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The Frankencandidate 
by Zbignew Zingh
www.dissidentvoice.org
November 13, 2003

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Dr. Demo sat in his parlor watching by flickering candlelight the television news about George Bushís latest disasters. "We must do something to replace that man," said Dr. Demo to his loyal laboratory assistant, Igor. Outside, an electrical storm flashed brighter and louder. The winds howled.

 

"Yesh, Master," mumbled Igor as he watched the television transfixedly.

 

Dr. Demo stroked his chin and pondered the candidates who were running for his partyís nomination for President. "Hmmm, hmmmm," muttered Dr. Demo. "Thereís a little to like in all of them, but not one of them has the power to take down the monstrous Bush machine. Hmmmm, hmmmmm," he said stroking his chin.

 

"Yesh, Master," mumbled Igor, "you almost want to mash them altogether into one candidate."

 

Dr. Demo looked suddenly at his assistant. "Great Scott, Igor, youíve got it! Let us build a composite candidate! Let us build a FRANKENCANDIDATE!"

 

Like a bolt, Dr. Demo raced downstairs into his laboratory. He shouted at his assistant, "Bring me their bodies, Igor, and I shall create an invincible Democratic candidate who will take on even the biggest, meanest of the Republican monsters.

 

Dr. Demo warmed up his vacuum tubes and twisted his dials and caused his Van de Graaff generator to emit blue swarms of crackling static. Soon, Igor arrived. He was dragging a sack behind him.

 

"Igor, what have you brought me?"

 

"I brought you Wesley Clark, Master. Maybe you can use him to build your Frankencandidate?"

 

"Yes, Igor, of course. We will use the body of Wesley Clark." Dr. Demo pulled General Clark out of Igorís sack and stretched him out on the operating table. "Igor," said Dr. Demo, "his shoulders are broad enough, and I like the stars on his epaulettes, but he isnít quite big enough. Americans like BIG presidential candidates. He needs to be steroided-up, like that Republican governator in California. Igor, pump up the body of my Frankencandidate!"

 

So Igor put a pump to the body of Wesley Clark and pumped in hot air to make him look bigger. "While youíre at it, Igor," said Dr. Demo, "polish his stars and pump some ready-made democratic policies and buzzwords into that Clark body because I am sure none would otherwise be found within him."

 

Igor pumped and pumped, and soon the Clark body grew as large as a steroided governator and the four stars on his epaulettes shone ever brighter.

 

"Very good, Igor, very good. Now, bring me a face and some limbs."

 

Igor was not gone very long when he returned with another sack.

 

"Master," lisped Igor, "I have brought you the face of John Kerry and the limbs of Howard Dean."

 

Dr. Demo reached into the sack and ecstatically pulled out the face of John Kerry. "Excellent, Igor," he said as he stitched the Kerry face onto the pumped-up, star-studded body of Wesley Clark. Every Democratic candidate needs that Kennedy-like face, that big chin and those rugged good looks that make a man look presidential. Our Frankencandidate is already beginning to look formidable."

 

Then Dr. Demo pulled out of Igorís sack the hands and feet of Howard Dean which he attached to his composite creation. "Excellent, excellent, Igor," cried Dr. Demo as he sewed on the last of the Dean hands. "These are a fund-raiserís hands," said Dr. Demo. "He can squeeze money out of a rock. And his feet, Igor, his feet have the ability to step to the left and to the right simultaneously such that no one knows exactly where he stands! This is excellent, Igor, but, now, I need to give our Frankencandidate a voice! Igor! Bring me what I need to give voice to our Democratic Frankencandidate!"

 

So Igor scuttled off with his burlap sack and soon he returned.

 

"Master," he said, "I have brought you the tongue of Al Sharpton and the southern accent of John Edwards."

 

"Wisely done, Igor," said Dr. Demo as he quickly inserted the sharp tongue of Al Sharpton into the Kerry face on top of the pumped-up Clark body, and then glued on the southern accent of Edwards. "Everyone knows that every modern American President must speak ĎSoutherní". He then stared lovingly at his creation, his Frankencandidate; but the Frankencandidate stared limply back at him and said nothing.

