The First Openly ‘Rick & Morty Fan’ Presidential Candidate Is Here
It seems like every year we get "firsts" with Presidential Candidates. Sometimes they're serious milestones in our country's history, other times they feel like a reach for a headline. This time, I think we're somewhere in the middle.
On the surface, the show Rick & Morty is just a TV show. But even worse, it's a cartoon. But once you dig into the franchise, you start to notice some interesting things. The show is full of crude and over the top humor, it's geared towards adults, not children. The show has geo-political content, that is read in different ways by different viewers. The show is popular with both "libertarians" and "socials", because each group reads the show differently. Like a cartoon political Rorschach test.
The show is huge in our area as well. In the summer of 2018, the "Rickmobile", a traveling merchandise shop focused on the show, made one of it's limited stops in Shreveport. We also witnessed panic with local McDonald's in Shreveport and Bossier City when the fast food joint brought back their Szechuan dipping sauce. Stores had massive wait times, and ran out quickly. A small "black market" developed where cups were selling for over $100 each online.
Normally it wouldn't matter when a Presidential candidate says they watch a particular TV show. Part of that has to do with the measured, safe, vanilla answers candidates are trained to give. They usually name some cable news show, or day time TV talk, or something else safe like a broadcast network sitcom. So it does matter when a cartoon with graphic violence and vulgar langue gets named by a legitimate Presidential candidate, because it doesn't happen.
To me, it's historic, because it signals change. The evolution of society. Being a fan of a vulgar cartoon is no longer hidden away as a skeleton in a closet.
The first Presidential candidate to be an open fan of Rick & Morty is South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Buttigieg he struggled to remember the last movie he saw in a theater, but knew what he watches on TV almost right away. Here's his answer:
What about binging? What are you binging on TV?
Not a lot of time for binging but I'll catch a TV show before bed sometimes. Usually Family Guy or Rick and Morty is on as I’m drifting off. I'm trying to get into Succession but I’m struggling. I need a character to root for and I haven't decided if any of them are good people.
Not only did he mention Rick & Morty, but he tossed in Family Guy, which is another show with content and language that a lot of Presidential candidates would admit to.
Like I described above about what different political views take away from Rick & Morty, Buttigieg's admission to watching the show triggered some hard left bloggers online. But that's pretty par-for-the-course with "Mayor Pete". If you're not familiar with him, he's a Democrat who is a combat veteran, Harvard grad, Rhodes Scholar, religious Midwest mayor who likes Chic-fil-a. Who by the way, is also openly gay. Nothing about Buttigieg plays by the rules...much like a vulgar cartoon that spins political fans in different directions.