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Can't we all get along?

By Tom Toles

Analogy warning!

If you like ancient science fiction, George Pal's 1960 adaptation of H.G. Wells' The Time Machine will do. The protagonist, George, travels into the future and stops in the year 802,701. But for the purposes of this blog post, let's call it 2010. The human population has divided into two groups, the Morlocks and the Eloi.

The Morlocks are scary-looking and dwell underground and are the rough equivalent of the trolls in my comments section whom wiser readers counsel me to ignore. They eat people. If you happen to find yourself down in their lair, they will start to cluster around you, preparing to dine. If you light a match, they don't like the light and back away until the match goes out. Then they recommence swarming in.

Up on top of the ground the Eloi are a dopey sheep-like people who spend their days getting fattened up on the food the Morlocks put out for them, and watching Fox News. The books George finds in their library are rotting on the shelves. There's the set-up! There's trouble brewing! What will happen? You write the ending. --Tom Toles


By Tom Toles  | September 23, 2010; 12:00 AM ET
Categories:  Congress, DC, Democrats, Federal government, GOP, Obama White House, Polarization  
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The ending is: And the gazillionaire Ultra-conservatives lived happily ever after (until the Chinese took all of their money and property).

Posted by: Geezer4 | September 24, 2010 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Well said, jon!, and reminded me of something else.

No one is being literally forced to buy insurance. They can pay the penalty, estimated to be around $600 a year. One could think of it as a tax assesed on those who have been using the government as a free major medical plan.

Posted by: spaghettus | September 23, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

So, Bobbo, you wish to overturn precedents set as early as 1824's Gibbons vs. Ogden?
We have grown into a great nation while the federal government regulated interstate commerce. It seems an odd time to U-turn on that one.

And what method would you pick to reign in the more dispicable practices of our insurance companies? Remember, these companies dump thousands of very sick people back onto Medicare/aid rolls when there illnesses get expensive and start cutting into the huge profits. Instead, taxpayers pick up the bill. Is that what you want?

Ditto for those who are young and healthy and don't want to buy insurace. If they have an accident while they are doing all the crazy things young people do, we're not about to shut the hospital doors and let them die; we are going to treat them, once again, at taxpayer expense. It would seem those who love personal responsibility should back the mandate, so people (and their private insurors) can be responsible for their own medical bills.

Posted by: spaghettus | September 23, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Um, folks, the Constitution pretty much IS a catch-all for anything government wants to do, so long as they do it within the constitutions (very large) bounds. Revenue-raising? Article I, section 7. Of section 8.

Is the constitution sacred? The Founders apparently didn't think so, or they themselves wouldn't have made ten (10) amendments within five years of its adoption, another one four years later, and yet another nine years after that.
Smart bunch of people? Yes. Godlike? Not so much.

And, again, before in one phrase claiming the constitution as the be-al and end-all to every argument and then saying that the commerce clause shouldn't be used to justify whatever, maybe a little serious reading of the whole thing in context might be in order.
Plus readings of other things written by the people who wrote it.
Maybe even a reading of the original Articles of Confederation, which is what the country ran on until the current version was ratified in 1788.

Or, here's one: Maybe the constitution really IS very nearly perfect, and the whole POINT is for no single faction to be able to take control of the country at the expense of everybody else.
Be angry about it all you like; that's not only the way it was meant to work, but the way it DOES work.

As in, we all win when nobody really wins. Shrewd bunch of guys, those Founders.

Posted by: jonroesler | September 23, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: bobbo2 | September 23, 2010 1:52 PM"

Dear bushidollar, you really need to get out of the basement of your parent's home in Wyoming once in awhile. Wyoming is a beautiful State. It's where the men are men and the sheep are nervous."

ahh...What's a matter, your hand sewn Star Trek suit on too tight? Mommy doesn't tuck into bed and that is why you are angry at libs all the time? Come on big boy, leave the sheep alone and move out your parent's basement in Wyoming.

Posted by: bushidollar | September 23, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

I did see the ending, TT. Or at least I envisioned the end coming: it’s embedded in heart-stopping speculation warning us that Sarah Palin could run for president. Any speculation beyond that is dangerously tempting fate.

Posted by: dudeupnorth | September 23, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Next year Peak Oil magically transforms into Declining Oil and we all live unhappily ever after!

Posted by: spigzone | September 23, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

You have all just proven that Tom is right on the money with his cartoon.

Posted by: OutThere1 | September 23, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Dear bushidollar, you really need to get out of the basement of your parent's home in Wyoming once in awhile. Wyoming is a beautiful State. It's where the men are men and the sheep are nervous.