 

Dr. Demo stroked his chin. "Igor," he said. "Thereís something missing, and I know what it is. What is a Democrat without a heart?! Igor, bring me a Democratic heart for our Frankencandidate!"

 

So Igor scuttled off again with his burlap sack and shortly he returned. "I have brought you a heart, Master," he said as he offered the sack to his employer.

 

Dr. Demo looked inside the sack and scowled. "Whose heart is this, Igor? Why, itís such a puny, rock-hard heart, how could this keep our Frankencandidate alive?"

 

"Itís Joe Liebermanís heart," said Igor cringingly.

 

"Egad! Igor, no wonder the heart is so small and hard. Why, itís hardly beating at all. That is actually a Republican heart. Bring me another heart."

 

"I have found a spare heart," said Igor after a brief disappearance, and he then handed to Dr. Demo the heart of Carol Mosley Braun."

 

"Excellent choice, Igor," said Dr. Demo. "This heart is big enough and, better still, itís a token female heart and a heart of color. Democratic candidates always need to show their women and their minority constituents that we feel their pain, even though we do nothing to relieve it. Well done, Igor. Well done, indeed."

 

But still the Frankencandidate lay limp on the operating table.

 

Dr. Demo slapped his own face. "Of course, Igor!" It needs a head on its shoulders. Bring me one immediately!

 

And soon Igor returned with Dennis Kucinich in his sack. Dr. Demo pulled Dennis Kucinich out of the bag, took one look at the head of Kucinich and said reproachfully, "Igor, look at those ears; look at that hair! Those are not the ears or the hair of a democratic president!"

 

"But, Master," sniveled Igor, "Kucinich is the smartest one of them all and only he has the sensible policies."

 

"Nonsense," replied Dr. Demo. "He is unelectable. He is unelectable because I have told you he is unelectable. No, we have no use for Kucinich. He is too intellectual, too consistent, too earnest, too thoughtful. Great Scott, Igor, he has ideas about NAFTA, and the WTO, and the FTAA, and the Pentagon budget, and health care! Everyone knows that the American voter cares more about how their politicians look, than how they think and what they will do! Just look at California! Igor, find me someone elseís hair and ears that will make our candidate prettier for television!"

 

"But," protested Igor, "our Frankencandidate needs a brain and the Kucinich brain is the best one available!"

 

"Listen to me, Igor, you are a mere working class laboratory assistant who labors for an hourly wage. You do not understand how government and democracy works," said Dr. Demo. "Our Frankencandidate does not need a brain. I am its brain. That is why I have media consultants and pollsters, Igor. I will tell our Frankencandidate what to do, what to say, and what to think! The Democratic Party reached its nadir when it had candidates who could think! We need a candidate who looks good, not a candidate who Ďthinksí! Fie, Igor, find me a better looking head than this big-eared, mop-haired Kucinich!"

 

So Igor put Dennis Kucinich back into his sack and went out into the night once again. He returned bearing the flaccid hair and ears of Dick Gephardt. Dr. Demo sewed on the Gephardt hair and ears onto the face of Kerry that rested on the star-studded shoulders of Clark with the hands and feet of Dean, and then stepped back to look upon his creation.

 

"Is it now complete, Igor?" asked Dr. Demo.

 

"I have one more body part left over," said Igor as his one eye twitched mischievously. "Look in the bag, Master."

 

Then Dr. Demo looked inside the bag and exclaimed "No, Igor, no! We donít want any body parts from Bill Clinton, and especially not that body part! We have enough now without that to bring our Frankencandidate to life."

 

"Look here, Igor," Dr. Demo continued, "We now have to infuse the policies of life into our Frankencandidate. We have to inject him with the secret elixir that will make our monstrous candidate competitive with the Republican monster candidate." Dr. Demo took a squirting hypodermic syringe filled with a Money-Green liquid, líessence du republican light, stuck the needle into the Frankencandidateís right arm and pushed the political fluid into its veins.

