While the memes might change, the meme culture stays the same. In the aftermath of President Donald Trump approving strikes in Syria on Friday, one of Twitter’s hottest memes of the moment―those instantly recognizable, five-panel American Chopper ones―collided with the cardinal rule of Trump tweets. Namely, anything that Trump tweets now as president can be quickly rebuked with one of his old tweets from before he became president.
Lots of people have noted this phenomenon, sometimes wryly remarking that when it comes to Trump, “there really is a tweet for everything.” That fact was hammered home by Twitter user heartbeeps (handle @hrtbps) on Saturday, who nabbed some of Trump’s diametrically-opposed takes on Syria through the years and inserted them into a memeified American Chopper back-and-forth.
Part of what makes Trump’s dueling voices so effective for the meme is the fact that his past self, back when former president Barack Obama was the one mulling over how to approach the brutal civil war in Syria, was angrily dead-set against American involvement. He even typed out an all-caps screed calling Obama a “VERY FOOLISH LEADER.”
Now, however, it seems as if Trump’s perspective has changed. He’s launched strikes on Syria twice in the first 15 months of his presidency, and at approximately the same time of year; the Shayrat airfield strike occurred on April 7th, 2017, and the most recent strikes occurred on April 14th, 2018. What the president once blasted as a course of action that would cause “MANY VERY BAD THINGS” to happen is now one that he seems to really believe in.
It may seem like silly fun, sure, but memes can be a refreshing way to inform people who rely on social media for their news. And, as far as blending information and wry observation with a funny edge goes, this meme is a real winner.