In science this is called the “parallax effect,” where an object in the foreground appears to move at different rates versus an object in the background. You might notice it, for instance, when you are driving and the sun appears to go behind a tree. Of course the sun doesn’t go behind a tree; you are moving in relation to the tree, and the sun is stationary. Astronomers use the parallax effect to help measure stellar distances. In our club-headed American political system, we use it to confirm our own beliefs.
Comic book fans would call this either a supercool handling of the stories of two heroes or a lame cop-out ending for what should be a decisive victory for either Flash or Superman. I was always in the second group. Pick a winner, DC writers, dangit!
Superman-Flash races have a long history in DC comics – it’s interesting to see two titans competing. In one of the classic matchups, the two crossed the line at the same time intentionally. The heroes did this to make sure gamblers, who set up the race, couldn’t collect on their bets. How like Dumberica, where the left and the right wager heavily with their emotions as two goliaths of our political system entertain us in a zero-sum game. The media love it too – photo finishes are always more interesting than landslide victories.
Now that’s irony. Or maybe that illustrates the parody in our political system better than any true-to-life explanation could?