On the 25th of May, the ever-becoming obsolete and irrelevant David Hogg took to twitter to call his followers to “enlist in the meme war against hate and misinformation from the alt-right.” In this small action, Hogg proved why the left cannot meme and why they are losing their grip on culture.
The culture wars between the capitalist, constitutionalist, traditional-values right-wing and the third-way/socialist, progressive, often nihilistic left wing have been waging for decades, and for good reason. As the late Andrew Breitbart had said, “politics are downstream from culture.”
This statement cannot be more spot-on. The election of every Democratic president since 1960 was made elected almost solely on the left cemeted position in American popular culture.
The Cultural Switch
The right’s position in the counterculture has never been as secure as the left in popular culture, however that tides looks like it is beginning to change. The ascendance of memes to becoming the unofficial language of the internet have given the right space to flourish and the left unable to compete.
On top of the right demonstrating their ability to express through memes, the left has demonstrated their repeated ineptitude in playing on the same field.
Their repeated attempts to embrace their growing aspect of internet culture, from Hillary Clinton speech gaffes, Buzzfeed lists, and Ellen capitalizing on the latest dance craze, have been met with disgust, disaster, and an overall recognition of their general insincerity.
While the right has taken the internet through memes as a platform to express, the left has taken the part of the kiss of death over and over again.
The reason the right was and will continue to cement their position in the counterculture while the left is unable to do so comes down to two factors; art and unity.
Firstly, the left in completely unable to distinguish between art and propaganda. To paraphrase Dr. Jordan Peterson, propaganda is meant to push certain points and rely certain messages while art is created organically.
David Hogg did not just call for a “meme war,” but one for the purpose of opposing certain groups and viewpoints. Hogg is calling for an army not of artists, but of propagandists.
Obviously, due to Hogg’s diminishing credibility and fame, this will never come to fruition. However, for the sake of argument, let’s pretend it did. A legion of propagandists attempting to counter the free-flowing, free-thinking language of the internet. This would never work.
The Left’s Echo Chamber
This misunderstanding is based in a deeper issue within the left. The left is reliant on unity to a toxic degree; not one Democrat stood for President Trump’s State of the Union address, not one Democrat visited Israel for the opening of the embassy, and not one Democrat spoke out against the hanus actions of Bill Clinton, Harvey Weinstein, Eric Schneiderman, or others until the doors were completely blown off the car.
In the left, there is no room for free-thought or different senses of humor. Why else would they have 14 late-night hosts across seven networks all echoing the same jokes and same viewpoints. These people are not allowed to make art, they are made to make propaganda, lest they break rank from their fellow leftist.
Memes are the night-and-day opposite of the monotony of late night TV. While late night is dominated by the same elitist propagandists, the internet community as made by everyone, coming from all walks of life.
The left may be able to maintain their stranglehold on popular culture, but they have been completely lost in touch on the counterculture.