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The Mount Rushmore of candy

In which a stupid Trump analogy leads to a very serious debate about the all-time candy greats.

Skittles maker's tart response to Trump Jr.'s remarks (Video: Reuters)

The night before last, Donald Trump Jr. continued his world-class impression of a preppie 1980s movie villain (usually played by James Spader), with just an extra-special serving of racism.

He tweeted the following:

Unsurprisingly, this tweet did not go over terribly well. As my Washington Post colleague Sean Sullivan reported, “The blowback was immediate and widespread Tuesday, as many critics said the message belittled refugees and was bigoted.” Skittles’ parent company issued a statement that demonstrated far more tact and good sense than anyone in the Trump campaign has managed.

Given how little I like Skittles the candy, it’s a credit to Denise Young that I might consider consuming some of them. In these politically charged times, that’s about the perfect response.

Lost amid all the hullabaloo, however, is that CBS News’ Sopan Deb tweeted out the following.

Deb has been an indispensable reporter during this election cycle, indefatigably relaying Trump’s words on the campaign trail. But I fear that his prolonged exposure to Trump has softened his analytical faculties because that is a garbage tweet. The record must be corrected.

So, let’s get to the point of this post: What are the four candies that belong on Sugar Mountain?

First criteria: The candies have to be American. You don’t put Cadbury or Toblerone on the Mount Rushmore of candy. When the United Nations erects its own version of Mount Rushmore somewhere in Switzerland in 2125 or something, fine, we can have a global debate. But this is about ‘Murican candy, darnit!

One could try to parallel the actual Mount Rushmore and put the first U.S. candy bar up there, but to be honest I’ve never heard of America’s first candy bar brand and therefore have no interest in continuing this strict parallelism. At the same time, you can’t put recent innovations in sweets on the Mount Rushmore of candy; such an august, delicious list of confections needs to have demonstrated that each candy has stood the test of time.

Therefore, my initial criteria was simple: Thinking back to my childhood Halloween hauls, which candy options did I hoard for myself and never trade with my friends? Then, among that  smaller menu of sweets, what’s a representative, diverse array of four candies?

With these decision rules, we arrive at …


Milky Way

Hershey’s Special Dark


Candy corn

Done shouting in outrage? Good. Now hear me out.

What I like about this list is that it encompasses the best ways to enjoy chocolate, namely: 1) in dark form rather than garbage milk chocolate, 2) with caramel and 3) with peanuts. On the caramel side, I wavered between Milky Way and Twix. The cookie part of the latter made it a very tempting choice. This being a Mount Rushmore-type decision, however, I went with historical impact.

It was also very difficult to not put a toffee-based sweet on the list such as Butterfinger or Heath Bar. If I had limited my choices to just chocolate-based confections, Butterfinger would have been the fourth choice. The thing is, as mystifying as this sounds, there are people in the world who prefer non-chocolate forms of candy to chocolate candy. Personally, I don’t understand this choice, but hey, it’s America, I respect their freedom of candy association.

Candy corn has gotten a bad rap because one used to get it on Halloween in hand-crafted plastic bags, and parents used to freak out about someone doctoring it. But it belongs on Mount Rushmore because it’s the one non-chocolate candy that you start eating and then can’t stop eating.

So there’s the Mount Rushmore of candy. Don’t try to debate me on this, because you’re clearly wrong and haven’t thought it through. Just accept that these are the candies that should be enshrined on Sugar Mountain — and that Sopan Deb needs a long vacation come November to regain his faculties.