Elizabeth Warren’s campaign tried to launch a “Warren’s Meme Team,” claiming it would “save the nation with selfies and memes.” No, really.
In a tweet that has since been deleted, Warren’s Meme Team wrote:
@WarrensMemeTeam will help us win the primaries, then win on the digital battlefield in the general. Expressive energy channeled through this engine will a) outperform the trolls, b) “organize the memers”, & c) empower all supporters to participate w/ any skill/creativity level.
You can see a cringe-worthy compilation of Warren memes here:
Those are lofty goals, but I can guarantee you that Elizabeth Warren’s meme team will never “outperform trolls.” If anything, this will just give the trolls the material they need for even better memes. Meming is for the anons on 4chan, and everyone knows not to poke 4chan, except Elizabeth Warren, it seems.
Her second goal, to organize memers, is where she really goes wrong. Memers are not organized and “meme magic” only works when it’s organic. A theme spreads naturally and thousands of people spontaneously add their creativity to the idea in the form of memes that just snowball until saturation is complete. There have been several “meme wars,” the current one going is the “Epstein didn’t kill himself” meme, which deserves its own exhibit in the Meme Museum. My favorite meme war was in 2017 when CNN doxed the meme-maker the president retweeted that cast Trump as a wrestling star tackling CNN. The only way to know if a meme will succeed is to watch it take over social media naturally. You can’t force a meme.
Warren’s “Meme Team” was supposed to launch this assault on November 4, but left everyone hanging. Nothing happened. They even got a pre-launch write up in the New York Times.
Misha Leybovich, an M.I.T. engineer and start-up guy, wants to change that. His vision starts with an eight-page emoji-laden Google document titled, “Warren’s Meme Team Plan: Saving the Nation With Selfies and Memes.” “The right understands the importance of memes: They approach it like war,” he writes.
“We can’t let this be an asymmetric battle,” he adds. “We fight back, in a way that’s authentic to our values.”
But on the day when their war was supposed to start, no one showed up.
— Evil midget (@midgets_evil) November 5, 2019
— Derplestiltzkin (@derplestiltzkin) November 5, 2019
Worse than not showing up for the war, the team released a lengthy battle plan written mostly in emojis. It’s eight pages of cringe-worthy crap. I took screenshots for when they inevitably yank it and I archived the site for future laughs.
“Warren Wagons”? Are they kidding? This is what happens when Trump is the guy you have to run against. Trump Train is just so catchy. If she really wanted to compete she would have gone with Warren’s Wampums. And what is the deal with the emojis? Who did this, and why?
— Greg (@GregStoll1) November 4, 2019
— Anthony J. Pelliccio (@A_Pelliccio) November 3, 2019
Despite Warren’s Meme Team not launching when expected, actual memers have begun responding in usual hilarious fashion. This parody Instagram page is exactly what we all needed after reading that emoji mess.
But I think this one is my favorite.
Don’t miss the responses on @WarrensMemeTeam posts. I love this election.
Megan Fox is the author of “Believe Evidence; The Death of Due Process from Salome to #MeToo.” Follow on Twitter @MeganFoxWriter