5 Memes that Need to Die - The Liberty Papers (2022)

Internet memes – what would social networks look like without them? We all “like” some, share, and laugh at the most clever ones (others…not so much). Memes are a simple way to communicate to your social network your opinion on various issues from issues as serious as war and peace to more innocuous issues like which way is the proper way to install a roll of toilet paper (I’m an anarchist on that question). Not everyone has the time to write lengthy blog posts about these issues but almost everyone has enough time to click “share.” Like blog posts do, sometimes, these memes open up great discussions or debates (but often devolve into childish nonsense…sadly).

There are a few memes that are so incredibly inane that you will wish there was a “dislike” or “this is so stupid” button option when it crosses your news feed. The following are 5 memes which deserve to die by way of a logical response. These are numbered but not intended to be in any particular order as they all just need to die.

1. Those Dastardly Koch Brothers

For some reason, people on the Left have a huge hate on for the Koch brothers. If we are to believe the above meme, the Koch brothers are so rich and powerful that they could single-handedly fire 17 or more congressmen. Apparently, its only a few wealthy individuals and/or multinational corporations which advocate Right-wing ideas who lobby in Washington or contribute to campaigns and form super PACs.

According to Opensecrets.org, Koch Industries ranked #14 in the 2014 election cycle and #50 all time. To put the remaining contributors into perspective in the 2014 election cycle, 29 of the top 50 corporations donated most or all their money to Democrat/liberal campaigns while 9 donated most or all their money to Republican/conservative campaigns (the remaining 12 donated more or less evenly to both though some certainly leaned more one way or the other).

Of course, dividing these campaigns into “liberal” and “conservative” is itself, problematic. David Koch is more of a libertarian (small “L” to be sure) than a conservative. He supports many of the same causes that progressives do such as cutting military spending, being anti-war, supporting gay rights, and ending the war on (some) drugs. Apparently being socially liberal isn’t good enough; being fiscally conservatives make the Koch brothers the spawn of Satan.

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The underlying complaint here is that there is too much money in politics. I have a very simple and practical solution: if you don’t like money in politics, get politics out of money. If those in congress only did what they were constitutionally permitted to do there would be little or no reason to lobby at all.

2. Drug Test Everyone on Welfare

I have to admit that I was a little more sympathetic to the notion of drug testing people receiving welfare when I first heard it being proposed. After all, when you take money from taxpayers who are earning and paying for your basic necessities of life, do you not at least have the obligation to prove you aren’t blowing the money getting high instead of looking for work? Whilst it is also true that many workplaces use the services of someone like Confirm BioSciences to ensure they are employing workers who do not abuse drugs.

While this is a great idea as a principle, it turns out its a terrible idea in the real world. If the idea of drug testing is to save money, then the problem is – it doesn’t. Florida had this law (before it was struck down by a federal judge) and the results were quite interesting. Of 4,086 people who were tested for drugs, a whopping 108 tested positive. The costs of requiring the welfare recipients to take the drug tests cost more that what it saved from rejecting the 2.6% who failed. Other states which have tried this experiment had similar results. Either way, let’s be honest, passing hair tests is easy if you try hard enough, so what’s the point?

I think its very important for those of us who dislike the welfare state remember that its not just the poor who receive it. There are parasites whose entire existence is made possible only through wealth redistribution but there is more than one class of parasite. If the true reason behind drug testing is to humiliate those receiving a government check (because we now understand that it isn’t to save money) then we should ask the board members and CEOs of all the major corporations receiving corporate welfare and bailouts to stand in line to fill the cup up to the line as well.

***UPDATE***
Brad has brought to my attention a post by Scott Alexander entitled: “Drug Testing Welfare Users is a Sham, But Not for the Reasons You Think.” This serves as an excellent counterpoint to the statistics I referred to above. Scott has taken a more critical look at these numbers and it seems that the MSM has been deceptive in the reporting. Why am I surprised that the same organizations which continue to spread the gender pay gap myth by telling only part of the story would do the same thing on a story like this? Shame on me for taking the bait and spreading misinformation.

All of that said, even if drug testing every welfare recipient would be a net cost savings to the taxpayer (I’m still not convinced it is), it doesn’t seem such tests will survive the court challenges that will follow. To survive court challenges, the law has to be written in such a way that leaves loopholes large enough to drive a truck through. What we are then left with is “feel good” legislation that isn’t good for much other than red meat for political campaigns.

