Lucky because if the orange faced Republican had won then Sanders might have been “disappeared”.
Why? Well, because on Inauguration Day (last Wednesday fact fans) Bernie and his mittens were trending on Twitter much more than the historical events of Kamala Harris being the first woman , first Black and first Indian-American to be sworn in as vice president of the USA and Joe Biden becoming the 46th president.
If he’d been trending during the time of Trump’s reign of ignorance then Trump definitely would have hated it because he really loves Twitter – well, he used to before the social media giant gave him grief for inciting insurrection on the streets, and Capitol building, of Washington DC.
Yes, years after most people stopped wearing mittens, Bernie Sanders proved it is possible to wear them without them being attached to a string which runs through the arms of a coat (you know what I mean even though I’m not explaining it that well).
While most of the men attending the inauguration chose to wear the kind of coat you wear over a suit where you’re cold but it looks smart, Bernie put everything he learned as a senator for Vermont into sitting down on a cold DC day and dressed for warmth.
And the internet loved it.
Well . . . I did see one tweet from an Australian TV writer I follow saying people on the internet are cancelling an old man for sitting down. But, as they would say on the Jenny Jones show in the olden days, I beg to differ.
All of the memes of Bernie I’ve seen so far have just been respecting how he dressed to ensure he stayed warm on a cold winter’s day while having some fun with it too. And if there isn’t a need for a bit of fun after four years of Trump and with an ever increasing Covid-19 death toll, then when do we really need fun?
Thanks to the wonders of Photoshop and meme making apps and websites there have been a lot of Bernie Sanders memes out there since Wednesday afternoon, a lot.
He’s sat in prison with the Joker, he’s in Hogwarts, he’s part of a Betty Boop song, is part of Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, causing problems for Sheldon in Big Bang Theory, as well as being the auto pilot in Airplane, he even takes the time to have a bath with (I believe) Geralt of Rivia in the Netflix series The Witcher. And thousands more – so many great memes!
Some people won’t have heard of him before he started trending on Twitter. But, unlike the subject of most memes, he was known to Americans beforehand because he’d tried to be the Democrat Party’s candidate against Trump in 2020 and in 2016.
He’s been a senator since 2007 (and was in the House of Representatives before then) and has the support of the ice cream giants Ben & Jerry’s (including his own ice cream flavour) so when the meme frenzy dies down he will be able to go back from the day job unscathed – while being able to use the internet notoriety to raise a lot of money for charities.
This pic got out into the wider world and became the basis of many memes. Some of the guys have been able to cope with this better than others, with one saying it has led to mental health issues.
This isn’t surprising because the internet can be a place for bitterness and hatred where people post whatever they want without thinking about how it will affect other people.
But I’m hopeful now the most powerful man in the world isn’t a orange Twitter troll who incites hatred, this will filter down to people and the way they live their everyday lives.
(And the Four Lads in Jeans are now a part of the sea shanty craze.)
For me the Bernie Sanders memes are just the first sign of a more united world, with people enjoying themselves and not hating each other.
I can hope because hope is all I have.
(To end: This interview with the photographer who took the original Bernie Sanders photograph is worth a read for anyone who is interested in photojournalism.)
Stay safe for another week!