In a bold attempt to speak to America’s youths, the Republican Party has apparently thrown itself into the world of video game criticism. For its first foray into this famously lucrative industry, the website of the House GOP published an incredibly insightful thinkpiece entitled “What Do the The Legend of Zelda and the American Tax Code Have In Common?” The thesis of this groundbreaking essay? “The action-adventure game was released in 1986, only one year after Nintendo’s founding in 1985. And you know what else was released in 1986? Yeah, you do. The last major reform to the American tax code was signed into law in 1986.”
After that, it immediately pivots into a GOP spiel about the current tax code strangling small businesses and Zelda is never mentioned again, so yes, that’s pretty much the whole article. Now, setting aside the fact that Nintendo wasn’t founded in 1985 (that’s only approximately 100 years off the mark, but hey, the GOP isn’t exactly known for its fact-checking prowess) the article is accurate: That is literally one thing these two completely disparate concepts have in common. 1986 is also the year Pixar was founded, Short Circuit was released, and Geraldo Rivera opened Al Capone’s infamously empty vault. Coincidence? We think not.
Playing devil’s advocate (emphasis on “devil”) for a second, the poor GOP staffer who got roped into writing this has more of a point than they realize. If they were serious about making this comparison and stumping for tax reform while dunking on Zelda, it should have read something like this: “Just like our destructive, archaic tax code, The Legend Of Zelda hadn’t changed since it was established in 1986. But you know what happened in 2017? The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild was released and completely changed the game. It’s time for the GOP to lead the charge for tax reform and do the same!”
Then again, if they couldn’t even be bothered to Google, “What year was Nintendo founded?” we shouldn’t exactly be surprised when they miss such low-hanging fruit.
UPDATE: In a rare instance of Republicans admitting they were wrong, GOP.gov has since deleted the original post and republished the story with a correction:
This is an updated blog post as our last version incorrectly claimed The Legend of Zelda as Nintendo’s best selling video game franchise (it’s one of the highest) and Nintendo to be almost 100 years younger than it actually is. Our tax code is old, but not nearly as old as Nintendo, founded in 1889 by Fusajiro Yamauchi.
The rest of the text remains unchanged and is still incredibly stupid.