The GOP’s Youth-Vote Problem, As Explained Via an Overextended Metaphor Involving Outback Steakhouse

The GOP is a really fat guy named Hiram who is convinced that if he could only slim down, he could get his dream girl Stacey (young voters) to go out on a date to Outback Steakhouse with him (vote for him). And Stacey is, truth be told, occasionally tempted to bracket the visceral repulsion she feels at the sight of Hiram, ditch her on-again, off-again boyfriend Duane (the Democratic Party), who is kind but in that really bland, safe way (would Duane ever really stand up for her in a dangerous situation? She thinks not), and join Hiram for a Bloomin’ Onion. But Hiram has a fatal weakness: a magic oven in his kitchen (primary voters and right-wing radio hosts) that somehow produces a freshly baked quadruple-chocolate cake (social issues like abortion and gay marriage) every night (election season).

“Hiram,” he tells himself each morning as he looks in the mirror, faint streaky smears of chocolate still visible from the previous night’s overindulgence. “You are not going to eat that chocolate cake tonight.” He doesn’t have to eat the cake. But he does (you know?). He can’t help it. And Stacey would like to think of herself as open-minded, as someone who could in theory date a corpulent man like Hiram, but she just can’t imagine going out with someone who eats an entire chocolate cake every night.

Stacey’s phone rings and she picks it up. “Hello, Stacey,” says Duane. “It is your on-again, off-again boyfriend, Duane. Would you like to go to bowling with me tonight, again?”

“I’m not sure,” says Stacey, staring at a little spot of nothing in particular on her hand, remembering when she was 15 and it really seemed like someone could sweep her off her feet and scrub all her fears off her and she would never touch the ground again (late 2008). “Maybe I will, and maybe I’ll stay home. I’m just not sure, Duane.”

Jesse Singal

Jesse Singal is a former opinion writer for The Boston Globe and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. He is currently a master's student at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Policy. Follow him on Twitter at @jessesingal.