“The Simpsons” is the longest-running scripted show in American history, and has won countless awards since its inception. It remains one of the most-watched programs in the country, and while everyone knows the characters get into ridiculous situations, its approach to politics is noteworthy. Many of its viewers likely don’t spend hours keeping up-to-date with current events, and will understand the show as an exaggerated, satirical form of reality (particularly if it reinforces a popular narrative).
To explain the impending “fiscal cliff” — a combination of the Bush tax rates expiring and automatic spending cuts to vital institutions like the military — an upcoming episode of “The Simpsons” (a teaser clip posted Tuesday is below) put it simply: If you don’t give the rich “all the money,” they’ll drive you off a cliff.
The scene opens with a crack of thunder and a sign reading “rape now bad” as the camera zooms into a stately Republican mansion.
Surrounded by a fallen “Romney-Ryan” posters, books reading “binder,” “women,” and ‘Nate Silver Can’t Add,” stereotypical wealthy villain Mr. Burns explains:
“Think of the economy as a car and the rich man is the driver. If you don’t give the driver all the money, he will drive you over a cliff. It’s just common sense…Furthermore, rich people feel things more deeply than the common man.”
The scene then cuts to an image of the local “billionaires club” on election night, as women wail and a man holds a gun to his head.
To adapt to the changing times, Burns then says he embraces immigration reform.
“I have a progressive proposal to let into this country 200 grimy Irishmen a year. I’ve got lots of potatoes that need peeling and staples to be mucked out,” he remarks.
Watch the entire clip, below: