The Road to 2020: 7 Funniest Moments (So Far!)

As a Government and International Politics major here at Mason, I spend a *lot* of time thinking about, talking about and writing about the state of American politics and upcoming elections. Nothing makes me happier than a spirited political debate about an inflammatory political issue and I’ve never been afraid to substantiate and defend my views in the face of opposition or challenge others to do the same. I could talk all day about my respect for our political institutions and the rich democratic tradition we have in America and I’ve spent much of my time here at Her Campus George Mason reporting on it with as much respect and integrity as possible.

Related: The State of America

All of this being said: it’s all a hilarious mess right now. Millennials and Gen Z have a long tradition of laughing at our own misfortune and the state of the world, and -- even with all of my adoration for the political process -- I can’t help but look at the lead up to the 2020 presidential election the same way I look at being stressed about finals or my impending financial instability (hello, student loans!).

In the spirit of our collective descent into madness, let’s take a walk down memory lane and recap seven of the most meme-worthy moments of the beginning of this much-anticipated election.

1. Kanye for President

Once we had a reality star -- or business mogul, depending on who you ask -- president, suddenly all bets were off. Kanye West teased his 2020 presidential bid all the way back in 2015 at the VMA’s, and no one really knew whether he was serious for not. From anyone else, it would immediately be laughed off, but for Kanye? It’s a little harder. This doesn’t speak to him having any sort of qualifications or any particularly presidential mannerisms, but rather to the fact that no one else is bold enough to follow through and do it.

Once Kanye met with Trump in the White House, we got a little more concerned about Kim potentially adding ‘First Lady’ (along with lawyer, apparently) to her extensive resume but it appears he’s changed his mind -- for now -- and is sticking to music, fashion and his Sunday Services.

Via the Washington Post

2. Elizabeth Warren isn’t actually Native American.

I know, it’s shocking. This story dominated the news cycle at the end of 2018 when a registration card  from 1986 written by Warren herself resurfaced with her race listed as “American Indian.” Understandably so, the internet -- and the President -- lost their minds. In an attempt to quell the controversy before she launched her campaign, Warren took a genealogy test to prove her “heritage,” which revealed her to be around 1-2% Native American.

However, there is *much* more to tribal membership than a small percentage of your ancestry coming from Native Americans, which Warren has stated that she now understands and she called to apologize to the chief of the Cherokee nation. This didn’t stop Trump from repeatedly referring to her as “Pocahontas,” which I think we can all agree wasn’t the best PR move.

Via Boston Herald

3. Is AOC going to run?

Sometimes you read things that just immediately give you a headache but make us all laugh nonetheless. For me, this was one of them. One of the breakout stars of the 2018 midterm elections, 29-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (colloquially known as AOC) is without a doubt one of the fastest rising political stars and I have absolutely no doubt that she’s a force to be reckoned with. However, she literally cannot run for president.

Enumerated in the Constitution along with the other restrictions on who can hold the office of the presidency is a minimum age requirement that states you must be at least 35 years of age. Needless to say, AOC will *not* be running for president this time.

Via Rolling Stone

Related: 7 Ways Ocasio-Cortez is *Already* Changing the Game in D.C.

4. Sanctions are Coming.

I don’t know if this is funny, per-say, or just something I wish was a joke. We’ve all had that professor that is painfully bad at technology and prints out all of their lectures to hold under a projector -- pictures and all -- and this feels a little too close to that for comfort. Right before Election Day, the White House announced a new wave of sanctions and thought a “Game of Thrones” reference was the best means to drum up public support.

Despite the source material’s popularity, I’m not sure this did the White House any favors.

Via the Washington Post

5. Pete Butig-? Oh, Mayor Pete.

With a primary as crowded as the current one (20 and counting!), no one expected the relatively unknown Mayor of South Bend, Indiana to become one of the highest polling political candidates, but Mayor Pete Buttigieg has defied all the odds and become a huge name in the upcoming series of primaries. There’s just one problem: his last name. As someone with a commonly -- but bafflingly --  mispronounced name, I get a lot of personal amusement from our quest to figure out how Mayor Pete Buttigieg's name is pronounced. Every news anchor and political commentator stumbles over it every night right along with the rest of America.

Thankfully, his mayoral position gives us all a much easier means of referencing Buttigieg. Thanks, Mayor Pete!

Via CNN

6. Beto is listening to “Fix You” by Coldplay

Another breakout star of the 2018 midterm elections, Beto O’Rourke ran an ill-fated Senate bid against incumbent Ted Cruz. While his campaign didn’t end in a Senate seat, it did thrust the 46-year-old Texan into the national spotlight. Similar to the success that Bernie Sanders experienced in 2016, Millenials and other young voters latched onto O’Rourke for his charisma, progressive political views and his theoretical Spotify.  Created a week after his defeat, 18-year-old Alyssa Backes told the Daily Dot that she created the account to “try and cheer people up after Beto’s loss in the midterms” and that it’s taken on a life of its own. “I thought making the account would just be funny. I was not expecting it to be popular or for so many people to love it.”

While it doesn’t reflect Beto’s *actual* music taste, we would love to imagine Beto bopping to “Thank U Next” and “Mr. Brightside” all the way up to election night.

Via screenshot taken on 4/29/2019

7. When is Michelle going to announce her campaign?

We all know it’s not going to happen, but who would we be if we gave up hope? President Michelle has been a long-running joke throughout the 2016 election and all the way up to the dawn of the 2020 election, and we can only hope it *eventually* stops becoming a joke. The former-First Lady’s easy mannerisms and rousing speeches have enamored the American people since before her husband took office. In a political world dominated by subtweets, we can’t help but dream of the next President being half as elegant and professional as Michelle Obama always has been.

Give the people what they want, Michelle!

Via AOL

Despite the fact that the first democratic presidential primaries won’t occur until February of 2020, the months since the midterms have not been dull. With 20 (and counting) candidates running for the highest office, the Democrats presented quite the motley crue of contrasting political ideologies, from democratic socialists to “diet republicans,” and it’s all enough to make your head spin.

Related: A Seat at the Table: The (Female) Road to 2020

As overwhelming -- and frankly depressing -- as it can be, it’s pivotal that we all remain educated and engaged. Sometimes taking a moment to laugh about a parody Twitter account or Elizabeth Warren’s genealogy is exactly what we need to get through the rest of this cycle!