| October 08 2019,

9:03 pm

This is the weekly column written by Blavity:Politics Senior Editor Kandist Mallett. 

Nickelback, an early 2000s rock band, was brought into Trump’s political circus this week. The president's meme machine, as I like to refer to his communications department, created a meme using a screenshot of the band’s music video for their song, “Photograph,” in which they depicted a picture of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son golfing with a man who Trump alleged was a Ukraine oil executive. The “Ukraine oil executive” in question was actually an American business partner of Biden Jr., and the meme itself was nothing more than fake news.

This wasn’t Trump's first time using memes against whom he presumes will be his opponent in the general election. In April, when Biden released a video defending himself against the allegations that he was a bit handsy in his past, Trump took that video and memed it to mock him in the midst of the scandal. 

While attacks in campaigns are nothing new, the use of memes from a presidential opponent is quite different than what we’ve seen in the past. And this isn't just any presidential opponent but a sitting president. 

Like the use of Russian bots, we should expect the incumbent president to use social media as a way to manipulate Americans and the general election for his own benefit. If the Democrats plan on defeating Trump in November 2020, then they need to make sure the chosen nominee has their own “meme machine” to counter Trump. 

Trump is an internet troll, and the only way to beat a troll is to out-troll them. Meaning, if your communications team doesn’t have a strategy that also includes creating memes to debunk or counter the information coming from President Trump, then you are not well equipped for this upcoming election.