The George Bush chimp meme set off the meme wars, if only because he was president when Facebook took off in a big way. As soon as Obama was elected the Right–especially the Tea Party–went nuts with their own vicious memes. And now with Trump we return the favor. And it’ll keep happening because each side holds the other side to rules that they themselves do not abide by. Which is nothing new, the pamphlets and newspapers in the 18th and 19th century were incredibly offensive and insulting and just as low brow as anything you see on your iPhone today. And both sides back then raged the same way we are all raging now, mortally offended by what the other side posts and finding all sorts of excuses for posting their own. Calls for censorship abounded, like they abound now, though the First Amendment prevented that for the most part. Now, though, with Facebook and Twitter essentially privatizing communication in ways that Ronald Reagan never imagined, wholesale censorship is possible in social media because the internet is somehow not considered to exist in the same heady constitutional air as the airwaves. Funny seeing the conservative stance on the internet suddenly condemned by outraged conservatives bewildered by the First Amendment. And funny too watching progressives defend social media as privately owned and free from those First Amendment restrictions. Meanwhile memes are fading, replaced by furious bursts of words. Not particularly intelligent words, necessarily, but words nonetheless. We’re getting oddly literate in the Age of Trump, even as Trump himself can barely tweet a coherent sentence.
Just found myself debating someone who was insisting that white skinned Jews were not “white”, they were Jewish. The Jews are their own race, he insisted.
This guy was not white, and certainly not a Nazi. He’s not Jewish, obviously. And he’s not a racist. Yet he was parroting Nazi propaganda. Nazi race ideology has been completely reborn on the Internet, and is spreading not only among white supremacists, but among their exact opposites. There are elements on the left that now believe aspects of Nazi race theory without even realizing it. Nazi memes are spreading via the medium of social media. And yet it is OK. No one calls anyone on it. No one points out where those crazy ideas came from. It’s no wonder people say they are sick of the Holocaust. They have already accepted some of the justification for it, though they don’t know it yet.