Big Bird: Victim of Leviathan

by Charles C. W. Cooke

Despite the Obama campaign’s repeated insistence that Big Bird cannot survive without federal help, it turns out he actually knows full well the dangers of Leviathan. The story is well documented in the 1985 movie Follow That Bird: Big Bird was once on the wrong end of a “meddling social worker” — a Miss Finch, no less — who concluded that he would be better off with his “own kind.” In consequence, Miss Finch sent him to live with a foster family in Illinois. But her decision was a poor one. Big Bird tried as hard as he could to fit in with his new family, but he missed Sesame Street desperately. When he received a postcard from Mr. Snuffleupagus, he longed to return home, and, eventually, he ran away, running into the arms of two unscrupulous circus owners who attempted to rechristen him the “Bluebird of Happiness.”

Big Bird’s wishes notwithstanding, the meddling social worker made it plain that, when Big Bird was found, he would be returned to foster care — against his will. Exhibiting the worst of identity politics, she maintained that, as the other monsters will not know how he feels, Big Bird should remain with his own kind. True to her word, when Big Bird returned to Sesame Street, Miss Finch was waiting. It took the pleading of a Tocqueville-esque Maria to point out that, “on Sesame Street, there are all kinds of people and things, and they are all happy together, even if they aren’t all the same.” Finally, the state relented and Big Bird’s long nightmare came to an end.

Big Bird tends to remain quiet on matters political, but if Follow That Bird is to be believed, he has a good reason to eschew central authority in favor of civil society. He might even be a Romney voter. For those interested in the saga, it is documented here:

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