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Super Bernie Clinton 2: A Theory

I didn’t want to write about them again but, following last night’s debates, I have to because I think I have unlocked the secret of the current presidential elections and it might affect your vote.

Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are both excellent potential Democratic nominees. As Sand The Bern Man said last night, even on their worst days, the two of them are a hundred times better than any Republican candidate. It’s so true. Even though I do not prefer him and their talk about who is more progressive and who has spent less money exhausts me, both of them are charming. Both have strengths, both have weaknesses, both are great, and you certainly have your preference out of the two of them.

What does that mean, when the other players to choose from are obviously not very good? It means that you as a voter are playing a video game and must choose your character—and you must choose very wisely because you don’t want to choose a shitty character whose jump always falls short and whose character sound effects won’t make you insane after extended play.

Now, the most important question: what game are we playing?

Super Mario Bros. 2. It’s a classic. It’s familiar. It’s weird. And it has four main characters, two of which are great and two of which are fine, maybe even bordering bad.

First, the bad: Donald Trump, playing Toad. This is a very fast character, one whose whines are unmistakable and who is just so fucking annoying but also kind of funny to watch and let other people play with but you would never play an entire game as Toad. Toad sucks. He might have the highest power of all the characters but the power always fails him. He doesn’t know how to use it nor is he a particularly smart player. For extended support: see Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, which saw Toad in a lot of good episodes but you quickly realize that the character is inevitably a failure because he is unable to jump.

Next, the fine: Ted Cruz, playing the role of Mario. It’s Mario! He’s fine. He seems like a good idea and comes with high marks but he’s fine. He’s just Toad without the charisma and less of the annoyances. He’s vanilla with a mustache and a maybe ethnicity that isn’t white even though he is basically white. He’s just average. As a description remarks, “he has no outstanding abilities, however, so he’s not the best choice in any situation.”

Now, the good stuff, the characters you actually want to play: Luigi and Toadstool, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, respectively. Luigi is great. He has a lot of personality and has cute wiggly legs that, when used correctly, get you very far. But when used in correctly? It’s a slow, wiggly fall into a pit of his adorable little scream. Speaking of the scream, his is the most appealing of the often annoying character sound effects.

Then Toadstool, the only female character. She can float. She is royalty. She makes playing the game very easy. There is nothing else to say about her because we all played as Princess “Peach” Toadstool as children.

This is what I realized in watching the debate last night: both Bernie and Sanders are great and, while I like them both and while I would play with them both, it all comes down to preference and who gets the job done in the way you want them to. For Luigi (Bernie), the path seems obvious (Left leaning!) but the jump over the obstacles can get a bit squirrely because of that damn wobble jump doesn’t always fly (That damn left leaning!!!!). Still, you can beat the game as Luigi. For Toadstool (Hillary), the game is easy (She’s a veteran with lots of connections!) which makes the game fun until you realize that the game is maybe too easy and that the game is playing you (Those damn connections!!!). The other characters—the obvious and boring Mario (Cruz) and the loud, obnoxious Toad (Trump)—just aren’t even worth the time when you know Luigi and Toadstool are the best for the problems you must face.

So. who should you pick? You can pick whoever you want to play with: it’s your game. Who will I pick? I will pick who I always pick, if given the opportunity: the female character, the only one who is actually different from the gang of dudes. I always pick the woman—especially when she can basically fly.

Photos via, via, via, via, and via.

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