In the year 1994, I turned 16 years old. In Washington D.C., Newt Gingrich introduced the Contract with America and led the Republicans into the majority in the House of Representatives. I became obsessed with Republican politics and eventually wrote my Extended Essay for my International Baccalaureate graduation requirements on Contract with America welfare reform proposals (To this day, it remains the singular piece of writing of which I am the most ashamed). But let’s also consider some of my other personality traits as a sixteen year old: I had a crush on no fewer than a dozen boys, overused the word “like”, and picked fights with girls at church camp. In other words, I was a typical immature teenaged girl with a bizarre political fascination. I had no inkling or advanced understanding of the variety of dubious behaviors already exhibited by the Representative from Georgia nor any clue of the hypocrisy and ethics violations that were to follow.
Let me explain this another way via the example of my celebrity crush circa 1994-95, Jared Leto or as he was known to myself and my peers, Jordan Catalano. In 1994, Jordan Catalano was the crush of thoughtful teenaged girls all across America. He appeared to have it all – scraggly hair, steely blue eyes and a learning disability! He sang thoughtful, earnest songs about his car! See how he leaned! Sure, he might pressure you to go all the way before you were ready, but he finally would acknowledge you were too sweet and innocent to defile, before sleeping with your slutty best friend instead. Eventually, he would win you back and you two would ride off into the night of ever-after happiness in his vintage Ford Mustang (or at least that is where the series ended).
Sadly, Jordan Catalano grew up to be nothing more than Jared Leto. In 2011, this is what Jordan Catalano has become:
Jared Leto of 2011 is in a terrible band that sings dreadful songs like this. That beautiful scraggly “soft” hair has become, well, you can see for yourself in that last link. It is awful. It turns out there was no happily ever after in that vintage Mustang. Nope, Jordan Catalano dumped the thoughtful Angela Chase and decided to date supermodels and Lindsey Lohan. Lindsey Lohan, people! In 1994 she was maybe eight years old and is now one of the most unlikable people on the planet and this idiot dated her. Jared Leto of 2011 is actually pretty similar to Newt Gingrich in that both seem to be pompous scoundrels that have a much higher estimation of their own talents and abilities than is actually reflected in verifiable reality. And yet, in spite of the fact that in 2011, the only credible person who thinks highly of Jared Leto is Jared Leto himself, there are still legions of girls that idolize him and screen for him in these musical venues. These are girls that apparently, did not realize that Jordan Catalano grew up to become a conceited dirtbag who is no friend to introspective, shy, bright ladies. Let’s face it: even in 1994, the signs were there that this is what Jordan Catalano would become. I mean, he wasn’t the brightest bulb back then, so his options for future employment looked to be rock star or auto mechanic (he was always working on his car, after all). He wasn’t the most sensitive bloke. Most of us have grown up and faced this reality, except for the screaming ladies in the audience.
In case you couldn’t tell, in this analogy, those hordes of clueless, screaming girls are the Republicans that are supporting Newt Gingrich these days. The rest of us have grown up. We realize that the Newt Gingrich of the 1990s was a fraud, and that his policy prescriptions were a joke. We realize now that the Newt Gingrich of 2011 (and realistically, the one of 1994 too) really only cares about self-promotion and inflating his own view of his place in the history of this country, kind of like how Jared Leto probably has an own inflated view of his band’s importance. Also, yes, Jared Leto was at one time very handsome, and sure, he still possesses those watery blue eyes, but one gets the feeling that he thinks way too highly of his own appearance. How else could you explain those unfortunate tank tops? It is quite similar to Newt Gingrich’s overstated views of himself as an “intellectual.”
This article does a decent job of outlining just a few of Newt Gingrich’s flaws and the fact that he really doesn’t fit any reasonable person’s description of an intellectual. After all, who can forget his comment of earlier this year regarding the fear that his grandchildren would grow up “in a secular atheist country, potentially one dominated by radical Islamists and with no understanding of what it once meant to be an American.” One has to be a particularly pompous idiot to realize the stupidity inherit in that description. And you have to be even dumber to vote for the guy.
So America, here is what I am asking you to do – it is time to grow up. Let’s not vote for the character from the 1990s. Let’s see Newt Gingrich for the terrible, hypocritical presidential candidate that he actually is. If I were better with Photoshop, I might cut and paste Newt Gingrich’s face on one of the recent images of Jared Leto to drive this point home. But I am not, so I must ask you to consider that mental image in the voting booth, because that is the kind of jerk that you would be voting for America. You would be voting for the washed-up, has-been, egotistical phony.