When a brave soul decides to step up to the plate and take on the establishment in Washington, D.C., it often comes with hefty consequences, as tea party challenger, J.D. Winteregg, recently discovered after his racy campaign ad about John Boehner got him fired from his position at a Christian university. The ad was a parody of those always awkward erectile dysfunction ads, but with a twist that included making fun of Speaker Boehner’s last name and how it is often mispronounced to sound like a dirty word, which will here be left to the imagination.
The ad garnered Winteregg tons of press coverage, as all of the major news outlets received the viral video and suddenly became aware of the fact that people are ready to oppose Boehner and remove him from his 23 year reign over Ohio District Eight. Boehner has caught heat from his constituents and conservatives around the country for abandoning core principles of liberty and freedom. A list of his offenses could probably fill several volumes, but the major infractions include his refusal to defund Obamacare, constant cave-ins on the debt ceiling, a push for amnesty, and his budding bromance with President Obama.
It seems that the overall consensus on the ad was that it was very humorous, and it helped get Winteregg media exposure, effectively getting his name out in front of voters in the district. The high school French teacher desperately needed the publicity, as his campaign funds were incredibly low, especially compared to Boehner’s which contains millions of dollars. With little in the way of financial resources, creating shock value was a great way to not just get the challenger’s name out there, but to also reach out to a demographic that is often ignored by the Republican Party. The ad was no doubt a huge hit with younger voters who get most of their political news from the likes of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. Anyone wanting to oppose an entrenched incumbent like John Boehner will need that group of voters, and unfortunately, challengers may end up getting fired employing the necessary techniques to reach them with the message.
Unfortunately, Cedarville University does not appear to have much of a sense of humor, which in all honesty, is no big surprise. Christian educational institutions are not typically known as centers of cultural relevancy, opting to stick to arcane, somewhat Puritanical rules and regulations to govern the private affairs of students and faculty. Mark Weinstein, a spokesman for the university, stated that Winteregg taught one online class, and went on to say that when staff members participate in political matters or conversations, the views being expressed are solely those of the individual and do not in any way represent the college.
Apparently, making a sophomoric joke about a political opponent does not line up well with the Cedarville code of conduct, as Winteregg is not scheduled to teach any classes in the near future. Cedarville University is a good example of why religious fundamentalism is an utter failure both culturally and politically. The religious right is going to forever fight a losing battle if they do not begin to learn how to properly engage younger generations, and yes, sometimes that includes make a slightly crude joke now and then. If one reads the Bible, there are many instances of godly men who make coarse comments or jokes, yet those individuals are applauded as heroes. This type of double standard makes it appear as if the university only cares for its perception by others in the community, rather than in making a difference in the nation.
While many Boehner supporters, primarily made up of his donor base, are celebrating Cedarville’s decision, in reality, this may have helped Winteregg get one last media push before the election on May 6. The follow-up to the ad has once again brought the national spotlight back on John Boehner’s challenger and has no doubt helped to spread the word about the gutsy French teacher willing to lose his job in order to stand on his principles and bring change to Washington.
Opinion by Michael Cantrell
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