3. Take the Walmart Family’s Money and Give it to Students!

I’ve seen quite a few memes suggesting wealth redistribution or raising taxes on the evil rich but I don’t think I’ve ever seen one quite this blatant. I haven’t verified if indeed the “Walmart family” is worth $144 billion or if they will get $6 billion in tax breaks this year; I’ll leave that for others to determine because its beside the point.

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So…this Walmart family has a metric crapload of money and the person who created this meme thinks we should send men with guns to their homes and take that money to give to someone else? What s/he is advocating here is armed robbery!

There’s no additional explanation of why this idea is so morally wrong. If you agree with this meme, you are an immoral person.

4. Its Not Fair that Soldiers Make Less Money than Pro Football Players

The above meme is probably the most persistent meme I come across. I probably see this one once every couple of months shared by the same people and receiving a dozen or so likes each time it’s posted. This is the sort of magical, social justice thinking I expect from progressives, not conservatives.

Yes its true, pro football players make much more than soldiers (and most of the rest of us). The thing is one has nothing at all to do with the other. The NFL makes about $10 billion annually yet it is a non-profit corporation (what?). For the purposes of this discussion, I’ll put aside my objections with subsidized stadiums and its tax exempt status (the NFL is one example of the other classes of parasites I mentioned earlier). Even if the teams were rightly required to pay for their own stadiums and the league was a for profit entity, the NFL would still make a great deal of money and have plenty to spend on players, coaches, scouts, etc.

As of the 2014 season, the salary cap for each team was $133 million. Multiply that figure by 32 teams – that works out to about $4.3 billion to pay every single player in the league. This leaves about $5.7 billion for whatever else the NFL spends money on. One should expect that with this much money coming in, the players are definitely going to think they deserve their share of the cut. Without them, there are no games and no $10 billion annually.

Here are the average salaries of their athletes: NBA = $5.15 million, MLB = $3.2 million, NHL = $2.4 million, NFL = $1.9 million.

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Interestingly, the sport that brings in the most money and does more damage to the athlete’s body pays the average player the least amount of money. So why does this meme single out pro football players?

What does this have to do with soldier pay? Again, nothing!

But why not see what the Pentagon has to work with? In FY 2013, the Pentagon had a budget of about $603 billion (more than 60 times what the NFL made that year). The average Army salaries can be found here at GoArmy.com. It does seem that the active duty soldier makes a fairly meager income. The Army does offer quite a few non-cash incentives and benefits such as housing, healthcare, and childcare among others. That’s not nothing.

If the idea is to help soldiers earn a higher salary, comparing their salary to that of professional athletes isn’t the most productive way to go about it. Instead, perhaps their salary should be compared to other government workers including members of congress. Perhaps a better meme would say something like: “I think a man wearing a helmet in the name of defending this country should make more money than the suit and tie wearing politician pretending to be tough who wants to send that soldier to defend another country.”

Maybe it needs a little work but its already an improvement.

5. Straight Pride

Funny thing…once I got past 8th grade, none of my classmates made a big deal out of a straight couple holding hands or kissing in public. Funny thing…I have never heard of an instance where a straight person had to come out in front of his or her family terrified s/he would be disowned for being attracted to people of the opposite sex. Funny thing…I’ve never heard of an instance where a straight person decided to stay in the closet ashamed of who they were and suffered for doing so. Funny thing…I’ve never heard of a phenomenon called “straight bashing.” Funny thing…I’ve never heard of a straight couple having much difficulty acquiring a marriage license.

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Do you really want to know why there’s something called a “gay pride” movement as opposed to “straight pride” movement or why there are gay pride parades but not straight pride parades? Its really simple: Its because for the longest time, being gay was something to be ashamed of. Homosexuality was once considered a mental disorder by the APA.

Now a number of gay people have come to the realization that they are not ashamed but are indeed proud. They do this not only for themselves but also to encourage others to get out of the closet and face the world. The more people who do, the better it is for all gay individuals.

A little tip for those who are so put off by the “homosexual agenda:” mind your own business and stop making a big deal out of people being gay. The parades and the pride movement itself will fall away after enough years have passed when someone’s sexuality is no longer considered a big deal. This may even take generations. But as long as there are people out there who are trying to make the lives of homosexuals as miserable as possible via legislation and other forms of harassment, there will be a gay pride movement complete with parades and demonstrations.

Now, I’m not “ashamed” nor necessarily “proud” of being straight…I never had to be. But I’m not being politically incorrect by not posting this to my Facebook wall.

