In YouTube Right Now, the Daily Dot looks at videos that catch our eyes, push our buttons, or move the dials—and that you’ve just got to watch. Right now.
Eight-year-old Elijah whispers into Michele Bachmann’s ear, “My mommy’s gay but doesn’t need fixing.”
Coming mere days after a similar incident at a town hall rally, the 40-second video, titled “Activist Elijah With Michele Bachmann” and uploaded on December 4, has already been viewed 2.4 million times.
In the wake of the video’s popularity, both sides of the political spectrum have latched onto the video as a way of pushing forth their own agenda on LGBT rights.
Most of the debate has also centered around whether or not the mother pushed her son to approach Bachmann.
The blog Blue Collar Philosophy posted, “I think the boys mother does not come off very well in this. It is likely that she told him what to say.” The Canadian outlet The Globe and Mail ran with the headline “A pawn or a champ?”
Even folks on YouTube have weighed in. In a video, The Blue Dog Radio Project tells his viewers “that boy does not want to be there. Shame on the mother. Shame on her for using her 8 year old child to push her agenda.”
In an interview with Keith Olbermann, comedian Patton Oswalt says he’s noticed on Twitter folks saying “he was programmed by the mom to say what he said. Let me just put this out there. What if he was coached by his mom to say that thing to Michele Bachmann. It’s still a completely valid point, … even if he was fed that line, emotionally, he is trying to defend his mom.” Oswalt then took issue with Bachmann’s silent response and eye-rolling.
YouTubers were having a similar debate in the comments section of the Patton Oswalt interview.
“This is absolutely disgusting.” wrote ThatBrowser, adding “anyone using their child to further their political agenda is purely disgraceful and immature.”
Those in Elijah’s camp insist he wanted to do this of his own volition.
A woman identifying herself as Jennifer (the woman who took the video) told Chicago Now: “His mom was going to say something to her, but she got nervous and told me she wanted to leave. We were about to step out of the line but Elijah cried out, ‘Nooo!’ He grabbed onto her coat and pulled her back in the line, saying he wanted to talk to her.”
Elijah may not have been used by his mom to further her own political agenda, but that hasn’t stopped political pundits from doing the same to him.
Glenn Beck, while he was interviewing Bachmann over the incident, painted LGBT activists as actively using children for their agenda—and likened their tactics to nuclear weapons.
"They're coming with children to attack you on this,” Beck said. “This is the nuclear bomb in politics... accusing you of [being a] homophobe or whatever. They''ll do this to anybody they want to destroy.”