Photo courtesy of The Daily Mail
Some of my best childhood memories were spent watching TV shows that I didn’t understand yet with my parents. Friends has been my favorite sitcom since I was 7, and I had no clue what was going on until high school. So, when I heard that one of my classic childhood memories was going to be rebooted, I’ll admit I was excited to watch Roseanne, again. Even though I was a kid when the 90s show was in full swing, I remember the rather mundane reaction it had 20 years ago. A once loved and rarely disputed comedy has now turned into a politically heated debate about the realities of Trump supporters.
The first episode of the sitcom shows the life of a typical middle class, White American. The controversial part, however, is the fact that the main character, Roseanne, is a Trump supporter. Having watched the show in previous years, I was partially surprised by the pro-Trump message from the show, mainly because of Roseanne’s characteristics. Her dismissive personality is responsible for her ignorant comments made throughout the episode, much in the way that Trump himself does.
The fact that Roseanne is conservative is not interesting. The angry (and justified) responses to the show are not interesting. This is expected. The actually interesting part of Roseanne, however, is the fact that the show has opened an imaginary door for conservatives to come out of the imaginary closet and express their feelings of being victims to political attacks. Being a conservative today is being a part of the majority. The presidency, Senate and House of Representatives are all conservatively run right now; conservatives are not a minority group.
As someone who identifies as conservative, I think I am well-equipped to say that I do not need any more outlets to express my opinion. I am confused about why so many people are defending Roseanne as a unique and interesting outlook on society. I understand that there aren’t any other major TV shows portraying Trump supporters, and that particular aspect makes Roseanne different. We have all of the platforms we need, though, and Roseanne’s weirdly defended reboot does not give conservatives anything that they didn’t already have.
Something that fans are using as their defense for the show is that some of the jokes made in the first episode are things that are discussed and said in America today. The idea that the show is an accurate portrayal of a typical American family is not new. The successful sitcom, Black-ish, is praised for portraying some of the issues that Black Americans face on a daily basis. The difference with Roseanne, however, is this: While conversations and jokes made are realistic, they depict some of the biggest problems in America.
The biggest issue I see with the reaction coming from the reboot is the fact that some conservatives feel that their political struggles are on the same level as actual social issues. The reactions of Black and Asian Americans to the dismissive comments about racial struggles in America are not even comparable to the claims being made that conservatives can’t share their opinions without being attacked. I think that it is important to allow everyone to have and voice their own opinions, and conservatives voicing their opinion is perfectly fine. The bottom line that conservatives need to understand, however, is that conservative oppression is just not real, and equating that misconception to the real oppression that minorities face in America is not a legitimate claim.
The response that the show is getting says something about society’s progress. The fact that so many people reacted to comments of Black and Asian families assimilating to White culture is a positive from the reboot. When the show originally aired in the 90s, Roseanne’s comments were riddled with politically incorrect humor. Throughout the last 20 years, the general population has become much more socially conscious of the problems our country faces. We still have a long way to go, but seeing the reactions of so many people at least gives us a little hope that we are moving in the right direction.
Sydney Sanders is a sophomore Philosophy, Politics and the Public and political science double major. She is the head photo editor for the Newswire from Cincinnati.