American Election Leaving a Bad Taste in Your Mouth?

Consider how it feels for synaesthete James Wannerton!

Posted Nov 04, 2016

The contentious United States election season has left a bad taste in many people's mouths—but none so literally as the President of the UK Synaesthesia Association, James Wannerton. The wall-to-wall coverage, even in Europe, has his taste buds working overtime.

"The strong tastes and textures are very distracting. That's always been the most difficult part to handle about my own synaesthesia," he says.

James is a lexical-gustatory synaesthete (British spelling here) who experiences involuntary flavors when reading, hearing or speaking words, particularly names. He famously described the entire London Underground according to the flavors of the stops, and finds his own Prince Charles the taste of runny beef in a sock. "The sock is the Charles part," he explains.

The IT expert, who also volunteers doing research on young synaesthetes in Germany, checked in recently to express his experiences of our four major U.S. candidates and our current administration, and with the help of talented photographer Sam Cornwell represented his impressions quite artfully.

Courtesy James Wannerton
Source: Courtesy James Wannerton

The Republican ticket of Trump/Pence is fizzy, sweet Gatorade, lumpy scrambled eggs, chocolate button candy, hard-boiled egg slices and a rubber Welly boot.

Courtesy James Wannerton
Source: Courtesy James Wannerton

The Democratic team of Clinton/Kaine tastes and feels like soft marzipan, sliced potato, metallic taste, lamb chop, brandy snaps, and runny egg in a cotton handkerchief.

Courtesy James Wannerton
Source: Courtesy James Wannerton

The Libertarian duo of Johnson/Weld is blueberry yogurt, a Milky Bar, Black Jacks, Fisherman's Friend and Jelly Sweets.

Courtesy James Wannerton
Source: Courtesy James Wannerton

Jill Stein of the Green Party is cabbage, leeks, wafer ice cream, pear drops, shortbread and carrot and lumpy vomit.

...and the outgoing team of Obama/Biden is hard American gum with no sugar, macaroni and cheese, carrots, bread pudding and blue ink.