They say that you never really truly leave high school — even long after you've thrown your graduation cap into the air, despite your best efforts to put those painful memories behind you. That high school mentality stays with you, coloring your actions well into adulthood and even pervading every corner of society. When you put a group of people together in a common situation or scenario, those teenage tendencies are bound to come out. For example? An election. The parallels between politics and high school are so close that it would only make sense to reimagine the 2016 presidential election race as a high school and every candidate as a typical stereotype.
No matter where you went to high school, you probably had some version of the classic stereotypes walking through your hallways. These would be the popular jocks, the preps, the popular mean girls, the theater nerds, the geeks, the burnouts, the uptight overachievers, the bullies, the class clowns, and the goths. Oh, how I miss living in a time and social scenario where an entire portion of the demographic were "the goths."
Across the nation, these stereotypes could be found at every high school, but they don't only exist there and within the 14-18 age range. These same stereotypes can also be found in company offices, on reality shows like The Bachelor, and in Washington among the political set.
Just look at Congress and the White House — could Joe Biden embody the classic class clown more wholly? John Boehner has barely grown out of his wedgie-giving jock days, and Nancy Pelosi just exudes "straight-A student, teacher's pet, student body president." She's probably had that haircut since age 3. The most interesting aspect of the high school comparisons is that they're totally nonpartisan — these stereotypes transcend political views.
Clearly, there are countless similarities between governmental bodies and high school, but what happens outside of the confines of the building? Does the high school mentality and the roles it creates manifest in, say, a presidential election? Absolutely. Apparently, all it takes for those stereotypes to crop up is a motley group of people trying to get ahead in some common goal, like the 2016 presidential election race. May I present to you the class of 2016?
Hillary Clinton is queen of her school, but she's a benevolent queen. She's the type-A student who's on track for Yale but is also fierce enough to put the mean girls in their place.
Jeb Bush is easily the most popular guy in school, but only because he comes from a family that's well-known in town. His brother and father were legends, so the kids are extra nice to him by association, even though he's a bit socially inept.
There's a reason why kids shout "Cruzin' for a bruisin'" at him in the hallways. His conservative values make him extremely uptight and unfun, but what people don't know is that he's the secret goth of the bunch.
Perennial prep Rand Paul is the popular guy who tries to relate with every clique, but hates when the faculty intervenes with student affairs.
Martin O'Malley is that nice guy in school who made friends with everyone, no matter their social or economic status, but always got passed up in student elections and never had a date for the dance.
Everybody calls Mike Huckabee "Tons of Fun" and begs him to do his sermon shtick at parties, but in an even heavier Southern accent.
If Hillary is Cady Heron, then Carly Fiorina is Regina George. She even intimidates the teachers because she can probably do their jobs better than them.
Chris Christie is the definition of a bully for life. He's gruff, he's surly, he's volatile, but deep down, he's only that way because he come from an unstable family situation and tough blue-collar roots.
Bernie Sanders is the president of the school's Amnesty International group. He's organized three student protests already this year, one to demand higher wages for the lunch ladies and two for making education free for all students.
A crucial member of the wrestling team, George Pataki has the athleticism and warrior spirit to go to State, but he can't get out from under the shadows of another, more extroverted teammate.
The son of first-generation immigrants from India, Bobby Jindal has spent his life trying to fit in with the other kids. Sometimes he tries to fit in so hard that he loses his own identity a bit.
Last year, Rick Perry was seen as a dumb jock, so this year he's trying out the "intellectual hipster" look.
Jim Webb is a new student with a mysterious past. He tries to get in with the cool skater kids, but everyone suspects him of having been an uptight prep at his last school. Everyone kind of thinks of him as a poseur.
Lindsey Graham doesn't trust the foreign kids.
Poor Rick Santorum. No matter how hard he tries to shed his dorky image, he can't seem to avoid getting stuffed into lockers by jocks.
Ben Carson is that maverick kid who has dabbled in everything from karate to computer coding. He learned how to operate on his pet hamster when he was 8.
He may look like the classic preppy nerd with his polo shirt and khakis uniform, but he's got a secret collection of death metal records.
And then there's the Donald, the cocky, rich bully whose parents own the biggest electronics chain in town. He's always throwing lavish pool ragers and making fun of the minority students for being from a third-world country — even the French exchange students.
Who? Lincoln Chafee is that invisible kid whose locker was next to yours all four years of high school, but now you just can't place his name, face, or anything about him.