Perhaps it’s because the Left is firmly in the driver’s seat of culture and the institutions, so they’re just bad at humor, which requires poking at officialdom. Perhaps it’s because their worldview is so inherently warped and cringe, what they think is riotously funny doesn’t translate to the rest of us. Their hypersensitivity and adherence to identity politics make it impossible to poke fun at anyone or anything without suffering the consequences of their own cannibalizing cancel culture.
If anything, Leftist attempts at meme-ing just come across as propaganda. Propaganda is not clever or subtle; it’s certainly not funny. It just comes across as sanctimonious and pushy, which is probably why the Left loves it so much.
(At the risk of being even more controversial, it probably doesn’t help that the primary consumers and creators of Leftist memes are women, and with few exceptions, women aren’t exactly known for being riotously funny. It explains why so much of female “comedy” resembles paying a visit to one’s overly detailed gynecologist.)
On the Right, we’re pilloried for making memes about a cute cartoon frog living a traditional life. Hillary Clinton even attacked Pepe as a symbol of “white supremacy” while running for President of the United States, attempting to garner votes and donations by stirring up hysteria about frog.
Not only can the Left not meme; they can’t help but ruin existing memes with their overly-earnest moralizing.
What got me thinking about the Left’s inability to meme was a chance click on a LinkedIn job post looking for a “prompt writer.” I’d never heard of such a position, and figured it might involve writing test questions for the College Board or something.
Boy, was I wrong. Apparently, it’s a job with an incredibly cringe-y, ultra-progressive social media company, www.TaskForce.us. TaskForce.us’s website proclaims, “Create Culture to Change Culture,” and shows some examples of their super lame messaging.
The job post is specifically for writers to write pithy captions “that will be turned into gifs for progressive movements.” The list of their collaborators include the worst of the Left—The Women’s March, MoveOn, Planned Parenthood, and others—even The United Nations!
None of these little images are particularly clever. Sure, there is some minimal creativity that goes into creating the images themselves, and someone has to know how to make GIFs; but knowing how to do something is quite different than knowing how to do it well—with style. Sure, I know how to play guitar, but I’m a very poor player. Joe Satriani or Yngwie Malmsteen possess a far greater mastery and artistry on the instrument. All three of us play the guitar; but Satriani and Malmsteen create impressively with the instrument.
Of course, the Left gets piles of cash from Soros, etc. All manner of boogiemen funnel cash to these make-work jobs.
Conservatives and folks on the “Not Left” don’t have gobs of cash to create Establishment-compliant ad campaigns. Outside of Turning Point USA memesters (to be fair, a pretty cringe organization here on the Right), there’s no one funding Right-wing jokesters.
Maybe we should be. I’ve long been an advocate for supporting “our” people—our creators. The conventional wisdom is that we don’t have funny, creative people on our side because we’re practical. That might have been true at one point—to the extent that mainstream “wisdom” can ever be trusted to portray conservatives accurately—but the Left has run off so many hilarious and inventive people, we’re now enjoying an abundance of high-quality creators and memesters.
Andrew Breitbart famously proclaimed that politics is downstream from culture. He was right, and the Left has always known that. They might be bad at making memes; they may be entirely humorless; they may be insufferable. But they relentlessly invest in cultural domination. The Right invests in cookie-cutter politicians who go native within three minutes of hitting D.C.
If we want people thinking the way we do, we need to invest in culture the way the Left does. It’s called the “Culture War” for a reason. Even if we’re funnier—and maybe even winning right now—the Left is more experienced, and has more unthinking drones to throw into the fray.