 

"Igor," cried Dr. Demo as the thunderstorm rose in intensity, "Igor, it is now time! Throw the switch and give life to our creation! Electrify the Frankencandidate with a massive jolt of corporate contributions!"

 

Igor threw the big double-dagger switch that closed the electrical circuit and The Power of Corporate America surged through the composite Frankencandidate. The thunder was deafening, lighting bolts flashed maddeningly, marketing slogans and logos flew through the air, and the laboratory smelled sulfurous.

 

The Frankencandidate convulsed and twitched. Itís eyelids opened. Then it broke its wrist and ankle bonds, pulled the electrodes out of its head, and sat up on the operating table.

 

It stared at Dr. Demo and at Igor who both trembled with the excitement of having created a candidate who could defeat the Bushies.

 

The Frankencandidate got up from the operating table and looked around. Then slowly, methodically, it lurched once to the left, then once to the right; then it stumbled to the right and to the right and to the right again. As it staggered forward, its fund-raising hands grabbed Dr. Demo by the ankles and shook him upside down so that all his pocket change fell out. Then, gathering up all the loose change, the Frankencandidate lumbered out into the night, into the hustings of Americaís Presidential campaign.

 

But it continued to teeter back and forth from left to right and back again, and everyone saw that the Frankencandidate could not walk a straight line. In fact, because Dr. Demo had injected the Money-Green líessence du republican light into the Frankencandidateís right arm, it tended to veer more and more toward the right causing the creature, inevitably, to always move in a circle as though it had a brain afflicted with Mad Cowboy Disease. And while the Frankencandidate could speak sharp-witted one-liners and sound bites, it simply could not articulate any coherent policies. Instead, it could just jut out its manly jaw, smile winningly and turn its highly polished star-studded epaulettes to the camera lights. Indeed, without a brain and constantly circling to the right, the Frankencandidate acted and sounded so much like the Republican incumbent that the electorate were confused which was the Democrat monster and which the Republican.

 

Worse, the Frankencandidate expended so much energy moving in circles that it became politically enfeebled. Like a fund-raising junkie, it had to return frequently to Dr. Demoís laboratory for new injections of the Money-Green líessence du republican light.

 

Igor saw that the Frankencandidate was an unstable Democratic life form and he knew that it desperately needed a mind of its own. "Master," whispered Igor, "we still have Dennis Kucinich and we still have time to insert his brain into our campaign creation. If we used his brain, our Frankencandidate would not require Money-Green injections or expensive jolts of corporate campaign contributions. With the Kucinich brain, our candidate could get by on grass roots and vegetables. Master, itís not too late to modify our creation."

 

But Dr. Demo would not hear anything more of Kucinich or his progressive populism. "Igor, you are as cuckoo as Kucinich! You are out-of-touch with reality! Candidates live on money and consultants, Igor; cows live on grass! You do not understand anything, Igor! You have disappointed me! Iím outsourcing your services to India, Igor, so beat it! And donít forget to leave your health insurance and pension benefits and party membership behind, you little wimp!"

 

So Igor Ė uninsured, unemployed and unappreciated Ė trudged out into the night with only his burlap sack containing Dennis Kucinich. He galumphed down the steep path to the Village below Dr. Demoís storm-shrouded castle. At the outskirts of the Village, Igor let the elfin candidate out of the bag and brushed the burlap dust off his shaggy hair and off his ears.

 

"Well, now that Dr. Demo has disowned you and disowned me, we are both free!" Kucinich said to Igor. "Now we can put both our brains to work." He pinned a campaign button onto Igorís laboratory smock, put his arm around Igorís hunched shoulders, and strode together with him into the Village.

 

Many of the Villagers, like Igor, were unemployed, uninsured, discarded and ignored; and many of them, like Kucinich, were ordinary looking working men and women. They, too, began to use their brains. They fell in with Igor and Kucinich as they embarked on their journey down the arduous campaign trail, through the mountains and the woods, toward where the Partiesí Monster candidates were contending.

 

The Beginning

 

* This Article is CopyLeft, and free to distribute, reprint, repost, sing at a recital, spray paint, scribble in a toilet stall, etc. to your heartís content.


 

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