In case you needed any further evidence of how seriously people are taking the midterms this year, the
"Me Voting in 2016 vs. 2018" memes and tweets circulating on Twitter have made it pretty obvious. The trend, which went viral on Monday, has been ripping through social media with side-by-side comparisons of how voters felt in 2016 versus how they feel now. The general sentiment was apparent: in 2016, it was an election, and in 2018, it feels way more like a battle.
Of course, plenty of people used this as the perfect moment to throw in some serious cultural references and "then and now" pictures for celebrities. Most of the memes are pretty hysterical, but there's also a somber undercurrent to all of them, given what they represent: that people now feel like they have to fight for their country during the midterm elections on Nov. 6.
The collective exhaustion of the last two years has never been more obvious and on display than it is in this memes. It makes sense: these are the first nationwide elections since Donald Trump was elected, and the last two years have been filled with controversy.
There's nothing quite like tragic comedy to entertain— and these memes definitely do the trick.
The Taylor Swift Comparison
Seriously, has anyone had more of a metamorphosis over the course of her career than Taylor Swift? Granted, hers didn't happen over two years, but you get the point.
The Charlize Theron Comparison
If anything could depict the sentiment of most voters for the midterms, it's
Mad Max. Charlize Theron crushes the game in this movie, which also has some fantastic feminist undercurrents within it, as well. More to come ...
Does any other movie character from the 90s summon the same kind of effortless cool the way Neo does, from
The Matrix? It perfectly sums up that invincible feeling some people might get after submitting their ballots.
The Aging Lincoln Reference
It's kind of sad, but also just plain funny when you describe a relatively short period of time as something that has spelt decades in your mind. The past two years definitely qualify as that type of feeling for some people.
The Totally Necessary 'Game of Thrones' Reference
The Queen of Dragons has infiltrated culture the way very few television characters do. Considering what a total hero she is in every way, it's likely that multiple people will be channeling her vibes as they go to vote on Tuesday.
Left Shark Is Eternally Relevent
The Katy Perry "left shark" is a popular culture reference that only grows with significance over time. Throw in a
Jaws comparison to really set the scene for 2018, and you're golden.
Required Reading: A 'Handmaid's Tale' Comparison
It seems like no book has been compared to our current political climate more than Margaret Atwood's dystopian novel,
The Handmaid's Tale. And for good reason: as women have marched for their reproductive rights over the last two years, again and again, it's fitting that they would find strength (and a strong warning) in the story.
As funny as all of these memes are, it's definitely a breath of fresh air to have someone like novelist and YouTube vlogger Hank Green remind us that 2016 wasn't exactly a walk in the park, either. Sometimes it's easy to paint over memory with only good sentiment, but thousands of voters certainly felt just as stressed out and terrified for the 2016 election as they do for the midterms this year, and that's important to keep in mind.
Another On-Point 'Game Of Thrones' Reference
The best comparisons often seem to be the ones that show an actual character's narrative as it transforms, because it just feels so dead on to your own narrative. This side-by-side is a perfect example of that.
The Absolutely Perfect Visual
Does anything describe the overall national vibe leading into the midterms than the picture on the right? Although, to be fair, it doesn't seem like everyone felt as composed as the picture on the left leading up to the presidential election.
Notable author and feminist Rebecca Traister hit the nail on the head with this one. There are tons of people in the country who might not feel any difference whatsoever with their comparisons of voter fatigue in 2016 and 2018. In other words, it's been a long three or four years, not just two years.
When 'The Late Late Show' Gets Involved
Naturally, a few late night hosts had to get in on the action. James Corden's rendition of this meme is pretty perfect.
Seth Meyers Throws His Hat Into The Ring
Late night host Seth Meyers opted for a photo side-by-side, although his 2016 image of him with a thumbs up seems a little bit optimistic. Meyers was notably
outspoken against Trump during his presidential campaign, and has remained critical of Trump's policies throughout his presidency.
The Mic Drop With 'Titanic'
There is no greater then-and-now picture than the transformation of Rose in the forever-epic
Titanic. And this manages to be super funny, when you'd think it might be kind of sad.
Ultimately, these memes and tweets are funny but mostly just an act of catharsis on the evening before an important event. Hopefully everyone participating in the viral trend knows that the most important thing is to actually vote, regardless of how tired or frustrated you're feeling.