FAQs

What is the meaning of the political cartoon Join or Die? ›

Join, or Die was a political cartoon and woodcut created by Benjamin Franklin in 1754. It was designed to unite the American colonies against the French and their Native allies at the start of the French and Indian War. It is thought to be the first political cartoon that advocated unification of the colonies.

Why does the snake have 8 pieces? ›

It is a woodcut showing a snake cut into eighths, with each segment labeled with the initials of one of the American colonies or regions. New England was represented as one segment, rather than the four colonies it was at that time. Thus, it has eight segments of a snake rather than the traditional 13 colonies.

Who made the Join or Die snake? ›

On this day in 1754, Benjamin Franklin published one of the most famous cartoons in history: the Join or Die woodcut. Franklin's art carried significant importance at the time and is considered an early masterpiece of political messaging. At the time, Franklin was the publisher of the Pennsylvania Gazette.

How is the US Congress depicted in the cartoon? ›

In this cartoon, Congress is shown breaching the separation of powers and encroaching on the powers of the executive branch. Article I of the Constitution grants Congress the power to tax and spend (appropriate) money, and it requires that all bills for taxing (raising revenue) begin in the House of Representatives.

Why was a snake used in Join or Die? ›

The Cartoon is Adopted for the Revolutionary War

A decade after it originally was published, colonists protesting Great Britain's enacting of the Stamp Act resurrected the severed snake as a symbol of their desire to unify in opposition to unfair taxation.

What do you think the snake represents as a whole? ›

Fertility and rebirth

Historically, serpents and snakes represent fertility or a creative life force. As snakes shed their skin through sloughing, they are symbols of rebirth, transformation, immortality, and healing. The ouroboros is a symbol of eternity and continual renewal of life.

Why is 76ers logo a snake? ›

The midcourt logo of a segmented snake wrapped around the Liberty Bell is part of a playoff campaign dubbed “Phila Unite.” It's an homage to a famous drawing by Benjamin Franklin, the Founding Father and longtime Philly resident who graces $100 bills and can be found dribbling a basketball on a 76ers alternate logo.

Who did the Sons of Liberty intimidate? ›

The Sons of Liberty were a grassroots group of instigators and provocateurs in colonial America who used an extreme form of civil disobedience—threats, and in some cases actual violence—to intimidate loyalists and outrage the British government.

What symbolism does a snake cut into pieces have in this flag? ›

It was the image of a snake cut into eight sections, representing the colonies and coastline. Written under the snake were words of warning: “Join, or Die.” This was not a reference to independence, but a plea for unity in defending the colonies during the French and Indian War.

Why did Franklin use the symbol of a snake? ›

Benjamin Franklin's use of the rattlesnake to represent America actually began in 1751 when he published a satirical article condemning Great Britain for sending condemned convicts to the American colonies. Franklin suggested the colonists should send a bunch of snakes back to England as thanks.

Why was Georgia not in Join or die? ›

Newbold has speculated that Georgia was probably excluded from the snake image, "because, as a defenseless frontier area, it could contribute nothing to common security." Only three laws had been passed in Georgia since its founding as a colony in 1732, prompting a historian of the colony and state to conclude, "The ...

What does the snake represent in the US? ›

The snake as a symbol for the Revolution was an invention of Ben Franklin. It began with a satire Franklin wrote in 1751, criticizing the practice of Great Britain sending their violent criminals to the Americas to get rid of them.

What techniques does the cartoonist use to convey his message? ›

We chose to focus on these five common persuasive techniques used by cartoonists: exaggeration, labeling, symbolism, analogy, and irony. Here is a brief explanation of each technique: Exaggeration - Cartoonists will overdo physical characteristics of people or things in order to make a point.

Why is the vulture carrying chaos? ›

The vulture is carrying a baby labelled chaos in the way a stork normally carries a baby in cartoons. The cartoonist is saying the communism will bring chaos to Western Europe. How is the US Congress depicted in the cartoon?

What is the the message of the political cartoon? ›

Political cartoons are drawings with a partisan message for viewers about what they should think or do politically. Most political cartoons are a form of journalistic comment designed to influence viewers with regard to specific political events of the day just as the editorial usually tries to do.

Who was the intended audience for Join or Die? ›

The historic “Join or Die” campaign persuaded the American colonists to unite with one another and England during the onset of the French and Indian War by utilizing an influential slogan, characters that directly represent the target audience, and a symbolic setting of a snake's body.

