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'Incredible': The Atlantic explains 'how memes led to an insurrection' and nearly took down a nation

We’re used to grabbing the oven mitts before attempting to handle a hot take from The Atlantic, but this one might require putting on an entire flame retardant suit:


Oh yeah, it’s certainly real:

The article reads like a background piece on how D-Day unfolded in real time if General Eisenhower communicated with the troops (led by a guy in a horned fur hat) via memes.

One person couldn’t possibly have come up with that all alone.

The conclusion of The Atlantic’s article is that 2020 memes nearly “took down a nation”:

The 2020 election illustrated that social media could be turned against U.S. democracy when wielded by domestic political actors who understand how to use it to make their ideas go from the wires to the weeds. Trump was the first president to fully adopt meme wars as a campaign and governing strategy. He retweeted memes, amplified the voices of devoted meme warriors, adopted into his official campaign materials memes that had been workshopped on 4chan, and frequently behaved as a “general in the meme wars,” a title some of his once-most-devout supporters (including his son Donald Jr.) gave themselves. At the end of his long speech from the Ellipse on the morning of January 6, a speech filled with references to memes such as “America First” and “China virus,” Trump told the assembled crowd to march to the Capitol. “We fight,” he declared. “We fight like hell, and if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.” With that, Trump proved that memes can run real-life American politics, and mobilize large groups of people to action. And when those people are fed a steady stream of violence, aggression, and fear, the results can nearly take down a nation.


Quite recently President Biden and Rep. Eric Swalwell indicated that you’d need F-15s and nukes to “take down a nation,” and now all you need is viral memes? Interesting.

How soon will it be before the first calls to ban memes because they’re a “threat to democracy”?

It’s already clear what Biden’s angle will be:

Hey, could happen!

Never change, Atlantic!



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