Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, a Republican, recently said that the Republican Party needed to stop being the stupid party.
And indeed he was right: Republicans are the stupid party, and partly because they consider Bobby Jindal a formidable 2016 presidential candidate.
Jindal may be a good governor, may be a smart guy, may have good policy, but none of that matters to the generation of voters we should be trying to court. And that is the MTV, pop-culture, news-from-Comedy-Central generation.
It’s awful, I know, and it’s yet another signal that this country is falling apart. But truly, this country’s direction is in the hands of people who not only believe condoms are a civil right and an essential element needed to sustain human life, as is water and food, but who also, somehow, do not know how to use those condoms.
These people believe that Jon Stewart is the reincarnation of Ted Koppel (a name they’ve never heard before), and they don’t doubt his words because he’s funny, and “humor is based on truth” or some such garbage.
Bobby Jindal is a nerd. He’s scrawny, he looks like a caricature, and if there’s one race with a stereotype of nerdiness greater than that of whites, it’s Indians. America largely votes on whom they want to have a beer with. Jindal looks like someone who’d ask you first to take your shoes off at the front door and then to lint-roll your socks before stepping into his kitchen. He is whiter than even Obama is. Heck, he’s whiter than even white people are. He makes Mitt Romney look like marble rye.
He is emotionless, too. Speech-giving is a non-essential part of leading, but it is arguably the most essential part of campaigning and garnering enthusiasm for your cause. Jindal has no emotion. When he tries to smile, he resembles Alfred E. Neuman. He looks like he’s asleep all the time. That’s boring. None of today’s voters wants a boring candidate, no matter how great his policies may be.
And remember his response to Obama’s first State of the Union address in 2010? It was the most awkward moment on television until Marco Rubio took that sip of water earlier this year.
All of these issues—how he looks, acts, and talks—are superficial, trivial. Believe me, I know. But these things are the things that mattered to voters in 2008 and 2012. We’d do well to assume that these will be the same things that matter to voters in 2016. Not to me, of course, and not to anybody else with a brain, but certainly to the people that Republicans need to be courting.
Jindal could very well be a fine president, but he’d make just an awful, awful candidate.