Every year brings awful, astoundingly dumb political memes. However, not all awful, astoundingly dumb political memes are created equal.
Here are four egregiously stupid things from the low, dishonest months of 2014 that we hope to never hear again in the new year. Politicians, take note.
Ebola-infected ISIS is going to attack you from Mexico.
This was actually a thing for a while. At the height of irresponsible Ebola-in-America fear-mongering, some people thought it was a great idea to wildly speculate that Islamic State terrorists could infect themselves with the deadly virus, enter the U.S. via Mexico, and start killing Americans with Ebola.
There was never any credible evidence that ISIS was mounting an offensive south of the Mexican border, and in any case, spreading Ebola this way is virtually impossible. Jihadists would basically have to bathe in Ebola-infected vomit or blood in order to crudely weaponize the virus.
WMDs in Iraq found!
In October, The New York Times ran a report on how American military personnel were harmed by what remained of Saddam Hussein’s old chemical weapons programs.
“The United States had gone to war declaring it must destroy an active weapons of mass destruction program,” the Times reported. “Instead, American troops gradually found and ultimately suffered from the remnants of long-abandoned programs, built in close collaboration with the West.”
Brazen cherry-picking of the information in this story inspired a flood of “Bush Was Right All Along!” hot takes in conservative media. “Saddam Hussein was doing and had done pretty much everything he was being accused of that justified that invasion,” Rush Limbaugh said.
Funny enough, Bush-era intelligence officials had already plainly stated there was zero evidence that Iraq produced chemical weapons after the Gulf War.
Putin is manlier, better leader than Obama.
“Putin decides what he wants to do, and he does it in half a day…That’s what you call a leader. President Obama? Gotta think about it, he’s gotta go over it again, he’s gotta talk to more people about it.” — Rudy Giuliani.
“Can we get like Netanyahu, or like Putin in for 48 hours, you know, head of the United States?...I just want somebody to get in here and get it done right so that Americans don't have to worry and wake up in the morning fearful of a group that's murderous and horrific like ISIS.” — Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle.
Michelle Obama tweeting a hashtag is somehow cause for outrage.
In May, the office of First Lady Michelle Obama tweeted out the following photo:
It was to raise awareness of the Nigerian girls kidnapped by Islamist militants Boko Haram. It’s a problem and series of atrocities that high-profile individuals (including the First Lady) should definitely try to get more people to care about.
So conservatives decided to mock her for caring.