What’s the political meme of the week? I refuse to talk about Ken Bone and his sweater, because it’s shady to exploit ordinary people for irony’s sake. So instead, let’s turn to second most prominent election meme that doesn’t inspire absolute dread about the future of American society: maps!
On Tuesday, election Carnac and FiveThirtyEight founder Nate Silver tweeted out two maps of the U.S. One, predominantly blue to represent states theoretically won by Hillary Clinton, showed what it would look like if only women voted, according to Silver’s poll scrying.
The other, painted mostly red, represented the exact opposite: a Donald Trump victory if only men voted.
Then, a couple things happened. According to Buzzfeed, Trump son Eric (so, a campaign surrogate) included a GIF of the red map in a fundraising email to represent the Republican ticket’s supposed momentum, without including Silver’s original, Y-chromosome-centric context. In response, the internet did that thing they do, with the irony. They tweeted more maps. Different maps. Better maps.
A map of every goat in the U.S., captioned “Crazy – this is what the electoral map would look like if only goats voted.” Another, with the outline of the country wearing cartoon jeans in a couple of possible configurations, asked “What would the electoral map look like if it wore pants?” And so on:
Yes, there are also sweater-clad Ken Bone versions of the meme, too.
But nothing gold can stay. Some Trump supporters on Twitter responded to Silver’s maps not with harmless jests but by starting the hashtag #RepealThe19th — y’know, the 19th Amendment, which guarantees women the right to vote — as a campaign to ensure the candidate’s victory on Nov. 8.
I said this meme didn’t inspire absolute dread. Just paralyzing, near-absolute dread.