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A timeline of the entire US election in memes

The 2016 Presidential Election was arguably one of the first to be fought online. Here's what went down. 

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a meme is worth  at least – a thousand-and-five.

Though traditionalists believe the history books should be filled with "facts" and "figures", the humble meme can arguably be considered one of the most valuable historical sources of all time. Of all time! How could future historians recapture 2016 without a reference to Donald Trump's tiny hands? Who could truly understand our path towards the apocoalypse without stopping to consider Ken Bone

With that in mind, here is a timeline of the entire 2016 United States Presidential Election, presented entirely in memes. Study, children. Those who do not remember Harambe are doomed to repeat him.

14 June 2015 — Jeb! 

Although Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders announced their campaigns to only a little mockery two months before prior, Jeb! Bush caught the internet's eye when he (Jeb!) unleashed his (Jeb's!) brand new 2016 presidential campaign logo. Jeb! seemed pleased with the design, but a subsequent flurry of Photoshops proved he really missed the ! mark.

29 June 2015   Trump Your Cat

Thirteen days after Donald Trump announced he was running for president, people across the land grabbed their pussies to imitate the tycoon's infamous mop. 

26 October 2015  A Small Loan Of A Million Dollars

Explaining how difficult life had been for his billionaire-property-magnate-self up until this point, Donald Trump appeared on live TV to discuss how his father gave him a "small loan of a million dollars" to start him off in life. Out of pity for the businessman, viral videos were borne. 

15 December 2015 — Ted Cruz Is The Zodiac Killer

Although mock conspiracy theories that Ted Cruz is actually the 1960s Californian serial killer known as the Zodiac Killer first emerged in 2013, they boomed in popularity when a Facebook page was created mid-December. Cruz could not have committed the Zodiac murders - which began before his birth - and there was never any serious suggestion that was the case. The sheer absurdity of the mass of memes proved that point.

28 January 2016 — Bernie or Hillary?

This series of fake-but-definitely-should-be-real campaign posters emerged at the beginning of the year to showcase how Hillary and Bernie differed on the truly important issues such as Anime, lizards, and the eventual robot uprising. 

1 February 2016  Sticker Kid

Can any of us truly claim to care about the content of campaign speeches whilst there is a student willing to stand behind Hillary Clinton and plaster stickers all over his face?

6 February 2016 Failed GOP Debate Entrance

At this point, we should have specified that anyone who can't figure out when they should walk on to a stage isn't elligible to run for president, but alas, hindsight is 20/20. 

6 February 2016 — Robot Rubio

Marco Rubio repeated the same line three times within four minutes during the very same GOP debate in New Hampshire, dispelling once and for all the rumour that Barack Obama doesn't know what he's doing.

1 March 2016 — Chris Christie's Face

After Trump won seven primary elections on Super Tuesday,  New Jersey Governor Chris Christie summed up the world's emotions in one simple facial expression.

3 March 2016 — The Girther Movement

When Marco Rubio attacked the size of Donald Trump's tiny, tiny hands and speculated they might be a reflection of his nether regions, Trump was forced to announce that there was "no problem" at all with the size of his genitals. To this day, however, he has offered no proof of this fact. 

25 March 2016  Birdie Sanders

When a bird flew down to sit on Bernie Sanders' podium during a campaign rally, it was quite clear who God had chosen for president. The bird. God chose the bird. 

25 May 2016  McDonald's Meal Photoshop Battle

Really, after Donald Trump shared a picture of himself eating McDonald's on his private jet, what was the internet supposed to do? What were we all supposed to do? 

9 June 2016 — Delete Your Account


15 July 2016  Trump-Pence Logo

Ah, logos. You spend months and months drafting designs and hiring consultants until you finally come up with a foolproof symbol that in no way looks like two letters fucking each other on the American flag except, oh. 

18 July 2016  Famous Melania Trump Quotes

After Melania Trump was accused of plagiarising sections from a 2008 Michelle Obama speech, the world wide web wanted to make sure she got the credit for all of her other famous quotations. As Melania Trump herself once said, all's fair in love and war. 

25 July 2016 — Crying Bernie Sanders Supporters

When Bernie officially endorsed Hillary at the Democratic National Convention, quite a few supporters found it too tragic to take. Well, either that or they realised Whole Foods had run out of kale.

28 July 2016  The Clintons Love Balloons

Yes, yes, this is the day that Hillary formally accepted the nomination for president at the Democratic National Convention, but most importantly, BALLOONS. 

8 August 2016 — #ManyPeopleAreSaying

Many people are saying that Twitter users finally had enough of Trump's famous phrase in August, and many people are saying that many people turned it into a hashtag that trended worldwide. 

