During the ongoing presidential race, the public has generated countless memes and hashtags mocking and satirizing each of America’s two candidate. But despite their comedic appeal, voters have a responsibility to look beyond simple memes when deciding for whom to cast their ballot.
The first two Presidential debates are over. Some watched with eager anticipation, waiting for Clinton to cough or Trump to mention his infamous “wall” so they could take a drink. Some watched it in hopes of hearing each candidate’s stance on serious issues that our country is facing, but many didn’t watch at all because they predicted it would be a circus act.
For whatever reason, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton both failed to appeal to millennial voters during the debates. But maybe they knew they didn’t have to. Perhaps they knew that the campaigning and information would be relayed to young voters through the creative and hilarious downpour of political memes and tweets that would follow the debate.
Despite the candidates’ on-stage accusations, plastered-on smiles and stories geared toward pulling at the heart strings of women and Latinos — and had many Googling the name Alicia Machado — there were no pulls to young voters. Millennials were not addressed at all during the debate by either candidate.
Anyone with any access to social media, including those who didn’t watch the debate, knows at least something about it because of the flood of memes and catchphrases it generated. If you have seen them, you know that Trump sniffled like crazy and mentioned a 400-pound hacker and Clinton called for fact checks and Trump’s tax returns repeatedly.
But it is important not to let hashtags and memes be your only source of information in your voting decision. Get off Facebook, get off Twitter, stop snapping chats and get informed.
Memes tend to only highlight the most ridiculous, hilarious or horrible things that each candidate does. There really isn’t any middle ground. So far in this race, the number of negative memes towards both candidates have the potential to make voters feel pretty hopeless. Nonetheless, these are the top two candidates for 2016.
Trump and Clinton really do have different views on most political issues. Believe it or not, Trump believes in more than just a wall on the southern border, but how would you know that based on the small glimpses seen through amusing pictures and posts on social media? You wouldn’t, which is why there is always a push to get informed and watch the debates.
Many of these memes are undeniably funny and, unfortunately, do represent the laughing-stock that the debates were, but it’s important to remember that this is the future of our country we’re talking about. For us young voters to laugh at the sweet burns in memes, tweets and hashtags is fine, but they are all just the tiniest glimpse into who that candidate is and what policies they stand for.