence, of misunderstanding, of lies, misstated facts and deliberate twists of truthiness thunder from the idiot box hour after hour until anger and indigestion have taken up residence like squirrels in the attic.

Less filling! Tastes great!

As in beer commercials, the candidates advertise how great it's going to be if you drink fiscal responsibility or job creation. The flavors change a little from year to year, less tort reform, more Citizens United this time around.

Does it ever make a difference whom we elect? "The oysters were curious, too." That's from Alice in Wonderland, when Alice meets that charming pair, Tweedledum and Tweedledee.

Of course, this is only my opinion, and I'm sure some others may disagree, but political candidates in our elections don't really offer much of a choice. They all seem cut from the same elite cloth, and their handlers have sewn them into very conventional suits.

Okay, I have seen the strong opinions on Patch and elsewhere about Elizabeth Warren and Scott Brown. Somehow the warring camps have convinced intelligent people that it matters who is elected, that one has better character or embraces a better platform of issues.

They are both decent people, and yet both have convinced themselves, and their followers, that their opponent would be much much worse in office. From what I can see, Brown has better packaging and Warren a more righteous pose. It is like the old Star-Kist tuna ad from forty years ago. "Star-Kist don't want tunas with good taste, Star-Kist wants tunas that taste good. Sorry, Charlie." Who do you think will win?

The presidential race is similar, yet Romney has so much money behind him that he almost tastes good. Obama has the scent of good taste about him this time around. Against McCain it was all about hope, and hope and promise taste very good. This time he carries a huge burden of failed promise, yet the threat of Romney as a looter of the middle class almost makes Obama look good.

They are both central casting candidates, but star in different movies. Which movie you prefer to see depends a lot on expectations and very little on real outcomes. You'll get the same stale popcorn with glistening motor oil, if you want it, and movie candy that sticks in your teeth. And after the movie, how long will you remember what it was all about?

I know some feel there are real life-and-death differences. In my view, there are so many of us that either candidate will cause some collateral damage if elected. Health care, war in Afghanistan, taxes, Social Security, Medicare -- no matter who is elected, some people we know will be impacted, some lives will be lost, some changed for the better, the worse.

Can (or will) either candidate make a real difference?

Probably not. They are both funded by the rich and powerful, by corporations and SuperPACs that serve those same rich and powerful interests.

Yes, Romney is a Republican, and Republicans want to make the rich richer and the poor poorer. Survival of the fittest is their anthem. And cutting taxes (for the rich).

Yes, Obama is a Democrat, and Democrats want to sustain the middle class and provide services that keep the door open to the middle class (so that the working class can join its ranks).

That's about it. It's really all about the money, any social issue you can name -- war, jobs, civil rights, equality and justice for all.

Meanwhile, I turned off my TV except for football games and reruns of Law and Order and NCIS. That's about all the warfare I can stand.

Besides, it's like the nursery rhyme about Tweedledum and Tweedledee that predates Lewis Carroll.

Tweedledum and Tweedledee
    Agreed to have a battle;
For Tweedledum said Tweedledee
    Had spoiled his nice new rattle.
Just then flew down a monstrous crow,
    As black as a tar-barrel;
Which frightened both the heroes so,
    They quite forgot their quarrel.

Can you even remember the issues that enlivened the debates between McCain and Obama?

And after the dust has settled, and Tweedledee or Tweedledum has won, will any of it matter as much to you as your son's high school football game or your daughter's successful startup business or your new rod and reel?


This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Holly Nadler October 04, 2012 at 10:07 PM
Michael, beautifully elucidated but we do have to keep hope alive, don't you think?, each in our individual hearts?, even if we fear our candidate has lost touch? "Hope is that thing with feathers / That perches in the soul / It sings the song without the words / And never stops at all." (That's my beloved Emily, of course . . .
Holly Nadler October 04, 2012 at 10:08 PM
Oh, and it's always lovely to be reminded of Tweedledum and Tweedledee! Thank you!
Michael West October 05, 2012 at 01:11 AM
Holly, you are wonderful. What is it we are hoping for? Things will be better? I know you may this this strange, but I can't really place much hope in professional politicians who are the cream of the sociopathic crop. I know they appear sincere and caring, but even though they have kissed a thousand babies, their lips are less calloused than their souls. As to the Tweedle Twins, bless em!
Holly Nadler October 05, 2012 at 01:40 AM
I've always loved this quotation from Dame Julian of Norwich (13th century or thereabouts), an anchorite and deep mystic who came out of a meditative trance and said, "All shall be well, and all shall we well, and all manner of things shall be well." It's a sentiment that goes so much deeper than politics or the evil that deposits itself all around the world. and links us to the divine.
Michael West October 05, 2012 at 02:17 AM
Now you're talking. These guys are gloryheads, sociopaths and egotists par excellence. I like to keep my political expression local, buying local produce, working on local problems, voting local elections. Meanwhile, all that big media election stuff is indeed superficial froth that we can have no real impact on. It's a big bucks game.
Michael West October 08, 2012 at 11:45 AM
Postscript Following the first debate there is a numbness settling over America, despite Democrats stirring up their fundraising and Republicans gleefully proclaiming their candidate got the better of the President. I wonder why this numbness. Could it be that it is beginning to dawn on us that these two are really so close as to be brothers under the skin? Check out the photograph at he top of this article. If that isn't Tweedle dum and Tweedledee, I'll eat my borsolino with cherries on top. http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/sigh_no_more_obama_romney_leave_no_room_to_argue_20121005/


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