Hallman: The killing of Big Bird
Ryan Summerlin October 8, 2012
We need to listen closely to what Mitt Romney said during Wednesday’s debate. If elected president he will kill off Big Bird and the Public Broadcasting System (an American institution). He said it with a smile. He was bragging. Romney’s words speak for themselves.
Big Bird and PBS have brought joy and learning to millions of Americans over the years – to children, the poor, the old, to most all of us. The PBS Evening News is, according to national polls, the most trusted news broadcast in America. PBS is supported not only by limited government funding but by hundreds of thousands of ordinary citizens like you and me. It is by any measure one of the most cost effective endeavors ever undertaken by federal or state government.
Romney’s remarks shouldn’t surprise us. After all, he is in the business of killing things off, whether it is American companies, American jobs, Big Bird, or a woman’s right to choose. If it doesn’t make money for private investors or rich taxpayers, or suit his personal religious beliefs, he can’t seem to find much use in it. Romney’s actions speak for themselves.
Romney shows a lot of bravado; but against whom – Big Bird, small children, the elderly, women, minorities, and the working poor? He is real good at picking fights with the weakest among us, but you can bet your bottom dollar, he will not dare cancel a hundred billion dollar program for fighter jets that won’t fly. The defense contractor lobby will not let him.
A bully is someone who props up his own self-worth by picking on the weak. Such conduct may succeed once or twice in a debate. But bullying will not work when it comes to foreign policy or the successful running of our country. Ours is a dangerous world with many weapons of destruction and plenty of loose-mouthed trash- talking idiots. What America needs most is a calm thoughtful leader, not inclined to take us into another war – one who is willing to stand up to the rich and powerful; in order to protect the poor and weak. We need a leader whose actions to immobilize the world’s despots speak louder than any words. As President Teddy Roosevelt put it over 100 years ago, speak softly and carry a big stick.
Mr. Romney, you may actually love Big Bird as you said. The problem is you don’t have enough guts to stand up to your radical supporters who want to kill him.