Posted by: bobbo2 | September 23, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Dear spaghettus, the Government needs to stop using the Commerce Clause as a catchall for everything that they want to do. The Government has the power to tax. Well at first President Obama said that the health care bill was not a tax. But then all of a sudden it became a tax to make it Constitutional. The Republicans want all legislation to pass Constitutional muster. I have been calling for that for years. The Government has no right to force an American citizen to purchase something just because they are born a citizen.

Posted by: bobbo2 | September 23, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse


The ending to your story requires a third group of folks. Let's call them Dinos.

In the end of the story, Dinos appear and pretend to scorn the Eloi ("They're so uneducated") and, at first, ignore the Morlocks. The Eloi, in turn, hate the Dinos and the Dino's relatives, and love the Morlocks (because of the red meat the Morlocks dish out).

Soon, though, the Dinos get addicted to the food the Morlocks hand out (gotta love that legislative process!) and, because of their greed, tempt the Morlocks up to the surface despite their fear of sunshine. The relatives of the Dinos are horrified but are powerless to change anything (I don't know why because they out-number everyone, but it's true).

Eventually, the Morlocks no longer care about revealing themselves, surface, and kill and enslave the survivors. The Morlock with the biggest Boehner is crowned their leader.

The end.

Posted by: duke5 | September 23, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

As for Fox being "fair and balanced":

"In February 1996, after former US Republican Party political strategist and NBC executive Roger Ailes left America's Talking (now MSNBC), Murdoch called him to start the Fox News Channel."

Does any other major news outlet have a partisan political strategist as it's founding CEO?

Ailes was also the producer of Rush's TV show. Go figure.

Posted by: spaghettus | September 23, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Bobbo, Janet: If you are going to attempt to bash us with the constitution, be specific. Please name a policy or law, and the article, section, and clause it violates.

and Janet, on your comment to gurd: Could you explain how a single breif comment by someone who didn't appreciate your analogy tells you ANYTHING about the millions of liberals and moderates in this country? Like so many on the right, you think you know us. Give it up, you haven't a clue, and using such failed logic, you never will.

Posted by: spaghettus | September 23, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Hey Kids! You guys have lost sight of the cartoon.

Posted by: vacarollm | September 23, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: bobbo2 | September 23, 2010 7:20 AM
"Mr. Toles, if you want to refer to not so ancient science fiction I refer you to an episode of Star Trek, The Omega Glory."

LOL! Dude from now on, this is what I am going to picture every time I see your nom, bobbo2.

'Cept, it goes a little something like this:

Bobbo2: Mr. Toles, you no doubt saw my recent correspondence, as you have been monitoring my actions for quite some time from your sunless warren.

Bobbo2: {angrily} You live like rats. You are like rats, sir! And not like the Rats of Nimh, who were wise, and ultimately benevolent.

Bobbo2: You might be interested to know the title of my woefully unpublished Star Trek novella, "Toles of Borg." From my parents' home in Wyoming, I stab at thee!

Posted by: bushidollar | September 23, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse


Your analogy is kind of weak. Since you are on a Sci-Fi kick, think George Romero's "Day of the Dead".

The zombies == the Teahadists

The gun toting authoritarians == the Repubs/conservatives (they just can't let tradition die)

The clueless and argumentive illuminati == the Dems, libs, and independents

The deranged doctor trying to harness the power of the zombies == Koch brothers/Rupert Murdoch/the Limbaughs/Dick Armey/DeMint.

Unfortunately, unlike the movie where the libs fly away in a helicopter to start over fresh in a new place , the American libs don't have the luxury of flying away once the nation/planet is foobar.

Posted by: bushidollar | September 23, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Dear egc52556, your comment contained nothing but insults. No constructive opinion. I guess the "rest of the world" to you is the all knowing, all compassionate, all inclusive Left. And anyone who does not agree with the "rest of the world" is to be censored or banished. That sure does sound like the Left alright.

Posted by: bobbo2 | September 23, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

George Decides the Eloi need a little lesson on performance art, so he conjures up this caracature named Sarah and a little later another one a bit younger named Christine to bedazzle them with spells and conservative innuendo, except it gets a little sketchy, and their tropes get a little thin, and everyone wonders whether their credibility will make it to the great validation contest day in November, when all surprises will finally be revealed.

The Eloi, meanwhile still have no interest in the books, but bedazzlement keeps their eyes blinkin' and their masters keep comin' up with new stuff to surprise everyone, so keep watchin'...

Posted by: thanksforfish | September 23, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Here's the ending...