Who said Join or Die? ›

Precisely three years later, on May 9, 1754, Franklin published a political cartoon depicting a rattlesnake with the admonishing title, “JOIN, or DIE.”

Why is the snake a symbol of evil? ›

Because of this identification of the snake in Revelation 12, the snake in Genesis is likewise presumed to be Satan, whose deception of Eve prompted the downfall of all humanity. Between these two texts, the snake earned a reputation as the most evil and deceptive figure in all of Christianity.

What's the difference between a snake and a serpent? ›

snake, (suborder Serpentes), also called serpent, any of more than 3,400 species of reptiles distinguished by their limbless condition and greatly elongated body and tail.

Do snakes mean good luck? ›

- The flesh of hunted animals is not given to others. If it is given, coins have to be taken in return. - Seeing a snake is considered good luck.

Why is Philly called 76ers? ›

The name '76ers' comes from the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, but was chosen by contest winner Walt Stahlberg, who suggested it after the Syracuse Nationals were purchased and moved to Philadelphia.

Are there snakes in Philadelphia? ›

The three venomous species of snakes in Pennsylvania are the Eastern Copperhead, Timber Rattlesnake and Eastern Massasauga. Reports of venomous snakebites in Pennsylvania are rare. Bites usually occur while a person is trying to catch or carelessly handle one of these snakes.

What is the snake on the 76s Court? ›

The image accompanied Franklin's persuasive editorial about the “disunited state,” delivering a message during the French and Indian War that America would be strongest if united. Back then, word was a severed snake could be resurrected if the pieces were reattached before sunset.

Do the Sons of Liberty still exist? ›

It played a major role in most colonies in battling the Stamp Act in 1765. The group disbanded after the Stamp Act was repealed.

Did the Sons of Liberty dump the tea? ›

340 chests of British East India Company Tea, weighing over 92,000 pounds (roughly 46 tons), onboard the Beaver, Dartmouth, and Eleanor were smashed open by the Sons of Liberty armed with an assortment of axes and dumped into Boston Harbor the night of December 16, 1773.

How do I join the Sons of Liberty? ›

You are eligible for Association with the Sons of Liberty if you are:
  1. A citizen with a good reputation in the community.
  2. Not an advocate to overthrow the government of the United States by use of force or violence.

What do the segments of the snake represent how do you know? ›

It is a woodcut showing a snake cut into eighths, with each segment labeled with the initials of one of the American colonies or regions. New England was represented as one segment, rather than the four colonies it was at that time. It later became a symbol of colonial freedom during the American Revolutionary War.

What is the yellow snake flag? ›

The Gadsden flag is a historical American flag with a yellow field depicting a timber rattlesnake coiled and ready to strike. Beneath the rattlesnake are the words: "Dont tread on me", all in uppercase letters. Some modern versions of the flag include an apostrophe.

Which political figure is represented as a snake in this cartoon? ›

Which political figure is represented as a snake in this cartoon? The head of the snake is a depiction of King Leopold II.

What does the rattlesnake represent? ›

The 'Don't Tread on Me' rattlesnake became a symbol of patriotism in the early years of the United States. The rattlesnake represented fortitude, strength, ferocity, and, above all, a willingness to defend oneself to the bitter end.

Is Solid snake American? ›

Solid Snake (Japanese: ソリッド・スネーク, Hepburn: Soriddo Sunēku) is a fictional character from the Metal Gear series created by Hideo Kojima and developed and published by Konami.
...
Solid Snake
NationalityAmerican
Born1972
14 more rows

Why did Benjamin Franklin choose a rattlesnake? ›

In the December 27, 1775 edition of The Pennsylvania Journal, Benjamin Franklin wrote about why he believed the rattlesnake was the ideal image for the colonies: “[The rattle-snake's] eye excelled in brightness, that of any other animal, and that she has no eye-lids.

How did Ben Franklin die? ›

When did Benjamin Franklin die? Benjamin Franklin died at age 84 on April 17, 1790, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was born an Englishman and died an American. The cause of death was complications from pleurisy.

Who said we shall all hang separately? ›

The caption refers to Benjamin Franklin's comment at the time of the signing of the Declaration of Independence: "We must all hang together, or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately." Jenkins was editorial and sports cartoonist for the New York Journal American from 1931 to 1966.

What was the first political cartoon? ›

Benjamin Franklin's "Join or Die", which depicts a snake whose severed parts represent the Colonies, is acknowledged as the first political cartoon in America.

