posted 2012-10-24 12:58:28

Romney’s Plan to Take Out Big Bird

Outrage more sickening than proposition    

Lara Berlyne

Staff Writer

After Obama’s poor performance during the first presidential debate, the Democratic campaign resorted to social media to regain momentum and garner public support for Obama. Instead of telling voters what Obama should have or wanted to say during the debate, the campaign zeroed in on one of the most insignificant remarks of the debate: Mitt Romney’s statement that, despite his love for Big Bird, he wants to stop borrowing money from China to pay for the Public Broadcasting Station.

Obama definitely targeted the self-proclaimed “90s kid,” someone so proud of their decade for no explicable reason, when his twitter associates “@TheDemocrats” posted “You can’t make this up, Mitt Romney’s plan to cut the deficit is to fire this guy,” alongside a picture of Sesame Street’s Big Bird.

I find it very juvenile for Obama’s media team to be focusing on such a minor aspect of the debate. The meme found its way on Facebook and Tumblr as well, sparking outrage over the nostalgic, come of age voters. Using their childhood memories as a way of boosting Obama’s political morale is a sickening tactic, as “saving Big Bird” is hardly a concern in perspective of the duties of a president.

The media frenzy continued, and the 90s children reminisced over what all of their friends at PBS had taught them. Growing up with Sesame Street and having been educated via television programs seemed unsuccessful, as the complaints and memories were written with horrifying grammar and syntax. And even more of an outrage, they only said they would miss Big Bird.What of Bert and Ernie? Have they meant nothing to us? Or even Elmo or Cookie Monster? If Obama were to be reelected, he should make sure to represent them as well, not just Big Bird!

Has the population forgotten that PBS happily accepts donations, and if it were ever to come to losing their precious Big Bird to Mitt Romney’s evil grips, they could fund the program “in part by viewers like you.” However, knowing human nature, I doubt any of the shocked and outspoken individuals online would put their money where their mouth is.

This craze to save Big Bird is simply the cause of the week, something the online community can get themselves worked up about from behind their dusty keyboards. These sheltered activists don’t even need to leave their homes to make a difference! There are already several “Save Big Bird” campaigns on Facebook, sure to make as much of a splash as KONY 2012 and the other failed attempts to make a true difference in an electronic world. These internet fads are created so that people can complain in unison about an issue that they decide to commit to for a few minutes, and maybe join online discussions based on their mediocre understanding of politics. Most sincere apologies, but “Save Big Bird” isn’t a political platform.
This isn’t the first time that the 2012 Political Campaign has used teenaged social media to appeal to the youngest margin of voters. Each candidate has a tumblr where they present their usual propaganda. I was surprised to notice that, before the debate on October 3rd, Obama posted a gif from the movie Mean Girls with the caption “it’s October 3rd, and that means the first presidential debate is tonight at 9pm ET. We’ll be watching at, featuring a livestream, a live blog, and a few other live things, probably. See you there.”

Attempting to appeal to adolescent taste, Obama stands out as the “cool candidate” because he’s in the know that most teenagers love the cult classic Mean Girls, similar to the way he exploited the youth’s love for a childhood television friend. This political tactic allows him to be viewed in a positive light because his media team happens to know a thing or two about what a mainstream teenager might find appealing.
While the October debate counts for a lot in the 2012 Presidential Election, Obama’s poor performance was fraught with weak social media releases trying to garner some emotional reaction to television stars loved since childhood. In particular, the reaction to the mere notion of life without Big Bird (and may I include, the rest of Sesame Street’s colorful cast of characters) was more sickening than the idea of forgoing the Public Broadcasting Station all together. While the Bird Bird-centric memes and fanfare seem “vomitrocious” (a word taken from a more underrated PBS hit Arthur) now, have no fear! In a week’s passing, there will be a new internet fad, the promise of making a difference for another issue from the convenience of your own home. (Or dorm!)