I love how the NYT’s op-ed section is basically a series of ‘How To’ instructions for the Democrat Party, written by academics and other cultural elites. Today we have “The Left Shouldn’t Be Too Proud to Meme” by Jennifer Grygiel, an assistant professor of communications at Syracuse University. She writes:
Some might find Mr. Trump’s tweets and verbal attacks to be childish, bullying, unprofessional or simplistic. But another way to think about them is that he’s speaking in the cultural language of memes; he is using memes to build support for his ideas. So when the president retweets the infamous video of him wrestling CNN to the ground, he is promoting the idea that the media is out to get him.
Democrats, however, have been slow to see the potential of memes as a political weapon. Many seem to regard the form as amateurish, vulgar or low-brow.
Yes, Democrats are too noble for such things. But the good Professor is nonetheless urging Democrats to get better at such low-brow and vulgar tactics:
If Democrats and other critics of the president want to fight back effectively on the internet, they need to figure out how to harness the meme to communicate ideas and build community…
I have heard many Democrats comment that they will not stoop to Mr. Trump’s level by trying to use memes for political gain. But democracy is increasingly dependent on engaging voters on social media. If the goal is to build a movement that is effective in opposing attacks on democratic ideals and a free press, the left can’t be too proud to meme.
One important aspect to all of this that Grygiel and her ilk fail to recognize: Memes are a tool of the Dissident Right because the Dissident Right is excluded from public forums. Necessity is the mother of invention, and for the Dissident Right at this moment in time, memes are a necessity.
When anyone who tries to make a Dissident Right argument in public is immediately labeled a ‘racist’ or a ‘Nazi’, or loses their job because of their belief, then Culture sends a very strong counter-signal to keep such beliefs hidden and out of view. As a result, such views go underground, on the internet, under anonymous monikers.
And anonymous monikers create memes.
And memes – the ruder the better — are a profoundly satisfying way for such suppressed voices to yell ‘F*ck you!”, express a salient opinion, and laugh at the same time.
These are things that the contemporary Left doesn’t have to deal with, as they are today’s Commissars of culture.
We, however, are the new counter-culture.
The ’60s had Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters.
Today, we have Kek and the Merry Memesters