By now, probably everyone reading this is already sick of America’s quadrennial political spectacle—the one in which politicians and media outlets ask us to believe that there remain vast differences between our two political parties. It’s like cheaply staged pornography on a red and blue set, with words like “polarization,” “socialist” and “extremist” comprising the breathless dialogue in a wholly unconvincing plot.
Some of this tripe can be momentarily compelling, of course. And as the 2012 election climax draws nearer, many Americans will no doubt submit to the fantasy. But before that happens, it’s worth looking a few levels beneath the orgiastic presidential campaign for a last necessary dose of nonfiction, if only to remind us that the parties are often two heads of the same political monster.
As good a place as any to get such a dose is my home state of Colorado, which this month provided two emblematic examples of how the two-party duopoly really operates.