on the campaign trail:

Metal detector looking for souls

San Clemente, Calif. – The back yard of Richard Nixon’s old Western White House seemed like as good a place as any to start the search for a Republican soul, said researcher Ed Whitfield as he prowled the grounds with a metal detector late Wednesday afternoon.

“Any kind of beep, and I’m getting aroused, I’m telling you that right now,” said Whitfield, a retired entomologist who is among scores of GOP volunteers scouring the nation for any trace of a Republican soul.

“If it turns out to be a belt buckle, well then, that’s one less place to look, that’s progress, that’s the way I look at it,” said Whitfield. “Plus, you can never have too many belt buckles.”

The difficulty in finding a Republican soul, said experts, is there are so many places to look and absolutely zero evidence one exists – anywhere. Whitfield said he started with Nixon because “compared to this flock of candidates that we’ve got running for president now, Nixon had a soul.”

Experts debate how exactly you could find a soul even if such a thing exists, so GOP officials have resorted to every known fathoming technology, including fracking equipment, DNA testing, sonar, radar, satellite photographs, Geiger counters and a Bathyscaphe.

Some believe the party should obtain strains of Ronald Reagan’s hair and, through gene mapping, at least get a hint of the location of the party’s soul that might lead them to a Republican moral center of gravity which the U.S. Geological Survey said it has yet to find any evidence of.

“We’ve already gotten a strand of Trump’s hair and that hasn’t turned out well, plus, it’s made his comb-over look even worse,” said a researcher.

The search is being funded by the multi-billionaire Koch Brothers, who have largely underwritten the “grass roots” Tea Party movement in America. They are willing to spend “whatever it takes” to find a Republican soul, said GOP strategists, because the Kochs believe the lack of evidence of any kind of soul in the GOP has probably cost them the last two presidential elections.

“I mean, Mitt Romney and soul?” said a GOP analyst. “Those words have never occurred together.”

The strategists have not ruled out any location and they may go back as far as the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln to pick up the scent of a soul or humanity in the party which, if the two ever existed, most experts believe disappeared into the black vortex of the cosmos in the early 20th century around the time Teddy Roosevelt died.

Texas is believed to be the most barren and futile place to search for a Republican soul, said a GOP strategist. “Given the history, and current candidates from Texas, we’re afraid a search there would do irreparable damage to our equipment,” he said.

The GOP has quietly tested all 17 GOP presidential candidates for souls, using a scanner the candidates passed through on the way to the first debates. The results were disappointing, said sources. “There wasn’t even the slightest beep when any of them went through the soul-detector,” said a GOP strategist. “For a second, we thought maybe Ohio Governor Kasich had one, because there was a gurgling sound. But it just turned out to be gas.”

Back in San Clemente, searcher Whitfield said he has faith. “You have to believe like you do in God, the way our candidates Ted Cruz and Scott Walker do. They have faith. Their poll numbers stink and I wouldn’t vote for them. But — where was I headed with this?”

Metal detector looking for souls courtesy of FreeStockIllustration.com.
Jeffry Scott

Jeffry Scott

Jeffry Scott is a former staff reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution where, over the course of 24 years, he covered two of the biggest trials in the city's history -- the racketeering trial of former mayor Bill Campbell, and the trial of courthouse shooter, Brian Nichols -- and wrote features on travel, food, politics, movies, TV and advertising, and covered breaking news on the metro desk. He left the paper two years ago and is living, quite happily, in St. Petersburg, Fla., as a freelance writer.