One of the most common questions I get is: “What is ‘Sesame Street politics?’”
This is a term I accidentally coined a while ago on Twitter. If you follow me (and you should be), you have probably seen me use the term “Sesame Street conservative,” or “Sesame Street progressive.” I typically bring this up to describe a particular type of person in the political sphere. These people tend to conduct themselves in an easily-recognizable manner when engaging in political discourse.
The Sesame Street trope is similar to the NPC meme in that it describes a person who simply regurgitates the talking points crafted for them by their leaders in the government and media. Put simply, I am talking about a person that has a childlike approach to politics.
They do not think critically; they do not understand nuance and are more interested in following and promoting narratives rather than seeking out the truth no matter where it leads them. Like children, they believe what they are told to believe regardless of facts. Hence, Sesame Street.
Want some examples? Of course you do.
A Sesame Street Conservative blindly accepts and happily perpetuates the conservative establishment’s inaccurate takes on the black community. They are unwilling to consider any argument that contradicts what Conservative Inc has taught them.
You know all the talking points. Black folks are brainwashed mental slaves on the Democratic Plantation who only desire “free stuff.” They bring up homicide rates in Chicago anytime someone mentions racism or ill-treatment of black folks by the police.
When you explain that Chicago homicide rates have nothing to do with instances of police brutality, they will respond with one of several canned responses. They might say you’re encouraging victimhood. Perhaps they’ll pivot to abortion or fatherlessness. Or they’ll just give up on the conversation and call you a libtard. Some even resort to race-baiting and pretend that you are racist against white folks.
There are two indisputable truths in the world of political discourse, and they go as follows:
The left can’t meme.
The right can’t race bait.
Conservatives are notoriously bad at using the word “racist” to smear their opponents. It’s like they have no idea how to leverage this particular tactic. This is a good thing, of course. We surely don’t need both sides engaging in this foolish behavior. But it is still annoying when they try.
The Sesame Street progressives are similar to Sesame Streeters on the right in that they spew out the talking points given to them by the Democratic Party and the corporate media. But there is a slight difference. These far-leftists tend to be highly emotional and less versatile in their cache of talking points.
The Sesame Street progressive tends to be more sensitive and easily offended that their counterparts on the right. This isn’t to say that conservatives are always rational and emotionally unattached because many behave just as the left does. But from what I’ve seen, progressives are more prone to getting offended and lashing out because that’s what their ideology is based on: Reacting to perceived and real offenses. It is why they invented cancel culture.
Sesame Street progressives are particularly unhinged when it comes to President Trump. Anything involving the president causes them to become utterly irrational to the point that they will criticize him even when he does something good. This tweet of mine gives an example.
When I talk about Sesame Street progressives hating Trump more than they love black folks, I'm talking about the comments on this tweet.
They are a prime example of Sesame street progressivism. https://t.co/MmBOEXkiQu
— Jeff Charles (@JeffOnTheRight) June 17, 2020
After President Trump met with Wanda Cooper-Jones, the mother of Ahmaud Arbery, in the White House, she told reporters that he was “very emotional” and noted that he was “very compassionate.” As you already know, this is NOT what the Sesame Street wing of the progressive movement wanted to hear.
Many of those commenting on the tweet claimed that Cooper-Jones was falling for Trump’s “pandering,” and that he is a “master manipulator.” They essentially intimated that Trump was manipulating Cooper-Jones and that she was too stupid to see through it. They were willing to insult the intelligence of the mother of a black man who was unjustly killed because “Orange Man Bad.”
It is for this reason that I say these individuals hate Trump more than they love black folks.
The Sesame Street progressive is typically loathe to debate. Unlike their conservative counterparts, they will avoid actual conversations in favor of just pretending that you are a bigot. If you give a reasoned argument for cracking down on illegal immigration, they will call you a xenophobe and racist rather than provide a cogent explanation of the benefits of open borders policies.
One of their most common defense mechanisms is to label anything you say as “white supremacist talking points.” If someone invokes this trope against you, it is highly likely that you are dealing with a Sesame Street progressive. These people are not to be taken seriously because they are not serious people. They only want to make themselves feel virtuous by pretending to fight racism.
Unfortunately, there is an abundance of Sesame Street politics on both sides of the political divide. Politicians, leaders, and pundits encourage their audiences to accept their rhetoric without thinking critically.
In many cases, these individuals are reactionaries who use outrage porn clickbait news stories to rile up their audiences further. Their penchant for stirring up emotion ensures that people will not look past the commentary given by these pundits to discover the truth. In essence, it is the media who created Sesame Street politics, and it was done deliberately. After all, encouraging free and critical thought isn’t exactly beneficial if their cause is to influence, rather than inform, right?