Nature’s own Republicans and Democrats

The last two largest living organisms in the world offer startling metaphors for the two parties.

The Pando is dying after centuries of growth. It is no longer producing new trees. Meanwhile the Honey Mushroom is killing everything in sight by consuming it.

The Pando is 106 acres of mountain forest around Fish Lake, Utah. It was, for years, thought to be the world’s largest living organism. It is an Aspen grove. A single Aspen grove. Aspen look like trees but every grove shares a single root system, making it quite like a colony.  This colony, with a single root, survives by sprouting new trees when older trees die off.

The giant honey mushroom in Oregon is now recognized as the largest single living organism in the word. It is a fungus. Its footprint covers nearly 3 square miles. The visible part is a white fungus that spreads up under the tree’s bark and rots its roots. It is parasitic. Its black advance agent “shoestrings” form as they move slightly underground and out of sight, working their way into trees and scrub and shrub, choking the life out of everything they touch, then consume. Where the black tendrils go, nothing grows except for the humungus fungus.

Republicans have long lived off a single root called the Constitution. Individual trees we may be, but we assuredly hold our common root system sacred. Conservative, Constitution loving Americans have had no political party to call their own except the Republicans and for the better part of a century it was a given. But now new trees are not replacing the dead and dying trees of the past because the Party has lost its way in the natural landscape of America. The grove cannot sustain itself. The GOP grew and grew but reached its limits of sustaining growth. Its sin was Establishment. A hierarchy of gilded, untouchable ascendency without regard for new growth. And so it dies, just like the Pando. Researchers into the dilemma say “ ... if nothing is done, Pando may shrink to become an ordinary, unspectacular remnant of its former glory.

"We really need to hold on to this international treasure," Rogers said. "But it's slipping away very quickly.”

I give you the Republican Party.

In Oregon, we have the fungus that eats everything in its path; a more complete metaphor for the socialist quest of the Democrats may never be found. Silently sending out tendrils “underground” (since their mission cannot withstand the light of day), the honey mushroom works under the bark and skin and begins devouring its host in order that it should live. Growing, growing off the energy and labor of other residents of the forest, it leaves rot and and decay in its wake. A blighted landscape wherever is migrates. It is, quite possibly, the most silent and deadly thing in the forest.

I give you the Democratic Party.