The visitor from Earth's past gives each group baubles that fascinate them. i-things and cell-things and video-things. He lulls both Eloi and Morlock into a consumer-driven stupor of simply wanting the next gadget, while he sits back and earns their love and devotion for giving them such wonderful toys. They adore him and give him everything he could possibly want in exchange for his gifts. All the prettiest Eloi and Morlock want to be seen with him at all the best social events.

Meanwhile, his need to keep the Eloi and Morlock happy and fascinated with his toys begins to tax the planet's resources. Clean water is harder to find, the soil won't grow food anymore, the air is unfit to breathe in many places. So, he creates a media outlet to tell the people who the REAL enemies's those few representatives from each group who are starting to notice that the planet isn't doing so well trying to provide everyone everything they want (but don't necessarily need). So the Eloi and Morlock focus their anger on these few. They start wars with others they disagree with as well. And all the while the planet continues to deteriorate.

Finally, nature collapses in a slow cataclysm that makes more and more places on the planet less livable for both Eloi and Morlock. It becomes obvious that the planet is headed for a long period in which many higher organisms will not be able to survive. Populations of both Eloi and Morlock collapse. No one is after the baubles anymore. Now they are just struggling to survive.

When the traveler realizes he's done all he can to "help" them, he hops in his time machine, and goes ahead in time a couple hundred million years. Here he finds the planet populated by huge blood-sucking insects, where he says, " last I'm home!"

The End

Posted by: PrairieDog60 | September 23, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

The Eloi, as well as the Morlocks, were running out of resources (food). The Eloi kept going into the dwelling of the Morlocks for free food (begging, stealing)…The Morlocks didn’t take to kindly to that and proceeded to protect their supply…ultimately death ensued and the Morlocks began to dine on the lowly sheep-like creatures. Thus, having solved their low food supply. They enjoyed feeding off the Eloi , for they were quite tastey. Sometimes they would over indulge just so they could spit them out! ‘Twas all in fun. Eventually they gave pity to the poor Eloi and began feeding the unbeknownst creatures themselves! Ahh well, what one doesn’t know can’t hurt them .Right? Hell, they eventually got a kick out of the Eloi feeding off of themselves…sick perhaps but comedy was also in short supply.
But alas, Toles appeared and said, “I have come to rule over you, I am the great and wonderful Toles, I have managed to warp-space and time! Am I great or what!! I have traveled through time just for you! I am all knowing, I am wise. You will take my word as truth and shall never disagree with me. I am the one and only Toles. I rule. Now bow down to me. I am King of the World!!
Well the Morlocks thought about this for about half a second and said “bite me.”
The birth of Toles Blog….go figure.

Posted by: bertzel | September 23, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

I think some of the "ending" was delivered just this morning by the Repubs, the "Pledge to America". Sort of the kindler, gentler version of the "Contract on America".

Posted by: bushidollar | September 23, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

gurduloo wrote:

Wait .. the constitution has something in it about an antidote to food poisoning?

OMG - the Constitution - it's a COOKBOOK!


You've proved my point about liberals, thanks!

Posted by: janet8 | September 23, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Now the scary-looking Morlocks, didn’t start out that way( you know how the truth gets bent). No, they were quite good looking actually. They were happy, content, and regularly thought for themselves. They read all those books that have since molded and even wrote some of them! They were wise, brave, and all knowing. They knew how to govern and feed themselves. They worked, not only individually, but could also work together as a group to get a job done. They liked the way things were. The Morlocks, felt sorry for the Eloi and tried to get them to join their colony but the Eloi were too dimwitted and lazy. They wanted to be taken care of. They just wanted to eat, drink, and be merry. They didn’t believe in work let alone thinking about anything other than immediate gratification.

Posted by: bertzel | September 23, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Number of scenarios are possible…But I will share this one.. we know the protagonist is called George. But for the purpose of this blog post, let’s call him Toles.
So, after having observed the two groups Toles decided he could and must help them, for Toles is all knowing and powerful and said, “fear not my oppressed, clueless people, I am here to help you…to give you direction. I will be your leader. After all, I have managed to warp-space and time. I have traveled through time just for you. I am truly amazing!” Well, the Eloi rejoiced and made Toles their ‘savior’ and continued, like the dopey sheep-like people they were, to follow , only now they had a leader and his name was Toles. He gave them a new menu to dine from tho, it was not much different than the old. The main course was still agenda…biased agenda. Although, he added a bit of sugar to sweeten it up.

Posted by: bertzel | September 23, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse


@bobbo2: yawn, yourself. You seem to have nothing better to do than come here to insult. Get a life.

@SharpshootingPugilist: shoot and a miss. Maybe you and bobbo2 can go off together and find something productive to do... hopefully somewhere far away from the rest of us.

