The Washington Post

Once and for all

Nobody says once and for all anymore. Appropriate. Of course there never was a once and for all, but it seemed that way, once. Or it seems now that it must have seemed that way. The sands in the hour glass, when there actually still WERE hourglasses, used to run through a little narrow place, that slowed the sand down, so Dorothy had some time to think about her dire situation when the wicked witch thumped the terrifying apparatus on the table in front of her. Is my train of thought starting to wander already? Yes, and I’m just getting started. Stay with me here. Now the hourglass is shaped like a family-size can of tomato paste, and we are inside of it and the wind is picking up and now we’re in a howling sandstorm of contingency and change and our feet are mired in the tomato paste. People are unsettled by it all.

This is why fundamentalism is having a bit of a renaissance, or I should say a bit of a medieval. Not only can we not figure out which one of the couchful of remotes changes the TV channel, but the show that’s stuck on the screen has two men who want to get married. Find an ancient book that makes all this go away! Bring back that old-time certainty just the way it used to be! But the smartest thing I’ve read recently is that ALL of the current incarnations of fundamentalism are in fact recreating a version of religious practice THAT NEVER WAS ACTUALLY DONE THAT WAY! It’s all a bad-museum-version of verisimilitude like a display featuring a female manikin (the only one they could find on short notice) dressed up as Abraham Lincoln with a beard pasted on, saving the Union with a dollar-store magic wand.

And so with our election. Yes we face a clear choice, but people are making a mistake to think this is going to settle everything for good. The GOP wants to bring back 1958, but in a version that not even Theodore Cleaver would recognize. The ‘America’ that is slipping away! A unionized America without unions and a high-rate tax code with low rates, or some such. Even if Romney COULD bring it all back, it wouldn’t be once and for all. It would endure about as long as one of his positions.

Tom Toles is the editorial cartoonist for The Post and writes the Tom Toles blog. See all of his cartoons here.


Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read


Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
Deaf banjo player teaches thousands
Unconventional warfare with a side of ale
It's in the details: Five ways to enhance your kitchen makeover
Play Videos
Drawing as an act of defiance
A fighter pilot helmet with 360 degrees of sky
Border collies: A 'mouse trap' for geese on the National Mall
Play Videos
Bao: The signature dish of San Francisco
This man's job is binge-watching for Netflix
What you need to know about Planned Parenthood
Play Videos
How to save and spend money at college
Pandas, from birth to milk to mom
Europe's migrant crisis, explained