What Dont tread on me means? ›

The tread in Gadsden's defiant phrase, don't tread on me, means “to step, walk, or trample so as to press, crush, or injure something.” And so, with its tongue flicked, fangs out, and body coiled in defense, the rattlesnake (and motto) warns: “If you dare put your foot down on me, I will strike.”

What flags have snakes on them? ›

Although the French flag is the official flag of Martinique, the snake flag was used to represent the island over the years. And this, to differentiate it from metropolitan France.

What country has a flag with a snake on it? ›

vertically striped green-white-red national flag with a central coat of arms featuring an eagle, a cactus, and a serpent.

What are 5 key questions to ask when analyzing a political cartoon? ›

What's happening in this cartoon? What was happening when this cartoon was made? Who do you think was the audience for this cartoon? What issue do you think this cartoon is about?

What does the cartoon represent? ›

a sketch or drawing, usually humorous, as in a newspaper or periodical, symbolizing, satirizing, or caricaturing some action, subject, or person of popular interest.

What does the boy represent and why do you think the cartoonist made him so small? ›

Explanation. According to the cartoon, Johnson is trying to actually feed the little boy a proper serving which he is not used to getting. The boy is meant to represent welfare, education and health which were all underfunded at the time.

What do the bird and the automobile represent what are they racing toward? ›

The bird represents Russia while the car represents the US. They are racing for the sake of western Europe. The bird is carrying chaos and is trying to spread it to western Europe. The artist gave it that name because if America lost that race communism would spread and thats why he want them to hurry up.

How is communism better than capitalism? ›

Communism vs Capitalism Comparison

The primary point of difference between capitalism and communism is regarding the ownership of 'means of production' or resources in general. Communism shuns private/individual ownership of land or any vital resources.

Why do you think the Soviets ended the blockade? ›

The end to the blockade was brought about because of countermeasures imposed by the Allies on East German communications and, above all, because of the Western embargo placed on all strategic exports from the Eastern bloc.

How do political cartoons affect our society? ›

They provide a colorful complement to traditional news reporting, offering a welcome break from the increasingly bleak political discourse. Cartoons provide open insight and interpretation on current events due to their ability to distill news and political opinions down into a caricature.

What is the purpose of this editorial cartoon? ›

Editorial cartoons, like written editorials, have an educational purpose. They are intended to make readers think about current political issues. Editorial cartoons must use a visual and verbal vocabulary that is familiar to readers.

What is the point of view of the cartoonist? ›

A cartoonist will be guided by his or her point of view. Cartoonists might only express their own beliefs on an issue, or they might take the point of view of others into consideration.

What is the meaning of political cartoon? ›

A political cartoon is a cartoon that makes a point about a political issue or event. You can find them in any daily newspaper, but they won't be in the comics section. Instead, look on the editorial pages – they're right next to the editorial columns, and across from the opinion essays.

Who was the intended audience for Join or Die? ›

The historic “Join or Die” campaign persuaded the American colonists to unite with one another and England during the onset of the French and Indian War by utilizing an influential slogan, characters that directly represent the target audience, and a symbolic setting of a snake's body.

What are the 5 steps to analyzing a political cartoon? ›

We chose to focus on these five common persuasive techniques used by cartoonists: exaggeration, labeling, symbolism, analogy, and irony.

What is the main idea of the political caricature cartoon? ›

political cartoon, a drawing (often including caricature) made for the purpose of conveying editorial commentary on politics, politicians, and current events. Such cartoons play a role in the political discourse of a society that provides for freedom of speech and of the press.

How do political cartoons affect our society? ›

They provide a colorful complement to traditional news reporting, offering a welcome break from the increasingly bleak political discourse. Cartoons provide open insight and interpretation on current events due to their ability to distill news and political opinions down into a caricature.

Why was Georgia not in Join or die? ›

Newbold has speculated that Georgia was probably excluded from the snake image, "because, as a defenseless frontier area, it could contribute nothing to common security." Only three laws had been passed in Georgia since its founding as a colony in 1732, prompting a historian of the colony and state to conclude, "The ...

Who did the Sons of Liberty intimidate? ›

The Sons of Liberty were a grassroots group of instigators and provocateurs in colonial America who used an extreme form of civil disobedience—threats, and in some cases actual violence—to intimidate loyalists and outrage the British government.

How does exaggeration create irony in this cartoon quizlet? ›

How does exaggeration create irony in this cartoon? C: The oversized trophies create irony because readers expect that they are for winning, not participation.

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