Is George Santos Another Frustrated Millennial?
In today’s social media age, chock-full of internet-fueled celebrities, U.S. Rep. George Santos really stands out.
That’s partly because the first-term New York Republican has gotten as far as he has, which is surprisingly far, because of his not being famous.
If only more media than the feisty local North Shore Leader in his Long Island and Queens district had been paying attention, Santos might not have been elected.
The Leader was reporting in September, when few others were covering Santos, about his “inexplicable rise” in reported net worth, from about $5,000 in 2020 to as much as $11 million two years later.
“This newspaper would like to endorse a Republican for U.S. Congress” in New York’s District 3, the Leader editorialized. “But the GOP nominee is so bizarre, unprincipled and sketchy that we cannot.”
But Santos won, and afterward came a stream of irregularities that led to a bounty of astonished amusement for late-night comedians and serious investigations by authorities and the media, including probes into allegations that Santos misrepresented his background to voters.
It’s not hard to see why some people wonder if Santos is a complete oddball or if his escapades are oddly appropriate for an age in which young people seem to be pressured more than ever to live the life they want, whether they can legally afford it or not.
He reminds me of James Thurber’s classic, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” in which the meek and boring title character is connected less to his actual environment than to his elaborate, heroic fantasies.
That occurred to me after photos surfaced that apparently showed him in drag. Santos nevertheless disputed claims that he was a “drag queen in Brazil.” “I was young and I had fun at a festival,” said Santos, who is openly gay. “Sue me for having a life.”
Well, excu-u-use us, congressperson.
(c) 2023 CLARENCE PAGE DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.