Fred and Sam (NOTE: The names have been changed to protect the guilty) found it boring to sit around keeping track of their millions and billions of dollars — so they decided to buy the White House. They didn’t want to go to all the trouble of starting new political parties, so they went out and bought a couple. They kept all the same names, slogans, logos and literature so that very few voters were any the wiser.
One of their difficulties was getting suitable presidential candidates. They searched “by sea and by land” for men with neither courage nor compassion — but with the looks and speaking ability to charm dozens of millions of voters. (“Now, sincerity is the key to this whole thing. Once you can fake that ...”) Their plan required TWO bad candidates for each office, and it didn’t make any difference to them which one of them got elected.
Men who would run against their hand-picked toadies mysteriously died in plane crashes, car wrecks, mental hospitals and falls from high windows. (You know. Soap opera stuff.)
As an election approached, Fred’s and Sam’s candidates would each condemn the other. Each would point out the character flaws and bad track-record of the other. Come Election Day, we all knew that two totally dishonorable, despicable, evil characters were running against each other for each office — one from each of Fred’s and Sam’s parties.
Now, here’s the kicker: We were all put on notice that a vote for any other presidential candidate would be wasted. We were told over and over to “choose the lesser of two evils.” Any other candidate was to be regarded as a “spoiler” who would only take votes away from whichever candidate might turn out to be the “lesser of two evils.”
Elections came and went, and as the generations passed into history, hardly anybody ever was elevated to the presidency but Fred’s and Sam’s hand-picked skunks.
And the people made speeches on patriotic occasions about our wonderful free political system that reflects the will of the people. We all knew about Russian Communist elections with a single candidate for each office getting 102.3 percent of the vote. (Later on, Russian elections featured two candidates for each office — both from the Communist Party.) We congratulated ourselves on always having candidates from TWO parties.
“Alice” told us about the Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum way of it, but we ignored her.