The Lesser of Two Weevils – Stranger than Fiction

Phillip Salvatore & Matthew Wisnieff

We’re here to tell you the truth. And the truth is…things are stranger than fiction.

People can’t seem to get enough of this election. Frankly, there’s so much buzz that the job of sorting information from misinformation, blunders from blights, alone is a full-time job and a thankless one. It’s also one that, we think, has less to do with informing potential voters and more to do with making sure that they miss the truth. And the truth is that we don’t have a legitimate choice in American politics.

The truth is, it’s getting harder and harder to justify a vote for one of the major tickets. We’ve all at some point heard: “you know, I can’t really trust either party.” Well, we actually think it isn’t heard enough. Surprised? You shouldn’t be, because when we look at the “buzz” that’s buzzing, not a day goes by that we don’t hear some jarring news about one candidate’s porcine beauty tips or another’s unfortunate faux pas about financial fundamentals. We’re not sure whether to call this election a soap opera or a sitcom.

With everyone and their mothers getting up in arms about this election, we feel it is our duty to remind you that as exciting and inspiring as these candidates may seem, our best interests aren’t served just by getting excited and inspired. Never mind that on the bailout — arguably the most important issue we now face — their stances are identical. The truth is, these men are politicians. They are politicians from the same two parties that have worked long and hard — not to change America — but simply to make sure they beat each other at the ballot box.

We’re sure you need no reminding that Senator Obama’s slogan is “change we can believe in.” Well, if his campaign’s rhetoric is any indication, the senator seems far more interested in the motto “swift-boat politics,” the sad legacy of a failed Kerry campaign. The truth is, the Democrats may have found a man that looks strikingly different from John Kerry, but when it comes to substance, we’re having a difficult time seeing anything resembling significant “change” from the Democrats.

The truth is, the color of Barack Obama’s skin is something that shouldn’t matter in this election, but the only — we repeat, the only – welcome change his election would bring is the desegregation of an age-old fraternity. But we’re not so na’ve as to think that this would actually bring about substantial change for the American people. We haven’t forgotten about that little episode in June at a Detroit rally where Mr. Obama’s staffers forbade Muslim women to appear with him on stage due to “the political climate.” That’s right, the candidate of unity and the “transcendence of petty politics” couldn’t afford to be associated with intelligent, articulate Muslim women. As expected, the campaign immediately apologized for the actions of its “untrained” staff members, and, of course, the women were still not allowed to appear with Mr. Obama at another rally.

Senator McCain, on the other hand, has been trucking his “Straight Talk Express” to all corners of the country, and by “the country,” we really just mean the battleground states. For those of us who followed and supported Mr. McCain four and eight years ago as the sane-man’s alternative to George W. Bush, it’s pretty clear to us that the only straight talking he’s doing now is out of the sides of his mouth. Take the McCain-Kennedy Immigration Bill of 2005, a bipartisan effort that explored legalization and guest worker programs. Despite the initiative of Senator John McCain, when it came to attempting to sway conservative voters in 2008, Presidential Candidate John McCain would actively vote against the bill. We’ll say that again: he vowed to defeat his own bill. In this twilight zone of reality, people are continually “surprised” that McCain is doing so well considering the low fortunes of his party, but in hindsight, they shouldn’t be — what do you think registering for a political party is for?

With less than a month to go before the election, we — like everyone else — just can’t wait to see more of the buzz generated by our fearless leaders’ false promises and campaign catfights. Like the loyal viewers of Survivor, we continuously find ways to justify the childish behavior of our favorite contestants. And like any good television show that makes us cringe and cry, we’re guaranteed a grand finale that will move us all. The truth is, the way this whole show is fed to us, we’ll be kept on edge until the very end, phones in hand, ready to vote for our favorite contestant, without ever thinking for a second that maybe there’s actually something better out there.