"The Left Can't Meme". This has been a conservative trope for the last several years, most notably through the Troller-In-Chief's presidency. Admittedly, I skew towards the righter side of the spectrum so find the memes from some of the great memesmiths of the conservative side very clever. There is no shortage of left memes for sure; the trending bar in Twitter constantly shows witty hashtags like #Drumpf or #tRump or #DiaperDon; truly catchy and clever.
However, one clever twitter account succinctly laid out his hot take on it all:
Essentially, his thesis is that conservative memes wake sleeper cells of brainwashed viewpoints, thus allowing immediacy, rather than the complexity and nuance that the more clever left memes such as #Drumpf and #tRump exude.
My struggle here is when did all this brainwashing occur? If we look around the major media networks throughout North America, I think it can be safely said that there is a general skew to the presentation of "news" and opinion, and that skew is not in favor of the conservative memesmiths. Conservatives have been metaphorically blacklisted in Hollywood for years, and the numerous protests through recent NFL and NBA seasons showed that they are not really bastions of conservatism either. Jesse Kelly most notably has raised the point that the conservatives have lost the culture war; why can be debated but I think they did not consider its importance with respect to messaging.
But back to meming and the Left's terribleness at it. The left have clearly won the culture war at this moment in time; however, by being the winner, they really can't do a good job of picking on the little guy. They look like bullies; conservatives are little gnats making cracks and taking jabs. The bigger problem is that this culture has become guilty of groupthink; dissident opinions are shut down without consideration, sometimes in grotesque manners as the painting of 74m Americans as Nazis and racists for 4 years has shown. I mean, Nazis don't really make for great humor, unless you are a fan of the Producers.
Comedy has a long history of being counter-culture; from Pryor and Carlin to Chappelle and Jeselnik, the great comedians are those that take the other side to the masses and question it. What has happened is that the left have become the masses, at least in terms of who runs culture. When you are winning, you no longer need to work as hard, and if no one is testing you because you don't want to hear it, you risk becoming intellectually lazy. Conservatives, especially in the media, are challenged every day as the minority viewpoint. They become battle tested at the constant barrage of counter-points in the major media which helps to build the creativity and cleverness that being the Boss does not.
As I am want to do, I gave Mr. Baryon some helpful feedback, albeit somewhat sarcastically:
In fairness to the left, with their dominance in culture, it gives the memesmiths of the right much more material to work with. Without the coverage or even any knowledge of the conservative viewpoint, the left returns to the same tired clichés such as "you're a Nazi and a racist" or various versions of Orange Man Bad. As a fan of comedy, it's a shame as there are certainly parts to the conservative viewpoint that, if known to more people, could help foster creativity from our brothers and sisters of the left. Sadly, I'm not holding my breath.