Pox populi, Sinister dexterque

RANGE: These two highly political, argumentative and totally symbiotic creatures prefer to stalk such public forums as the podia of awards ceremonies and the sidewalks in front of embassies, but they may also be found in humbler settings, such as state chambers, barbershops, and the corridors of detox centers in depressed urban areas.
HABITS: By means yet unknown, these inseparable creatures shape the opinions of the opinion shapers. It has been suggested that through water fluoridation, the Symp lures young folk to the Left, while the Trog summons their elders to the Right with a stern clarion call, in a deep, daddy-like voice. It was once believed that the Trog-Symp was a two-headed creature, its twin (and empty) skulls joined at the nose, the better to exchange glares. In fact, they share a heart (half-hard, half-bleeding) and not one mortal protege of either is entirely uninfluenced by the other. Thus, the radical Liberal, protesting one governmental agency’s invasion of his files and telephone, has much in common with the extreme Conservative, objecting to another governmental agency’s attempt to register his rifle and audit his tax returns—for both are moved to lodge their principled complaints with the same (and yet another) governmental agency! There is nothing more pleasing to the Symp-Trog than the sight of two mortals defending to one another’s death each other’s right to disagree.
HISTORY: Resembling as they do the traditional “Winged Victories” of France and the radical “Red Cap” Foletti of Italy, these contrary conjoined creatures were clearly born of mixed French and Italian parentage in the Old World. Before emigrating to the New, they divided their time between homelands, laying the groundwork for the astonishing number of strongly opposed and universally despised political parties which to this day succeed each other in their respective European capitals. Arriving late to the New World by the standards of the first fairy emigrants (there was so much to do in the homelands), these politics-loving creatures reached America on the Mayflower. Upon landing at Plymouth, the once-persecuted Puritans, erstwhile disciples of the Left Winged Symp, were confronted by prospects of vast power and real estate, and instantly converted to the side of the Right Winged Trog. At the Constitutional Convention, the Trog inspired John Adams while the Symp supported Thomas Paine. When Adams eventually assumed the Presidency, the Trog cheered; the Symp convinced Citizen Tom to split for France. Since then, the Trog-Symp has inspired Americans to take belligerent and opposing sides in civil wars, their own and other people’s (Spain, Vietnam, Ireland, El Salvador. . .). A consensus is commonly supposed to emerge from the colliding and often paradoxical opinions advocated by the LWS/RWT. Who can quarrel with a two party system? And if, instead of a consensus, a pork-barrelling stalemate results, who can deny that a two-headed, bipartisan beast is yet superior to the four-headed fairy of this kind which haunts Canada or the one with the thirteen-way split personality that is the scourge of Mexico?
SPOTTER’S TIPS: Both the Trog and Symp hibernate between elections, living off their store of little-known facts. Periodically, they emerge to view the issues, but return to their hole immediately, if they see even the shadow of doubt. At election time, they emerge and lend candidates not just the courage to confront the issues but the stamina to recite them endlessly. Look for signs of them wherever slogans such as “Who needs a slogan when you can have a promise?” are heard.

This Symp-Trog hails from North and/or South Dakota, but can never agree on which.


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