8 September 2016  Basket of Deplorables

This pithy phrase that Hillary coined to label Trump supporters was born to be a meme. Unfortunately, aforementioned Trump supporters then Photoshopped The Expendables poster to feature such a gang, and included a cartoon frog known as Pepe, paving the way for the innocent green critter to be reclassified as a symbol of white supremacy. It's all fun and games until somebody loses Pepe. 

19 September 2016 — Bowl of Skittles

If I gave you a bowl of Donald Trump tweets and told you only all of them would make you hit your head off your desk repeatedly, would you still read them? 

26 September 2016 — Trump Sniffles

No one has any idea what anybody said at the first United States presidential debate, because Donald Trump couldn't stop sniffing loads. At this point, are we sure memes aren't an illumaniti tactic to distract us from the issues going on around us? tHInk abOut It. 

9 October 2016 — Ken Bone

Though many might claim there have been an abundance of memes since Ken Bone asked a question while wearing a jumper at the second presidential debate, this is not the case. Nasty Women, Bad Hombres, and Beyoncé must step aside, for Ken Bone — when he asked a question at the second presidential debtate while wearing a jumper — killed memes. He did not deserve to become a meme, and together, we proved that we did not deserve memes at all.

Think about what you've done.

Amelia Tait is a technology and digital culture writer at the New Statesman.

Photo: André Spicer
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“It’s scary to do it again”: the five-year-old fined £150 for running a lemonade stand

Enforcement officers penalised a child selling home-made lemonade in the street. Her father tells the full story. 

It was a lively Saturday afternoon in east London’s Mile End. Groups of people streamed through residential streets on their way to a music festival in the local park; booming bass could be heard from the surrounding houses.

One five-year-old girl who lived in the area had an idea. She had been to her school’s summer fête recently and looked longingly at the stalls. She loved the idea of setting up her own stall, and today was a good day for it.

“She eventually came round to the idea of selling lemonade,” her father André Spicer tells me. So he and his daughter went to their local shop to buy some lemons. They mixed a few jugs of lemonade, the girl made a fetching A4 sign with some lemons drawn on it – 50p for a small cup, £1 for a large – and they carried a table from home to the end of their road. 

“People suddenly started coming up and buying stuff, pretty quickly, and they were very happy,” Spicer recalls. “People looked overjoyed at this cute little girl on the side of the road – community feel and all that sort of stuff.”

But the heart-warming scene was soon interrupted. After about half an hour of what Spicer describes as “brisk” trade – his daughter’s recipe secret was some mint and a little bit of cucumber, for a “bit of a British touch” – four enforcement officers came striding up to the stand.

Three were in uniform, and one was in plain clothes. One uniformed officer turned the camera on his vest on, and began reciting a legal script at the weeping five-year-old.

“You’re trading without a licence, pursuant to x, y, z act and blah dah dah dah, really going through a script,” Spicer tells me, saying they showed no compassion for his daughter. “This is my job, I’m doing it and that’s it, basically.”

The girl burst into tears the moment they arrived.

“Officials have some degree of intimidation. I’m a grown adult, so I wasn’t super intimidated, but I was a bit shocked,” says Spicer. “But my daughter was intimidated. She started crying straight away.”

As they continued to recite their legalese, her father picked her up to try to comfort her – but that didn’t stop the officers giving her stall a £150 fine and handing them a penalty notice. “TRADING WITHOUT LICENCE,” it screamed.

Picture: André Spicer

“She was crying and repeating, ‘I’ve done a bad thing’,” says Spicer. “As we walked home, I had to try and convince her that it wasn’t her, it wasn’t her fault. It wasn’t her who had done something bad.”

She cried all the way home, and it wasn’t until she watched her favourite film, Brave, that she calmed down. It was then that Spicer suggested next time they would “do it all correctly”, get a permit, and set up another stand.

“No, I don’t want to, it’s a bit scary to do it again,” she replied. Her father hopes that “she’ll be able to get over it”, and that her enterprising spirit will return.

The Council has since apologised and cancelled the fine, and called on its officials to “show common sense and to use their powers sensibly”.

But Spicer felt “there’s a bigger principle here”, and wrote a piece for the Telegraph arguing that children in modern Britain are too restricted.

He would “absolutely” encourage his daughter to set up another stall, and “I’d encourage other people to go and do it as well. It’s a great way to spend a bit of time with the kids in the holidays, and they might learn something.”

A fitting reminder of the great life lesson: when life gives you a fixed penalty notice, make lemonade.

Anoosh Chakelian is senior writer at the New Statesman.