By Kymberlie Adams Matthews
Ketchup used to be so simple. Savory, red, reliable, so . . . there
on the kitchen table. You never imagined it could mean anything political
because you hardly ever thought about it at all. But now it seems that
our nation is polarized, waging a political civil war. And the newest
battle lines have been drawn, in tomato syrup.
It all began one warm day in April, at a barbecue in upstate New York. A group
of right-wing Republicans, perhaps after a few Buds, took a good look at a Heinz
ketchup bottle and had what Rep. Bob Ney would call an epiphany. It was as if
Michael Moore had hit them over the head with a 10-pound block of tofu. Their
creation, W Ketchup, has become the condiment of choice with conservative Americans,
the perfect topper for an order of freedom fries.
For those who may not know, Democratic Candidate John Kerry is married to Teresa
Heinz--—that’s right, Kerry’s wife’s got Catsup in her
blood, and because of that, here come the Republicans.
“You don’t support Democrats. Why should your ketchup?” says
the W Ketchup website, which promises a totally U.S.-made condiment, right down
to the bottle. W Ketchup insists its initial stands for Washington, as in first
president George Washington, whose face adorns its bottle beneath the Stars and
Stripes. Tofu baloney I say, I think we all know that “W” sure don’t
stand for Washington.
The company makes no attempt to hide its ‘red’ feelings, even sporting
a poetic homage to Republican icon Ronald Reagan on the site. “All ketchup
is not created equal,” they state. “In side-by-side taste tests of
five leading brands, we found that W Ketchup is second to none. You’ll
never go back to Heinz again!”
“Choose Heinz and you’re supporting Teresa and her husband’s
Gulfstream Jet, and liberal causes such as Kerry for President,” it warns.
“When you choose W Ketchup, you also support the Freedom Alliance Scholarship
Fund, which provides scholarships to the children of our brave heroes who have
fallen in battle.”
Heinz has 57 varieties, but also 57 foreign factories, it claims. “W Ketchup
comes in one flavor: American.”
Visit wketchup.com to read some of the glowing red testimonials for the Republican
style ketchup, including such beauties as this one from V.W.D., Longmont, Colorado: “I
saw your ad in National Review and my husband and I can’t wait for our ‘W’ Ketchup!
I think the timing is meaningful since it was our late, beloved President Ronald
Reagan who proclaimed that, yes, ketchup can be counted as a vegetable. As a
ketchup-loving, red-blooded American gal, I couldn’t agree more!”
On the counter, or shall we say left side, J.M. & S.M state “Stupid
stupid stupid,” and I couldn’t agree more.