Senator Bernie Sanders didn’t mean to become viral across the internet, but the photo of him wearing his cozy winter coat and mittens on Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony hit the internet running.
Dylan Perfect, a fourth-year political science student with a minor in Spanish, said he loves the Bernie Sanders meme. He said it goes beyond politics in a way and thinks it shows how relatable Senator Sanders was throughout his campaign. Specifically his ability to connect with young voters.
“I actually posted my own version yesterday,” Perfect said via email. “I'm definitely interested to see what he can get done leading the budget committee. People across the country are really struggling right now and need the help. He's been one of the stronger voices on this issue.”
Isabel Nuñez Pérez
Isabel Nuñez Pérez, fourth-year political science student with a minor in Spanish, said she thinks that Bernie Sanders meme is very funny. She said her favorite Sanders memes are those that are circulating where Sanders has different blankets with cultural contexts.
Dhru Patel, third-year international business student with a minor in political science, said he loves how Bernie Sanders memes are going viral on the internet.
“I have seen several great Bernie Sanders memes, but my favorites are the ones where Bernie Sanders has been photoshopped into iconic movie scenes,” Patel said via email. “I especially like the memes of Bernie Sanders sitting on a bench next to Forrest Gump and sitting on a highway guardrail next to Deadpool.”
Matthew Easdale, fourth-year political science student said he thinks the memes have been pretty good in general, though a bit overused at this point as viral memes usually are.
“The ones where he gets [photo] shopped into famous images and movies and stuff have been pretty good,” Easdale said via email.
Lily Butler, third-year natural resources and sustainability student with a minor in social justice, said she thinks the meme is really funny.
“I think it’s interesting how politics have become a part of meme culture recently. I don’t know that I have a favorite,” Butler said via email.
Since the meme went viral and was capturing so much attention, Bernie Sanders’ group started selling shirts with the meme on it off their official website. All the profits will go to charities in Vermont, including Feeding Chittenden, Chill Foundation and Vermont community action centers.
Patel said he thinks it is amazing how Bernie Sanders capitalized on this meme to raise money for different charities across Vermont.
“After reading an article a few days ago that shared Bernie Sanders raised $1.8M for charity by selling meme-based merchandise, I remember thinking to myself, ‘What a Bernie thing to do!,’” Patel said via email. “This is just one of many examples that show how Bernie Sanders uses his youthful spirit to make a positive impact within his community.”
Easdale said he thinks Bernie selling shirts for charity is great. Taking the opportunity of the meme blowing up to do some good is an amazing way to handle the situation.
Perfect said he thinks this was a great idea. Regardless of where you sit on the political spectrum, he thinks taking the opportunity to use this meme to raise money for a charity speaks highly of the senator's character.
As of today, all the shirts on the Sanders store website have sold out, and the meme has made it to Snapchat where people can use different Snapchat filters to add Sanders meme on their Snapchat stories.