The 2016 primaries are in full crazed-pendulum swing and I’d be remiss not to admit fatigue. It’s a lot for a young progressive to endure. It seems around every corner is another ring of “Wall Street” this, or “unrealistic proposal” that, or the ever-familiar “cough, cough, cough, cough, cough, cough, cough, cough, cough, cough, ack, cough.” I, for one, am exhausted. And perhaps worse–I’m torn.
I want to be cool, so the clear pick is to #feel #the #Bern. But I’m also a pragmatic loser who loves a gal with style, so it has to be Hil. But then there’s election reform. But also I have to consider solid foreign policy experience. But single-payer healthcare is huge. But the wage gap is a disaster! But the big banks. Guns controlling the establishment! Not to mention immigration, international trade, the prison-industrial complex, drugs, domestic surveillance, the rich (!), big spending, tax cuts, lead poisoning, accents!!! The back and forth makes my neck snap. My eyes rolls back into their sockets and my ears fall off. The left one gets palmed by a reform-whispering Bernie aide. The right is swiped by the Clintons for audience testing. And I’m strewn across the progressive-proverbial sidewalk, a puddle divided.
Which is why I had no choice but to do what I did. To come up with a solution for everyone. A plan. A way to unite us all, the Bernie Bros to the Gloria Steinemites, the oldies to all aunts named Karen. With a 7th grade chemistry education and several séance consults with Mary Shelley’s rotting corpse, I created something bigger, better— louder. Something great. Through a strike of lightning my creation was born, a true liberal monster, a candidate for the people. Out of my laboratory’s fog-machined abyss arose…Hernie.
I made Hernie Slinton.
It all started as a dinner party between friends. I rented an alpine castle. I sent out e-vites. Marcus, my hunchbacked (hibachi accident) chef, made a very artful meatloaf. It was at first disappointing to learn neither party had any interest in attending, but that was solved quickly enough through intimidation and force (Marcus is also a member of the Yakuza). 7pm, the dinner party hour, struck with two knocks on the drawbridge. I lowered the thing with great delight, having always wanted a drawbridge to lower, and squealed at the sight of my political pals. They smiled weakly back. Hillary complimented my kimono. Bernie shrugged. This was clearly my night.
Of course things were contentious at first. Get these two in a room together and you know there’s gonna be some polite tension. A good host, I let them get it out of their system for a few minutes. Here is a condensed version:
“My name is Bernie Sanders!”
“And my name is Hillary Clinton!”
“These are our names!”
Then I waved a finger and Marcus shot them with a dual-barreled tranquilized. I covered their sleeping bodies in farm-to-table hypoallergenic, wool blankets, beautifully embroidered with their NRA ratings. No one can say I’m an inconsiderate host.
There was nary a stir as Marcus and I dragged the country’s future down the mold-laden passage to my dungeon-laboratory. They looked so peaceful, it was a shame their heads were banging so loudly against the medieval stone steps. But if I know anything about politicians, it’s that they’re sturdy. And can take a beating. And are a total pain in the neck to begin with.
After some heaving, we got them situated, side-by-side, on the marble slab at the center of my lab. The space was really rough when I got there—symbols on the walls, a rain-hole in the ceiling, scorch marks—but Marcus and I hired the region’s best interior decorator and really spruced the place up. I mean, marble slab baby!
The operation was quick. I wish I could say it was painless too, but I can no sooner tell a lie than not morph two potential presidential candidates together. Hillary woke up in the middle and screamed some truly hurtful things at me. Marcus said I should have sewn her mouth shut, which unfortunately meant I had to fire Marcus. I couldn’t have a tone-deaf anti-feminist handing me a history-changing scalpel, could I?
Bernie slept like a babe. I found myself fixing a wayward tuft of hair behind his ear, mothering him. But the snoring was awful. So I sewed his mouth shut.
Hours later, and with deft hands, I made the final stitch. The only thing left to do was wait for a bolt of lightning to strike so their brains could meld together and whatnot. I didn’t think this would really be a problem, considering the stormy weather at the beginning of the night. But climate change has made storm predicting so difficult, so you can imagine my unruffled brow when I looked out the dungeon’s bay window to behold a calm and peaceful night. I explained the situation to Hil & Bern, their fused limbs flailing. We’d just have to wait for a proper storm. I tossed some old issues ofGood Castlekeeping their way and hoped their moods would improve. Or at least turn from mad-as-hell to grateful-as-not-hell. I mean, we were doing America a pretty big favor here.
After several weeks of historic drought, not to mention the circling helicopters, lowering food supply, and threatening emails from an upset Marcus—there came the dark and stormy night for which we’d waited so long. Bernie’s eyes were swollen with protest as I rolled him over to face a dazed Hilary who had long since become silent with rage. I pinched their cheeks in earnest faith, telling them soon they wouldn’t remember a thing. Being electrocuted really resets the memory.
I stepped back from the marble slab with a careful smile. I said a few words in Latin because it seemed appropriate. Then I pulled a lever and lightning struck their flopping bodies. They raised, levitated above the room for a few minutes, spun around, hit a wall, did what felt like a very well rehearsed rendition of Thriller, and then fell to the ground in a cloud of smoke. I ran over to examine the result. It was disgusting.
There, laid prostrate on the dungeon floor, was Hernie. My political beast. Its head was five times the size of anything considered normal. It was dressed in a poorly tailored pantsuit. And it was shouting the most beautifully progressive, levelheaded rhetoric this side of 2008. I wept with relief.
We hit the stump immediately. There was some explaining to do, mostly filled in by the use of the phrases “cooperative castle summit” and “magic thunderstorm.” I became Hernie’s chief of staff, the only one capable of experiencing the monster up close. With no competition, Hernie secured the party nomination with a landslide 99% of delegates (1% was scattered among latecomer Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and green party candidate, A. Herd-Place).
But there was a final obstacle still in the way of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. In those pre-Hernie days, the GOP had masterminded their own scheme to bring voters together. During those months of party-infighting we let an evil climb the Grand Old Party’s ranks. A monster all their own. From the stinking ashes of a long dead hyper-conservative movement came a louder, more malicious, smellier beast. Hernie, only a few weeks old, was faced with an enemy worse than its collective brain could ever remember (you may recall the amnestic effects of lighting). From red-tinted smoke emerged, seething, spouting, six-tailed….Tonald Crump. A ghoul for the rest of you.