Politics in “Gangnam Style”

BY NICK IRONSIDE // OCT. 24, 2012 //

Many view Gov. Mitt Romney as an intellectual businessman who has a plan to get the United States out of its deficit. Members of the Republican Party nominated him as the man to defeat President Barack Obama in the Nov. 6 election.

Gov. Mitt Romney dances in “Gangnam Style” on a parody video. // COLLEGEHUMOR.COM //

But the Web site CollegeHumor.com portrays a different Romney than the one who could become the next commander-in-chief of the United States.

South Korean rapper PSY created a hit-single, “Gangnam Style,” which has received more than 530 million views on YouTube. CollegeHumor.com decided to create a parody video of Romney acting as PSY in the music video.

Yes, the video jokes about Romney’s different views and his financial history. Yes, it’s funny, regardless of which political party you vote for. There’s also a Gangnam Style video on Obama.

But are college-aged students going to feel inclined to vote after watching a video that makes the former governor of Massachusetts look like a complete idiot? I don’t think so. In an obvious effort to simply generate page views, Time magazine’s Web site featured an article asking readers which Gangnam Style video is better.

An article in Time written about an actual debate between Romney and Obama received 2,000 “Likes” on Facebook. The article asking readers which Gangnam Style video is better received more than 2,100 Facebook “Likes.”

In a Newsmax article written by Herbert London, one student interviewed gives a response that many Americans would undoubtedly side with. Alex Foxworth, a 26-year-old doctoral student from Richmond, Va., was quoted as saying: “The battle for the American mind right now is between talk show hosts and comedians. I choose the comedians.”

There are a large number of students on this campus who say they are not planning to vote in the upcoming election because they don’t like either Romney or Obama. They’re instead leaving the country’s future in the hands of others who simply care more.

While CollegeHumor.com’s “Gangnam Style” video is arguably funny, I believe it’s more damaging than beneficial. Everyone likes a good laugh, but it perpetuates the false notion that our political leaders are little more than jokes. Why would someone vote for a punch line?

Elections are serious business, and the future of our country—including the real issues you care about—is no joke.

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