“This Is America”: 50 Memes That Sum Up Life In The United States
American news makes headlines all over the world. But if we were to judge the US based entirely on what we read and hear on mass media, where the content is trying to manipulate us into clicking and scrolling, we could end up with a warped impression of the country. So let's see what average people have to say about it instead.
We at Bored Panda have searched the internet to compile a list of relevant memes about life in the United States, and are quite happy with what we found. These images made it to the forefront of social media platforms not because they were promoted by some publisher, but because they struck a chord with the users, and when put together, paint a pretty vivid picture of the place they come from.
Continue scrolling and check out America's hottest memes.
The affordability of health care is high on the public's list of the biggest issues in the United States today, with 56% of adults describing this as "a very big problem" and an additional 30% rating it "a moderately big problem," a 2021 survey by the Pew Research Center revealed.
In fact, health care cost is the only issue of the 15 asked on the survey seen as a very big problem by a majority of Americans, though about half say that the federal budget deficit (49%), violent crime (48%), illegal immigration (48%) and gun violence (48%) also qualify.
As the Biden administration makes its case for massive new investment in the nation's infrastructure, its condition ranks relatively low on the list of major problems facing the country.
About a third of adults (34%) say the condition of infrastructure is a very big problem, four-in-ten say it is a moderately big problem, and a quarter say it is either a small problem (23%) or not a problem (2%).
Though neither domestic nor international terrorism ranks among the public’s top problems, roughly a third of Americans (35%) say domestic terrorism remains a very big problem in the country while a smaller share (26%) say the same about international terrorism.
The data also illustrates the division between Americans. Republicans and Democrats are far apart on the biggest problems facing the country.
Gun violence, the affordability of health care, the coronavirus outbreak, and racism are each seen as very big problems by two-thirds or more Democrats and Democratic leaners.
But far fewer Republicans say these are major problems in the country. Four-in-ten think health care affordability is a very big problem, and only about two-in-ten rate the coronavirus and gun violence as very big problems.
It often seems no longer just Republican vs. Democrat, or liberal vs. conservative. There's also tension between the 1 percent and the 99 percent, or rural and urban. Religious folks are fighting atheists, climate doubters clash with believers. Bathrooms have become battlefields, borders are battle lines. Then there's sex, ethnicity... The list goes on and the melting pot seems to be boiling, with steam filling even TV studios.
According to researchers behind the USC Polarization Index, a tool that helps organizations understand the level of discord in America and make more informed decisions about their own positions on various issues, the threats of destabilization are coming from within and outside of the country.
Some of the fake news has been propagated by foreign countries such as Russia, while social media users have aided – at times unwittingly — in its spread. These examples include fake news stories and tweets questioning Hillary Clinton’s health in the runup-to the 2016 election. Days before Election Day, Russian-run accounts were sowing doubt about election integrity.
“Political scientists had opined in the middle of the 20th century that there was really no difference between the Republicans and Democrats,” said Jenkins of the USC Price School for Public Policy and director of the Bedrosian Center. “In 1950, they urged the parties to stake out distinct positions on issues so that citizens would get different perspectives. Jump ahead to today, and it’s clear that you have a real choice between the two parties.
“We look back now and wish that maybe we hadn’t asked for that,” said Jenkins, who has been studying polarization for more than 20 years.
Hopefully, Americans can still come together. They need to if they want to tackle the biggest problems in their country.