Satire in an Age of Political Division

Much of the political realities that America faces today often feels like a satire of its own. From “fake news” to tweets from the President of the United States that sound like something The Onion would print out, humor, unintentional or not, has swept into the mainstream of politics as a way for parties of both sides to accentuate their point. In the rise of hate and religious persecution that has resulted from this election, satire and the use of unifying comedy will likely be one of the most effective methods to keep minorities in this country feeling safe and loved in a time of anger and confusion. Much of the satire during the election and past has been from a liberal standpoint, but satire outlets are well aware of this fact. They still generate revenue from those who watch their videos to leave a disapproving comment, and as long as satire remains as popular as it does now, choosing to be politically divisive is only a benefit, not a downfall. Trump could choose to ignore the SNL sketches involving Alec Baldwin, but his angry responses only reinforces SNL’s popularity for the next four years. Some on the left have actually gotten mad at Baldwin, stating that it was his sketches that underplayed the seriousness of some of Trump’s statements during the campaigns. However, satire in response to arrogance can often help people put statements like those that were leaked by Access Hollywood into proper context, as satire was nearing the point of reality.

The effectiveness of satire is already abundantly evident, with SNL and the Daily Show attacking the ego of Trump himself. Satire, as pointed out in the Rebecca Krefting article, can also be used by minorities in the US, like first generation immigrants and refugees to unite and send a politically charged message to those who would seek to limit their freedoms. Humor coming from a minority standpoint can be empowering and defiant, speaking in liberal contrast to the increasing methods of humor coming from the alt-right. The next form of political warfare may come through humor and memes, and the one that is the most cynical towards the other may come out on top.

 

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