Newt Gingrich has a name that sounds like it belongs in a Charles Dickens novel, but the former Speaker of the House turned Fox News talking head turned Trump superfan is increasingly behaving as if he belongs in an institution.
Case in point: early Sunday afternoon, Gingrich made what can generously be called an erratic post that makes even less sense than his usual fare, comparing Trump to a hedgehog and Clinton to a fox.
And I’m still not entirely sure what the point of the analogy was, other than as a sign Gingrich should probably step away from the internet for a while.
“One very big thing”
When it comes to animal comparisons and the current election cycle, the only thing Trump deserves to be compared to is a braying jackass, just like most of his fanbase.
Gingrich disagrees with me, though. According to his clumsy analogy, Trump is actually a hedgehog . . . a hedgehog who knows that we need change, since “change” is apparently the first thing we’re supposed to associate hedgehogs:
On the surface, this appears to be little better than some ice cream koan nonsense, and a backhand against Trump at that.
What this actually happens to be is a reference to a 1956 philosophical work published by Isaiah Berlin called The Hedgehog and the Fox: An Essay On Tolstoy’s View of History. The title derives its name from a fragment associated with the Ancient Greek poet Archilochus: “a fox knows many things, but a hedgehog one important thing,” and an earlier fable called The Fox and the Cat.
The essay itself divides up philosophers into two groups: those who view the world through the lens of a single, defining idea (hedgehogs) and those who view it through multiple various experiences and don’t believe that the world could be boiled down to a single simplistic idea (foxes).
Gingrich is inadvertently calling Trump a simpleton.
Whatever the case, this weird tweet has got number of people wondering if he finally broke — or just straight up laughing at him and his bizarre analogy:
Whoa this debate is gonna be awesome pic.twitter.com/0eSkHUZviI
— Daniel Kibblesmith (@kibblesmith) September 25, 2016
Autumn is a time when Trumps need dry, warm shelter. Please check your bonfires before lighting to ensure a Trump is not nesting inside. pic.twitter.com/J9QfGHjDWT
— Jamie McKelvie (@McKelvie) September 25, 2016
@newtgingrich trump want fast
— Ashley Feinberg (@ashleyfeinberg) September 25, 2016
@newtgingrich I don't follow.
— Adam Conover (@adamconover) September 25, 2016
.@newtgingrich We got the change we voted for with POTUS, and America fully intends to KEEP THAT with Clinton.
— RiskyLiberal (@RiskyLiberal) September 25, 2016
@newtgingrich So he will lie for 90 minutes and display his utter ignorance of the issues? Got it.
— NICKinNOVA (@NICKinNOVA) September 25, 2016
.@newtgingrich show me on the doll where facts touched you.
— Justin Marks (@Justin_Marks_) September 25, 2016
I think this is quite possibly my favorite Twitter burn this month:
I understood the reference and, frankly, I’m offended by the level of pretentious pseudo-intelligence on display here. Using obscure references doesn’t make a person intelligent, and given the presence of Wikipedia, it doesn’t even mean they’re particularly well-read, either; being able to synthesize information has replaced simply regurgitating information as a sign of understanding.
Of course, this is just the sort of mock-intellectual dribble I’d expect from Gingrich. He is, after all, the stupid person’s idea of what a smart person is supposed to sound like — right down to misunderstanding philosophical works intended to be jokes.
Featured image via Scott Olson/Getty Images