It's hard to stand out in the US Senate when it comes to being a goober. Both sides of the aisle are filled with men and women who have caused teeth to snap from making people cringe so hard. That's why Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse's recent advances in the field of being corny are so goddamn impressive. This man is taking gooberism to a whole new level.
Here Ben Sasse is giving what is accurately described as the worst graduation speech of all time. He starts off by downplaying the act of graduating high school, assuring the students they have done nothing more noteworthy than having walked downstairs and put something on nicer than sweatpants. He then immediately emphasizes his point by fumbling through the word "sweatpants" because nothing says, "your accomplishments are meaningless," quite like a United States Senator failing to get through his opening line cleanly.
Sasse thinks he's crushing it though, so then, after a weird rumination on how during coronavirus parents are teachers, "Thanks, China," he gets to the heart of the matter: "Graduates, adults don't tell you this, but once or twice a week in real life, someone is going to ask you to climb a giant rope." Ughh. Please, Ben, just tell us why you think taxes are bad or why you hate immigrants. Seriously, how many times does a guy need to go, "If you don't get that joke, then talk to your mom and dad," before they're legally mandated not to give speeches to children?
It's no surprise though that Ben Sasse would suck at connecting with high school kids. His entire platform seems to be built on feeling contempt for America's youth and he even wrote a book chastising those damn, virtue-less millennials called The Vanishing American Adult: Our Coming-of-Age Crisis - and How To Rebuild a Culture of Self-Reliance. In it, Ben sounds like everyone's grandpa telling stories about how back in their day they "walked to school uphill both ways in the snow," except Ben is only 48 years old. We're not saying he's young, but Paul Rudd is older than him. Maybe that's why he's trying so hard, telling us that children should kill deer and have "the blood of their casualty dabbed on their foreheads and cheeks" as a way to build toughness. He's got to prove he's tough to his old, bitter Republican colleagues. But being disdainful for the youth doesn't make you tough. It only makes you look like a goober.
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