Election night 2016 was a shock to everyone involved: the polls leading up to it all indicated Hillary Clinton would be the next president, but the polls were wrong. When the counting was finally done, Clinton supporters, Donald Trump supporters, and even Trump himself were all flabbergasted at the outcome. You could argue we’re still in shock, a year later. And that’s what the “Me on election day 2016 vs. me on election day 2017” meme captures.
Started by writer Lyz Lenz, the meme compares the relative hope and innocence of a pre-Trump world to the jaded, hardened present day, where polls could be meaningless and we prepare ourselves for the worst.
Lenz went with badass movie icon Sigourney Weaver to represent her 2016 and 2017 states of mind, but any actor or character who has “seen some shit,” as they say, will get the message across.
Maybe you’ve gone from carefree professor to Nazi puncher:
me on election day 2016 vs. me on election day 2017 pic.twitter.com/6cr71JH3DA
— Mikel Jollett (@Mikel_Jollett) November 7, 2017
Or from Agent Cooper to whatever Doug is:
me on 2016 Election Day vs. me on 2017 Election Day pic.twitter.com/361r2ZysRp
— Shinjawn (@FanSince09) November 7, 2017
Or from happy-go-lucky Mets mascot to agitated conservative blogger:
Me on Election Day 2016 vs. me on Election Day 2017 pic.twitter.com/Jv3XfBzfvg
— Virgil Texas (@virgiltexas) November 7, 2017
Or an intact egg to a broken egg:
me election day 2016 vs me election day 2017 pic.twitter.com/MI1ZBwCXg9
— Kate Knibbs 🏄🏻♀️ (@Knibbs) November 7, 2017
Or a naïve moisture farmer to The Last Jedi®™:
me on election day 2016 vs. me on election day 2017 pic.twitter.com/IF2hlJsqeD
— 𝗵𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗵 (@heathdwilliams) November 7, 2017
Or from disinterested guy with beer to … well, disinterested guy with beer:
Me on Election Day 2016 vs. me on Election Day 2017 pic.twitter.com/AjIi5hmax6
— ''Steve'' (@extranapkins) November 7, 2017
This one hits pretty close to home for Hillary fans:
Me on election day in 2016 v. Me on election day in 2017 pic.twitter.com/cwZrVfe36X
— Maris Kreizman (@mariskreizman) November 7, 2017
There are literally hundreds more of these on Twitter as we inch closer to Tuesday night’s vote tabulation, and the common thread is shellshock. It seems America, and liberal America in particular, has aged about 15 years over the past year. Many are hoping that this election will bring some relief at the state and local levels, but they’re not hoping too hard. Remember how that worked out last time?
In some sense, however, these jokes are rewriting history: both sides may have gone into election day 2016 hopeful their candidate would win, but they also went into it glad that the longest election cycle in U.S. history would finally stop sapping their will to get out of bed in the morning.
the "me on election day 2016 vs 2017" meme is revisionist in that it suggests we weren't also strung out and miserable last year
— the internet's michael lutz (@WarrenIsDead) November 7, 2017
Maybe we’ll just be miserable forever?