Back in March I was talking with a couple of friends about the election and we came upon the topic of memes. We all agreed that memes would be an important factor in the race, but they insisted that the major benefactor would be Bernie, whose supporters would use memes to proselytize young people into a massive wave of supporters that would carry their candidate to victory. I’m not sure they really believed that, but I had to disagree. Trump, I told them, would skillfully lead an army of diligent soldiers already well versed in the art of memetic warfare, who would end up playing a major role in the outcome of the race.
I don’t think I have to tell you which one of us was right.
The Attack On Pepe
A few days ago, to distract from the fact that she’s a corrupt, war-mongering globalist who may or may not be clinging to life as we speak, Hillary has decided to call our attention to the evils of… Pepe. Now, we all know and love Pepe, so I see no point in wasting time detailing his rich history or subtle, nuanced significance. The point is this: of all the issues of critical importance to our nation—immigration, trade policy, foreign policy, healthcare etc.—Hillary has chosen to focus her attention on the evils of a cartoon frog drug up from the bowels of the internet.
Coming off of her denouncement of the alt right, Hillary even went so far as to post an explainer on her official website detailing the horrors of Pepe and his deplorable counterparts. Making vague allusions to the KKK and white supremacy, Hillary’s indictment of Pepe is a rambling, nonsensical piece of work without a shred of thought or context. It is abundantly clear that whoever decided this was a smart thing to make into a campaign issue had absolutely no idea what they were talking about. Needless to say, it didn’t end well.
Why The Attack Backfired
In focusing on Pepe, regardless of his affiliations, Hillary has shown us all how small-minded she really is. By lashing out at something that she doesn’t even begin to understand, we see that she is badly backed into a corner, a corner which her handlers see no viable way to escape. It is the beginning of the end for her, and we owe it all to a smug cartoon frog with a garish red hat reading “Make America Great Again” in stately white letters. It’s entirely possible that as she lies on her deathbed sometime this October, Hillary will with her last breath whisper “…curse you, Pepe…” as Huma Abedin and Bill look on helplessly.
Suggestions that Pepe might literally meme Hillary Clinton to death notwithstanding, addressing our resident smug frog was an utterly pointless endeavor that will have no positive consequences for her, but probably some for us. The message of her attack was “Pepe is associated with racists, and Trump is associated with Pepe, therefore Trump is racist.” This is a grotesquely simplistic understanding of Trump, racism, and more importantly Pepe, but I digress.
Even if that line of reasoning weren’t filled with misconceptions, what it reduces to is this—“Trump is racist.” This is said literally every day, usually by Hillary herself, and if not, by one of the many mainstream media outlets that openly supports her. This line of attack was used by Trump’s Republican opponents during the primaries, and has been consistently hurled at him since day one. It hasn’t worked, it isn’t working, and it won’t ever work.
Calling Trump racist is nothing new, and it won’t have any kind of impact on the race. What will change things, however, is Pepe and his introduction to the mainstream. Pepe seeks to broaden his influence over the realm of men as much as possible. He’s like the One Ring—he wants to be found. And now, he has been.
Pepe’s exposure to the public will only drive people’s curiosity about the shadowy, villainous “alt-right.” People will start to wonder. They have a clever symbolism, they’ll say, they’re a secretive, nebulous collective that defies simple categorization, no one seems to understand them… people exposed to Pepe won’t be able to resist learning more about our ideology and our culture. And of those people, there are many who without a doubt will find that we give voice to the things they have been silently thinking and feeling but have never found the will to say out loud.
People, especially young people, will always take the side of Pepe when it comes to an aging, out-of-touch, establishment politician versus a clever, smug, iconoclastic creation of genuine internet culture for one simple reason—Pepe is funnier, and to be funny you have to be smart. What Hillary doesn’t realize is that a good amount of Pepe’s popularity comes from the fact that there are a lot of jaded, nihilistic young people out there who see Pepe as the perfect expression of their quasi-sadistic need to defy and humiliate.
The arguments of the left are accusatory—bigotry, racism, Islamophobia, sexism, etc, because as we all know, they have nothing else. Those criticisms are based on the assumption that their opponents will take the defensive and deny these accusations. The virtue-signaling of the Left is a way to establish an epistemological framework in which conservative arguments can be picked apart. Pepe circumvents that framework by treading the line between satire and serious political posturing. He makes a statement, but he also reveals the propensity of his political opponents to react emotionally, which exposes the fact that manufacturing faux-outrage is the foundation of their strategy.
The Genius Of Pepe
The intention of Pepe is not only to inject humor into serious statements—it’s also to get a rise out of people. Let’s not deny that trolling hypersensitive liberals has been an integral part of what the alt-right has accomplished over the course of this election. But trolling in itself is somewhat of a political statement. If you can get someone to react by prodding them, you’ve shown that their frame was weak to begin with. In the court of public opinion, the person whose frame is shaken is usually judged most harshly. The only thing that Hillary can say in response to Pepe, who after all is nothing but an internet meme, is “stop being mean.” And just by looking at Pepe’s smug fucking grin we can tell what his response is.
Pepe in and of himself perfectly encapsulates why the alt-right has risen to prominence and why Trump is going to win the election—because people have stopped buying into the left’s twisted worldview of guilt, shame, and thought control. As extremely insecure, unstable people, leftists define their whole perspective based on the response they anticipate from others. They are desperate to show other people how tolerant and free of hate they are, how dedicated they are to the cause of equality and fairness and whatnot.
This is why Pepe is so fundamentally antithetical to Hillary—the smugness of his expression indicates that he just doesn’t care what anyone thinks and he doesn’t care what happens to anyone else. By addressing Pepe, Hillary has shown the country just how emotionally based her entire rationale really is.
Hillary has, for the millionth time this election, shot herself in the foot. With her increasingly unhinged attempts to connect Trump to various boogeymen (Putin, the alt-right, and now Pepe), she has revealed herself as a candidate out of options and out of ideas. The only thing she has accomplished is driving impressionable voters towards our ideology, and there is no doubt that some of them will be swayed by the honesty and reason of our message. Pepe, on the other hand, is fulfilling his function both as a means of expressing political ideas and of conveying ridicule. By treading the line between seriousness and satire, Pepe has not only helped to spread alternative views but to expose the necessity of sympathy to the left’s strategy.
Taking on Pepe could not have worked out any worse for Crooked Hillary Clinton. She fought the frog, and the frog won.