It is no doubt that the 2020 election has created chaos in the United States; however, during President Joe Biden’s inauguration people notice Bernie Sanders mittens and immediately took to Twitter and created a meme template featuring the iconic mittens.
According to The New York Times, “The viral image, which shows Mr. Sanders in a mask and a bulky winter coat looking unamused outside the U.S. Capitol, was taken last week by the photographer Brendan Smialowski. It quickly became a meme, spreading like wildfire across parts of the internet.”
As pictures and tweets spread, Bernie Sander’s mittens became trending on the twitter page and everyone was talking about it.
“Within minutes of the snap making its way online, Bernie and his handwear were heading for viral fame. The internet did what it does best, and found a way to photoshop him into just about every famous scene or scenario you could possibly imagine,” Said The New York Times.
People have made t-shirts, sweatshirts, blankets, etc. but instead of keeping the profits to themselves, they donate the profits to charity. In fact, the Bernie Sanders campaign came out with a new line of merchandise and made 1.8 million dollars, which they donated to Meals on Wheels and Feeding Chittenden. There was even a Bernie Sanders doll that sold for 20,300 dollars on eBay.
“I genuinely enjoy the fact that people are having a lighthearted moment from a political photo,” Brendan Smialowski said in an interview with The New York Times. “Things have been pretty tough for the last year and politics can be pretty nasty, and here are people just having fun.”
People have been taking the opportunity to make something funny and use it to help others. With all the positivity, both political sides have been laughing over the meme creating some form of peace in the nation. Something as simple as a meme brought millions joy.
According to a National News article, “The meme has been shared the world over – by Democrats and Republicans, by celebrities and non-celebrities, by old and by young. It’s captured the imagination of just about everyone, although Sanders himself has been characteristically unfazed.”
People have been reposting the meme and placing in various famous photos like next to the guy on the moon, or in famous paintings. Everyone is using their creative juices to give others the joy of laughter.
The Washington Post comments, “Perhaps Sanders’s seemingly grumpy appearance reflected peoples’ own annoyance with politicians and political systems at a time when the world is reeling from a pandemic that has exacerbated economic and social divides. Or maybe the democratic socialist, whose liberal foreign policies have made him popular abroad, at least in some corners, was the most relatable part of a day meant to display America’s democratic process. Or it could be that people just really needed something to laugh about together.”
Even though there seems to be extreme polarities between the two political parties recently, causing a divide between families and friends, unification under the Bernie Meme could be a sign of progress towards mutual understanding and respect.
People across the nation share in laughing at pictures of Bernie photoshopped in various situations and memorable images, the Van Gogh’s Chair, for example. In fact, there is a science why everyone is loves close up characters being posted in front of different scenarios. Such as Bernie photoshopped in the movie Bird Box with the rest of the characters.
According to a study by Boston University, “We found a number of indicators that are typical of viral memes. Images that use a close-up scale on a character are more likely to go viral, as are those where the character shows a strong positive or negative emotion or assumes a particular posture. We also find that images that contain a lot of text are less likely to go viral, while those with no text at all or with succinct messages do tend to go viral.”
But beyond the science behind the virality of the meme, Bernie and his mittens brought a needed moment of joy and laughter.