Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman covered in blood in American Psycho(l), Josh Brolin in Sicario(r)

The ‘GOP we need’ meme is calling for ruthless, violent killers to take over the party

The meme struck a chord with some frustrated Republicans.


Marlon Ettinger


A meme that claims the Republican Party isn’t ruthless enough or ready to get down and dirty to take care of business took off on X Monday night. The “GOP we need” meme underlines one sentiment coursing through the party: They really want violent killers in charge.

Conservatives posted contrasting images of more pacific or diplomatic characters from movies with those who “get the job done,” sometimes involving torture and extreme violence.

“the GOP we have vs the GOP we need,” shared @Txp_RBI_Xctuxl, kicking off the trend with photos of characters played by Emily Blunt and Josh Brolin in the 2015 Denis Villeneuve picture Sicario.

In the film, Blunt plays FBI Special Agent Kate Macer, whose job brings her spiraling into a darker and darker world of violence and blood as she bends the rules to pursue a cartel operative across the Mexican border, much to her discomfort.

Brolin’s character is a CIA officer called Matt Graver, who sometimes seems to revel in the violence the job requires, including when another CIA officer tortures a suspect’s brother to get information about his whereabouts.

“This is actually such a good analogy,” responded one to the original post. “Real mfs know that Emily Blunt’s character was the villain of Sicario. She clung onto naivety above all else, constantly getting in the way of the people trying to do real work with her performative scruples, checkmarks, and banality.”

The memes highlighted the party’s lust and violence above all else, with users sharing clips of Benicio del Toro’s character, who went from willing government official to off-the-books assassin.

One popular image was a picture of Toro’s character with the quote “Time to meet God” as he committed a revenge killing in front of a family. 

The posts come in the midst of a 2024 election season where Mexico and migration have become a hot topic.

Sicario is a movie about a paramilitary U.S. incursion into the country. In the GOP primary, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R.) openly mused about invading Mexico. Trump, too, has floated the idea. 

Posters who resonated with the idea threw up variants of the meme that leaned into the bloodlust aspect.

One included a golden retriever next to a werewolf with a frothing mouth. 

Another included a meme of Christian Bateman as former Vice President Dick Cheney and as a serial killer Patrick Bateman. 

Another used actor Walt Goggins to highlight the far-right’s frustration with the GOP’s (very minor appeasement) on gay rights to his bounty hunter in Fallout.

“This is absolutely the best explanation I’ve seen for what I feel right now,” posted @OldTigerSix. “Well put.”

Yet some noted that Villenueve’s movies—including his recent Dune adaption—are critiques of colonialism and imperial might.

“Both of the sicario movies have extremely clear ‘invading Mexico would be bad’ messages that everyone seems to have missed,” wrote one. 

The original poster disputed that, saying this “has nothing to do with drugs, violence, cartels or brown people.”

But the messages sent in it are certainly clear.

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