The Parasitic Truth about Politicians

Pandas are cute. Toddlers eating a mud delicacy after spending hours making it in the backyard— very cute. Even the grub crawling along in its slimy trail has its endearing qualities. But talk to me about parasites? It’s strange. Like the next person, I can’t stomach them. And then I get two images: those burrowing deep within the skin, having to be pulled out an inch at a time or they’ll snap, and well, there’s the two-legged variety that creates as much havoc from within their CNN or Fox burrow, producing a myriad of false promises. With the squirmy parasite we know the outcome. The two-legged one is a little more dubious.  This particular parasite produces a world of regurgitated speeches and false hope (change the channel—there they are again) —the parasite exits; but you know they’re still leaching about.

Politicians and parasites: Is there a difference?

President Obama now has new bragging rights – he has officially become a documented parasite.

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It seems some scientists won’t draw the distinction. In their white lab coats, tucked away in their bubble, some of our more highly educated are having a good laugh. And rightly so. President Obama now has new bragging rights—he has officially become a documented parasite.

Documented as the Baracktrema obamai, this parasitic flatworm has taken on presidential honours. Though living in the blood of a turtle—let’s face it, it ain’t no White House but probably as messy as the War on Terror—Baracktrema obamai is a hair-thin ‘worm’ about 2-inches long. Thomas Platt, a retired biology professor from Indiana’s Saint Mary’s College, named the blood fluke after the current president because it’s an honour, not an insult. Apparently.

“[The Baracktrema obamai] are phenomenally incredibly resilient organisms,” says Platt of the reasoning behind naming the newly discovered parasite. It reminded him of the president. “It’s long. It’s thin. And it’s cool as hell.”

That’s one way to describe a president with a lot of military intervention and blood spilt, under his belt. Cold is one way to describe him. Resilient? Most certainly. The two-term president knows how to get under the skin, hang in there, remain in power.

In the research paper, published in The Journal of Parasitology, it acknowledges the obamai as a metamorphosis of previous parasites (Bush-orchis and Georgias-Junior Vasotrauma . . . okay, I made those up) refusing to die off, instead evolving into the current one just discovered, insisting on further infection to prolong its cause.

As with all worms and parasites, the host rarely knows its presence is there until it is too late. Politicians and parasites, it seems have a kinship.

I doubt we’ll find current elections hosted in the lung of a southeast Asian box turtle, but it is certainly redolent of the Nov. 8 elections, where the Horibilus-Clintonaecum or Trumprema Donnie parasites will evolve once more, only to wreak havoc on its unsuspecting constituents, and where the parasite proves dictatorially difficult to distinguish.


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