Here's my ending: The time traveler locks the Eloi/Morlock extremists together in a cave and let's them eat each other into extinction. The rest of the world, greatly relieved from the burden of the extremists' hatred, flourishes.

Actually, these forums are not that far removed from that cave....


Posted by: egc52556 | September 23, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Wait .. the constitution has something in it about an antidote to food poisoning?

OMG - the Constitution - it's a COOKBOOK!

Posted by: Gurduloo | September 23, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

The Eloi's stop eating the Morlock's food because they realize it is poisoning their "system" and their "bodies" will soon be flat-lining if they don't take some sort of action.

Soooo, they get up from the couch, shut off the TV, throw the food down the disposer and go into the library.

Once in the library they grab a microfiber cloth and dust off their books.

Lo and behold, there's a book on an anti-dote to the food poisoning. It's called the Constitution. Hmmmm, for a stronger, disease-free "body," maybe we should adhere to the tenets set forth in this book?

They start reading the book and discover that if their "bodies" adhere to the "provisions" stated in this book, that they will become "free" of the disease which is tearing down their "bodies'" defenses and return their "bodies" to the robust, independent "body" it once was.

The moral of this story is that one must be cognizant of those who are intent on poisoning their "body" and ensure that they maintain adherence to the book's principled regimen in order to keep their "body" disease-"free" and live happily ever after.

Posted by: janet8 | September 23, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

The Morlocks represent the proletariat, unkempt, low-brow boors.

The Eloi represent the ruling class, effete, high-brow bores.

So, the story is one of poetic justice, Marxist sytle.

Pass the ketchup.

Posted by: HumanistPatriot | September 23, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Mr/Ms GaryEMasters.
I see the brainwash worked.

Posted by: pjohn2 | September 23, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

"You write the ending."

Just as soon as I finish this sandwich. And, oh! there's some pie.

Posted by: bsimon1 | September 23, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Where in the Constitution does the word "filibuster" appear? Which founding fathers believed that America should maintain a large standing army capable of fighting two wars at the same time?

Posted by: simpleton1 | September 23, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Toles, if you want to refer to not so ancient science fiction I refer you to an episode of Star Trek, The Omega Glory. A planet with a parallel history of earth. Where the Yangs, or Yankees have survived a centuries long war with the Comms, or Communists. The Yangs have distorted the words of their Declaration of Independence and lost the meaning of them. Kirk reintroduces them to WE THE PEOPLE. We need a reintroduction to our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution. The words are as strong today as when they were written. And just as imperative. Our founding documents have never "rotted on the shelves" but they have been discounted by many of our politicians and much of the news media. I look at the United States as entering a new beginning, built with the vibrancy of our people and the timeless wisdom of our founding documents.

Posted by: bobbo2 | September 23, 2010 7:20 AM | Report abuse

I do not like slanted news. So I watch for evidence that the news on television is designed to convince me of a point of view and not just present the facts. Over the years AP has changed from a service to a point of opinion.

But despite the complaints I have never seen Fox News do that much of a shift. Now, Fox opinion is a different story. It is widely biased to a point that I can not watch it. But the news is fair.

On the other hand MSNBC is far to the left in its news. I saw opinion presented as news many times.

So why the Faux news?

People who have a world view to the left, can not accept Fox as being fair - even when it is.

It is not the news that is biased, but the people who are warped. That is it.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | September 23, 2010 6:46 AM | Report abuse

You are too partisan to be a peacemaker. You do not have the right to repeat Rodney King's words.

Posted by: rjpal | September 23, 2010 6:35 AM | Report abuse

Lame. Go have coffee with Gary Trudeau.

Posted by: dewbob | September 23, 2010 1:40 AM | Report abuse

Oooh ohhh , lemme finish this one: Tommy ol' boy inks a crudely drawn caricature of his right wing bogeymen and follows it up with a beatification of his lord and messiah the Dear Leader Obama.

Posted by: SharpshootingPugilist | September 22, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

I see the first of the 4 Foxlocks has popped up, twice!! Within 24 hours we can expect the others.

The navy says "You May Fire When Ready Mr. Toles". Keep blasting away.

Posted by: unoiamrite | September 22, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

You say you don't watch TV Mr. Toles. That can only leave Pacifica radio and NPR as your sole sources of news. I bet that you have autographs of Andrea Mitchell, Katrina vanden Huevel, and Ariana Huffington also. Does Diane Rehm have the same nasal monotone voice in person? Hey, who out there wants to bet that Hillary Clinton will bail on the President and run in 2012?

Posted by: bobbo2 | September 22, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse


To: Tom Toles
From: bobbo2
Date: September 22, 2010
Re: Analogy Warning


Posted by: bobbo2 | September 22, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

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