From mittens to memes: How Bernie Sander’s mittens brought politics to younger generation

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Sanders chilling outside of Pleasant Valley High School

Laci Roberts, Copy Editor

The 2021 inauguration brought social media a new meme, and Bernie Sanders brought people together with hilarity. At a time when the country was polarized, one man’s fashion brought out comedians on both sides of the political spectrum.

Facebook and Twitter were filled with memes of Sanders in his puffy jacket, mask and iconic mittens. Sanders’ iconic mittens have shown up on every walk of life: in grocery stores, in front of museums, on fishing boats, on top of famous paintings and other everyday, seemingly mundane locations.  

Within minutes of Sanders’ picture surfacing social media, people took to social media to post the simple memes; they began to pop up everywhere. Through simple photo editing apps many people had the chance to make their own meme. With every Sanders meme, more continued to show up due to shared creativity among people.

Gen Z kids picked up the meme, bringing a sliver of politics down to a younger generation. As the meme filled social media feeds, so did talk of the inauguration and Sanders’ identity, leading younger kids into the world of politics. 

Kaden Culp, a sixth grader at Bridgeview Elementary, saw Sanders become more widely known among kids his age, “I knew about Bernie before the memes came out, but some of my friends learned who he was.”

Culp has brought up the memes to his friends and sparked political discussion while doing common tween-aged activities. “I will talk about the memes on Fortnite,” he shared.

The love of the memes might not be shared equally among kids. . Seventh grader Jennifer Garner stated,  “I don’t really know about the memes. I mean. I know that they exist.” 

With kids being exposed to politics at a young age, it can lead to strong voting turnouts among their generation. They can start to formulate opinions and learn about the system of government. This small exposure to politics can lead to positive effects in the future.

Sanders has been the talk of the town. The fashion of choice of one man has brought smiles to hundreds of people and some cross generational political awareness to many.