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What Makes Ted Cruz So Meme-able?

During the Texas winter storm crisis, Sen. Ted Cruz made a trip to Cancun and found himself in hot water with the memers. But this isn’t the first instance Cruz has been the brunt of the meme community’s jokes. In this episode of Millennial Minute, host David Grasso chats with Christian Watson and Nate Lerner about the flack Cruz has received and what it means.

Abandoning a sinking ship

Lerner says that it’s just par for the course. Cruz chose to leave during a state-wide emergency, and the memes forced him to face the reality he left behind. 

“What happened to captains going down with their ship?” Lerner asked. “Real leadership is about being in it with everybody. But when the going got tough, Ted Cruz got going.”

Memes lack context

Watson recognizes the poor optics of the situation but notes that Cruz’s office was still open and operating in Texas. He points out that memes lack context and omit parts of the narrative. 

“It was bad optics, and he probably should have reconsidered,” said Watson, “but he did nothing materially harmful to his constituents.” 

Why Ted Cruz? 

“He’s one of the most public figures in the Republican Party,” Lerner said. “He’s someone who does love the limelight and the attention. Now he is really reaping what he sows.” 

Memes as a political tool

Young people often find themselves sidelined in conversations about political decision-making. But memes and social media posts are a way for young people to hold political leaders accountable. 

Cruz has recently drawn criticism again for the way he handled a trip to the U.S.-Mexico border. He visited the border with 18 other Republican Senators and hired professional photographers to document the scenes. The memes about Cruz returned, mocking the “wildlife documentary”-styled content released by Cruz’s team and doubting his claims of being confronted by heckling cartel members. 

What are your thoughts on Cruz and other politicians? Let us know.

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