If a Muppet fan website endorses a candidate for political office, does it make the tiniest bit of difference?
Maybe not. But we’re doing it anyway, for the first time in this website’s 19-year history: ToughPigs.com endorses Joe Biden for president of the United States.
We say this knowing that many of our readers (perhaps the majority?) already agree with us. But we also know that there are still a few undecided voters out there. Maybe that’s you – maybe your parents have always voted Republican so you’ve always voted Republican, but you’ve had second thoughts this year. So we also say this to encourage you to follow your heart and vote Biden/Harris. And we say this because we want the record to show we were on the right side of history.
But we’re a Muppet fan website, so should we tie it in to our Muppet fandom? Sure, we can do that.
Biden’s platform features several measures to reduce the damage climate change has wrought on the planet, which lines up nicely with the many Muppet-related projects with a pro-environmental vibe (In fact, there’s an entire category on Muppet Wiki for “Environmentalism”). A Biden presidency would also include efforts to ensure equal rights for every kind of American. The radical concept that diversity is good and everyone deserves respect and fair treatment is baked right into the premise of Fraggle Rock and a whole lot of what Sesame Street does. Biden also wants to improve the quality of life for educators… and what is Sesame Street if not one of the most prolific educators of the past 50 years?
Yes, Joe Biden will be a good president. Getting him into the White House is important. But honestly, it’s even more important to get Donald Trump and his administration out. If you follow Tough Pigs regularly, you already know how we feel about that guy.
Back in 2017, as Donald Trump was beginning his catastrophic presidency, Joe Hennes and I published a commentary piece on this website in which we laid out our beliefs that Donald Trump’s cruelty and callousness are completely contrary to the values we’ve learned from decades of Muppet and Henson productions. Since then, Trump has repeatedly confirmed that he and his associates are just as terrible as we thought they were, and just as unfit to lead this country. I could provide links to cite what I mean, but all of this is well documented. The children in cages, the countless lies, the abuses of power and obstruction of justice for which he was impeached. I’m sure you’ve heard about it.
It’s reductive to describe Trump as a movie villain, because he’s a very real threat to the country we live our lives in. But as long as I’m connecting (or disconnecting?) the Trump/Muppet dots, consider this: There’s a common theme among Muppet villains, and that is that they don’t care about other people, they only care about their own personal gain. It’s true of Doc Hopper, Nicky Holiday, Long John Silver, Tex Richman, and Constantine… and it’s true of Donald Trump.
He’s proven time and time again that it doesn’t matter to him if marginalized people are oppressed, if hundreds of thousands die from COVID-19, or if natural disasters cost millions of Americans their homes and lives. All that matters to him is how high his TV ratings are, how big the crowds at his ego-stroking rallies are, and how glowingly people talk about him on alt-right media outlets. You wouldn’t vote for Doc Hopper for president, would you?
If you’re a Henson fan, chances are pretty good you enjoy Fraggle Rock, one of the purest expressions of Jim Henson’s philosophy. As we mentioned in 2017, it’s also about as far removed as you can get from Trump’s philosophy. Fraggle Rock is all about appreciating diversity, joy, and learning to understand each other, whereas Trump is all about racism, spite, and stubbornly refusing to understand anything.
It’s been pointed out that there’s only one truly villainous character on Fraggle Rock, and that’s Wander McMooch. Interestingly, he’s into real estate, and lies and cheats to get what he wants, just like Trump. You wouldn’t vote for Wander McMooch, would you?
The response to our 2017 article was mostly positive. It was heartening to see that the majority of Muppet fans could see what we see. We also heard from a limited number of folks who claimed that their love of the Muppets was completely separate from their ideological beliefs. Apparently, despite the fact that Muppet, Sesame, and Henson productions are full of themes and lessons that are the exact opposite of what Trump stands for, there are some who watch them purely for entertainment and shrug off all of those themes and lessons.
If you’re one of those people, I guess you can just close this tab and move along. But if you’ve taken any of the Muppets’ lessons to heart, I hope you realize that Trump is not the guy for you, and that the way to get him out is to vote for Biden. I know it might be tempting to vote for a third party candidate or write in “Uncle Deadly” on your ballot, but that’s not going to help anything.
A lot of you have already cast your votes by now, by mail-in or early voting. That’s great! We at Tough Pigs hope you made a good choice. But if you haven’t voted yet, or you’re waiting for Election Day on November 3rd, and you’re the kind of person who gets all your advice for life from Muppet fan sites…. Well, you get the idea. If you’re not sure how or where to vote, check Vote.org for info.
Click here to agree with us or complain about us getting political on the Tough Pigs forum!
by Ryan Roe – Ryan@ToughPigs.com