The Left Can't Meme

The Left Can't Meme

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Updated Mar 09, 2020 at 04:56PM EDT by Matt.

Added Nov 19, 2017 at 05:34PM EST by Bilbo Swaggins.

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The Left Can't Meme is an expression typically used to criticize the political memes created by left-leaning internet users as unfunny or cringeworthy. It is believed to have been created on /pol/ and rose to prominence during the 2016 United States Presidential Election.


One of the earliest mentions of the phrase appeared on /pol/ on August 22nd, 2016 from an anonymous user (shown below).[1]

First known use of the expression The Left Can't Meme on 4chan


The phrase began spreading through the course of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election and saw a sharp rise following the election. On January 3rd, 2017, Facebook page Hoppean Snake Memes[2] posted an image of a leftist Fully Automated Luxury Gay Space Communism meme with the caption "The. Left. Can't. Meme.", gaining 110 likes and reactions. On March 24th, 2017, a post on conservative Reddit-esque site VOAT[3] made a similar point with an image of troll dolls and right-wing buzzwords like cuck and triggered (shown below, right).

Meme with troll dolls about the left trying to meme

On May 18th, 2017, the term was defined on Urban Dictionary by user "Running in the nyetis" as "Its a insult for the left leaning people who make memes about the left. The insult is mostly used by the alt-right, /pol/acks or simply people who hate the left."[4] On August 3rd, 2017, YouTuber user Leftist Cuck posted a video talking about the phrase that gained over 157,000 views (shown below).

Urban Dictionary post about how the Left Can't Meme

There have also been several blog posts and posts on conservative subreddits theorizing as to why "the left can't meme." User ZhonPepe on /r/The_Donald[5] posited that the reason is:

1) that because the left is by default politically correct and thus must often hide the truth, they have close to zero ability to use memes as impactful (spicy) propaganda to sway public opinion/perception;.2) This PC mentality does two things a) weakens their memes, forcing contrived, "blunted" memes which pale in comparison to the hard sharp truth the right memes peddle b) allows for a situation where the right is able to trigger/traumatize people into swaying their opinion by revealing forbidden but often instinct- or human nature-based truths.

On September 14th, 2017, webcomic artist Kukuruyo[6] posted a blog comparing some of his comics to some leftist comics to illustrate the point that the left can't meme.

In 2019, the book Can the Left Learn to Meme? by Mike Watson was released by ZerO Books. The book, which is sympathetic to the left suggests the left embrace bizarre and abstract aesthetics using Vaporwave as an example.

In February 2020, the author released a video called "I'd like to teach the world to meme" on the YoutTube channel Theorywave Nights which features a melody from a 70s Coca Cola Advert which later became a hit song. The video features footage of lefttube figures Angie Speaks and ContraPoints as well as Overly Attached Girlfriend, Bad Luck Brian, lolz cats, Doge Dogs and Sanders memes.

Various Examples

Disney Logo but with the words The Left Can't Meme old man with hoodie in the street telling story and the left can't meme Meme about the left using carebears for their memes Meme mocking a right wing neckbeard with a fedora and Katana sword Crying kid and Johnny Depp about why the left can't meme Meme about left educating themselves which is why they are too busy to meme

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