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MemeTank Instructions

How to Create a Meme

(By which we mean an entry in the MemeTank for a meme.)

First, decide if it's a new meme or an existing one.

  • If you invented it, put it in the "development" section.
  • If you heard it used in public, put it in the "catalog" section.

Second, format it correctly:

  1. Each meme needs to be given a short name to signify it.
  2. The link should lead to a description of the meme
  3. Each Meme should eventually have the sections in the MemeTank:Template.
    In practice this means you can feel free to add any of these sections and fill them in for yourself if they are not present.

Since the meme can be an idea about anything, of course other sections are likely to be required to completely diagram the meme. For more see Memetank:Methodology.

What is a Meme?

  • Definition for purposes of the MemeTank, see MemeTank:Meme.
  • Definition for political purposes, see Meme.
  • General definition from Wikipedia, see Wikipedia: Meme.
  • SPIDER (Social Psychology of Information Diffusion -- Educational Resources) page, devoted to the study of how memes spread, see SPIDER.

Alternate Indices

The pages below organize the memes in different ways.

See also Code Words, Lies and Lying Liars

The Meme Development Project

Meme Development Project: Instructions

This section is for people who want to invent new memes and try to encourage professional journalists to start using them. Yes, I know that's a tall order, but you've got to think big to change the world.

Remember, real journalists have certain limits - there are certain things they just won't say, no matter what. Don't put a meme in here unless you really think there's a chance we might be able to get the New York Times to repeat it.

I'd also like to point out that even if we are successful, this project probably isn't going to be able to get memes into common usage all that quickly. Because of that, think long-term. Memes about Bush may not be helpful: by the time we get them out there, the election will likely be over. Instead, concentrate on memes that change the way people think about politics in general.

Meme Development Project: Memes


New Terms & Catchphrases

The Meme Cataloguing Project

Liberal/Progressive Memes

  • We've got 4 half-assed anti-republican memes. They've got 15 powerful anti-democrat memes. No wonder they've been winning for 30 years! We spend all our time making up anti-Bush memes. When Bush leaves office, there goes all our hard work, we're back to square one. Meanwhile, they're still building up the memes they created back in 1980. - Josh
  • Josh, to be provocative here... you think the Republicans would put the "Republican's are Racist" meme in the "meme's that backfire" category? No, and they wouldn't throw away the Bush meme's either, they would apply them to the next available candidate. OTOH, I agree with you, and that's where there is real work to do here in the MemeTank. Their memes, if this page represents at all, are much more deeply ingrained (PS: when does a comment fit here vs on the talk page... I do think some personal comments fit because this is a Think Tank, and sometimes the think-ers need to speak as individuals...)-- Pyrrho

Right-Wing Memes

  • Criticism of John Edwards:
    • Edwards lacks experience
    • Edwards is phony
    • Edwards is a friend to trial lawyers and that is bad
    • Edwards overshadows Kerry
    • Edwards was Kerry's 2nd choice

Memes that favor neither Liberals nor Conservatives:

Liberal memes that backfire:

Meme Seed Ideas

(A scratchpad of ideas for productive memes)


  • (Congressional candidate) "America needs a good House cleaning!"


  • "Integrity. Vision. Leadership. John Kerry for President." Troikas are tired. Besides Kerry doesn't have much of the "visions thing". Frankly, I would settle for just the Integrity :)
  • Time for a leadership change
  • Kerry had most Electablity as 2004 Candidate
  • McCain For Kerry VP (obsolete?)
  • Bringing REASON to the White House
  • Kerry is the Antidope.
  • Kerry is a stronger candidate (than Gore was, than Bush is.. he is a strong 'finisher'...)
  • Kerry has conservative values


  • Bush Quote Tracker- using a wikki like this we could track everything that Bush and Cheney say every day as an oppo research tool. We could then find and pick apart every contradiction, every lie, every half-truth, in one place for the media, bloggers, and Democratic campaigns to use.
  • Bush's arrogance endangers America
  • Bush is an elitist
  • Bush Knew
  • Bush policies shortsighted
  • The Bush Administration plays the terror card to influence other policy areas.
  • the Bush economy had squeezed the middle class - working harder/earning less, paying more for heath benefits, education, gas. family debt and bankruptcy is going up..
  • Bush wants to be like Reagan.
  • Bush puts politics ahead of policy, picks his ideology first and then twists facts to match, uses Enron Economics to hide the true costs of his policies
  • It's been a wild ride. Thank God it's almost over. (Extend to Roller-coaster or Driving analogy w/ Bush as the drunk at the wheel.)
  • Rushing toward Armageddon / Apocalypse Now
  • 12 failures of the Bush Administration
  • Bringing state-sanctioned murder to the masses
  • Abuse of power is the rule
  • lives in an alternate reality
  • for him facts get in the way of decisions


  • Cheney is a liability
  • Cheney is crude and disrespectful
  • Cheney has a conflict of interest regarding the Iraq war
  • Cheney: one heartbeat from the presidency, one heart beat from death
  • Great Champion of Torture
  • War is good for my business

The Left

The Right

  • GOP is divided, true conservatives are turning on Bush
  • Christians vote for republicans - why?
  • Libertarians vote for republicans - why?
  • The Republican elite
  • Right makes might... Might makes right.
  • Conservative media are unreliable (NY Post et al...)
  • The culture wars are an invention of the Right to distract us from economic issues.
  • Gonzales: the Architect of Abu Ghraib
  • The Red-Wing (as opposed to Right-Wing); red vs. blue; negative connotations of communism; red is the color of blood
  • On your own-ership society
  • The RePalliburton Party
  • Bribery-based initiatives
  • crybaby conservatives
  • live in a Tinkerbell reality (believe hard enough and it will become real)
  • They call themselves conservative but act like regressives
  • There is a difference between conservative policies and regressive policies
  • A State religion for all
  • Anti-fact policies
  • Pro-union of church and state

The Center

The Spectrum


  • Dissent during time of war is critical to the survival of democracy.

Economy and Taxes



  • Tenet is at fault for the whole WMD / Iraq fiasco
  • Fix America first
  • We've been neo-conned!
  • "Sept. 11 changed everything" (except Bush's desire to invade Iraq).
  • Unjustified pre-emptive war is terrorism.
  • Repeal the War Tax too!
  • Every Death Creates New Enemies
  • Preventive, not pre-emptive
  • Torturer-in-Chief
  • No American Combat deaths in occupied Japan or Germany
  • Iraq Debacle
  • PNAC's meat grinder, The Neocon’s meat grinder or The Republican’s meat grinder
  • US occupied Iraq
  • An unjustified occupation is a war on the people.





Foreign Policy


  • Keep the Government Out of My Church!
  • Why do you need the government to justify your religion?

Democratic/Liberal values

Labels we like

  • Santorum: "Senator Memo"


  • Education policy = capital investment for information economy. Like Eisenhower's interstates
  • Environmental regulation = Environmental stewardship
  • Generational Politics (Bush ruining environment, budget for next generation)
  • Zealots
  • We're Running Out
  • Environment:Shrinking America:As we warm the tide rises: who pays for beachfront property loss
  • Environment:global warming setbacks: insurance companies refuse to cover builds in Florida
  • Evironment:Britain has forecast rising waters impact: does the USA plan for high water
  • Environment:There goes the Condo:maps of impact


See also

Personal tools