Originally published on KiKi & Tea.
Though I like to think of myself as being informed about politics, the truth is there is quite a lot that I don’t know about our political system and there is even less that I know about US politics. As we draw even closer to the next United States presidential election, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have been filling the news channels and news websites with their pledges and what they will do as President of the United States of America. I don’t know much about what they stand for because, as ignorant as this is, I don’t get a vote, so I feel that it doesn’t REALLY matter who I support as I don’t get a say. But after the first presidential debate last week, even though Romney clearly won, I found myself rooting for Obama. Despite the fact that I once referred to Romney as trustworthy, when I heard that he wants to get rid of PBS, I took issue.
From The Washington Times:
The first of three presidential debates is over and the declared winner is Mitt Romney. Romney’s energy and style were evident, and he did a good job of presenting his message of fiscal rectitude, creating 12 million jobs, and getting rid of Obamacare. He presented himself as caring of the middle class, a friend of the unemployed, and a supporter of small business. He was a new Mitt Romney, one we’ve never before seen.
And then he talked about how he would decide which programs he would cut.
He looked squarely into the television camera and said that he would decide which programs to cut by asking whether they were important enough to justify borrowing money from China to fund them. If they weren’t that important, he would cut them. Then looking at Jim Lehrer, the debate moderator and legendary journalist, he announced with all the warmth and compassion of a corporate CEO that he would cut PBS.
Cut PBS? What, is he serious? He wants to kill Big Bird…? Suddenly, the old Mitt Romney was back.
What about everyone who grew up with Big Bird, with the Muppets, and with Sesame Street? What about the baby boomers? What about Nova, Frontline, Nature, Charlie Rose, the Mid-Wife, Tavis Smiley, and Antiques Roadshow? If he will defund PBS, what will he do to America’s middle-class?
Romney has lost touch with reality. He is like a chameleon, and has eyes like a lizard, too. One minute he is being compassionate and talking nice, then wham! He hits you with “can’t afford you, you’re fired.”
What is PBS? It’s the Public Broadcasting Service, a non-profit American broadcasting network which is home to the shows mentioned above and many more, but most importantly, Sesame Street.
PBS responded to Romney’s claims in a statement saying, in part, “we are very disappointed that PBS became a political target in the Presidential debate last night. Governor Romney does not understand the value the American people place on public broadcasting and the outstanding return on investment the system delivers to our nation. We think it is important to set the record straight and let the facts speak for themselves. The federal investment in public broadcasting equals about one one-hundredth of one percent of the federal budget. Elimination of funding would have virtually no impact on the nation’s debt. Yet the loss to the American public would be devastating.”
It wouldn’t just be devastating to the American public, it would be devastating to us here in Australia as well. If Romney gets his way, our children will no longer get the education that can be found with Sesame Street and I’m not being funny. I’m sure many of us grew up watching Sesame Street and, unlike many children’s programs today, I remember actually learning things from Sesame Street about numbers and letters, friendship and acceptance. It may be corny, but Sesame Street is the foundation upon which our children are raised. With lovable characters that every child can relate to, not only are children learnt to appreciate differences, they are presented with racial diversity. Sesame Street has never had only Caucasians presenting, children are shown society exactly the way it is, filled with people from culturally different backgrounds.
If we look past the fact that thousands of people would lose their jobs and a whole industry of related toys and educational tools would be lost, do we really want our children to grow up without Sesame Street? I know I don’t.
Based on the backlash, do you think Romney would go through with cutting PBS? Do you think Sesame Street is important for children to watch?
Check out what Saturday Night Live had to say about it: