Alan Riquelmy: Your internet meme has completely changed my mind about this hot-button political issue | TheUnion.com
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Alan Riquelmy: Your internet meme has completely changed my mind about this hot-button political issue

Photo by Kon Karampelas on Unsplash

I can tell by your Facebook posts you’re a person of rare intelligence and wit.

You choose your words with care. They carry a soft, effervescent quality that both intoxicates and enervates the senses. You avoid the crass posts that make others common: baby pictures and dogs wearing bandanas.

Instead you bear the weight of an entire political argument on your shoulders, and I can tell it’s your mission to convert every last person who stumbles upon your page.

I must say, your internet meme has completely changed my mind about this hot-button political issue.

Your memes avoid the tepid and, frankly, boring details required of thoughtful conversation. Instead they go straight to the heart of the issue, whether it’s mocking someone’s appearance, their clothes or their age. Often all three.

Your mastery over taking an image, and then putting someone’s words on top of that image — regardless of whether the person actually said those words — has opened my eyes. I certainly will never vote Republican/Democrat again!

I like how at times you mercilessly mock anyone with a contrary viewpoint with data pulled out thin air and a level of confidence the devil himself would have trouble matching. Twist some numbers from a government record, or make them up, them plop them on a picture with a scathing quotation.

Let’s see George Will top that!

Even better is when you share memes you had nothing to do with, but merely found while doom-scrolling Facebook. A highly stylized and favorable picture of your candidate next to their opponent, whose cameraman apparently got them at 3 a.m. and then added gray pigment to make them look sickly. The Republican/Democrat looks regal next to their liberal/conservative wastrel of an opponent. It’s obvious who the superior candidate, and human, is. Why do we even bother with debates?

It’s those memes you filch from others that seem to make the most cogent arguments, likely because they require no individual thought of your own. They take the most nuanced of issues, slice them with the efficiency of a toddler with a meat cleaver, and leave art in their wake.

It’s easy to dismiss your opponent because they stray, even an inch, from absolute political purity. Support Social Security? You’re communist swine and should leave my country. Support a flat tax? You’re capitalist swine and should leave my country.

No one person can simultaneously support both those concepts. Internet memes just don’t allow it.

Life is so much easier when you can casually group together those on your side, and the enemy on the other. Name calling elicits a much quicker response than reasoned argument, and is sure to determine where someone’s loyalties lie.

Because, let’s be honest, despite what I said earlier, this isn’t about convincing people of an argument. It’s about mocking people who think differently. It’s about building up your own belief system without having to back it up. It’s about taking joy in verbal pot shots made by your politicians, and rubbing them in.

Why bother with genuine policy successes when you can own the Demonrats/Rethuglicans?

You might think this is an immature way to conduct political discourse. There must some better method for people of different beliefs to exchange their ideas in a moderate, adult fashion. After all, our country has persevered through much worse and survived, even thrived, all while its citizens held deep, yet contrary positions.

Certainly we can cast aside the intellectually lazy — and false — methods of communication, and work toward a better union.

Yeah, you might think that, but I have this meme that says otherwise.

Contact City Editor Alan Riquelmy at ariquelmy@theunion.com or 530-477-4239.


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