- Elon Musk has posted three Bernie Sanders-related memes since mid-February.
- The first meme came the night after Sanders won the New Hampshire primaries and Musk’s preferred candidate, Andrew Yang, dropped out.
- Musk has not openly endorsed Sanders and the memes give little insight into whether he supports the Vermont senator.
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Tesla billionaire Elon Musk is, apart from a successful entrepreneur, a high-profile Twitter user and meme lover. A study of his recent meme activity on Twitter suggests a growing interest in Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.
Musk originally endorsed Andrew Yang for the Democratic candidate nomination. Yang has dropped out of the Democratic race, with just Sanders and Joe Biden remaining.
Musk been busily posting Bernie Sanders memes since Yang’s departure.
None of these memes are reliable indicators of Musk’s political leanings, and he has made no official statements endorsing any candidates since Yang dropped out. In a recent interview with Rolling Stone however, Musk’s current girlfriend and electro-music star Grimes (née Claire Boucher) said she sees similarities between Musk and Sanders.
“When I look at the aims of my boyfriend and I look at the aims of Bernie, like, their end goals are very similar. Fix environmental problems, reduce suffering,” she said — although she admitted that Musk’s status as a billionaire complicates the comparison.
Musk’s Bernie memes may stem simply from the fact that Sanders features in many popular memes.
Here’s a look at what he’s been posting:
February 11: Bernie Sanders as “Sonic” villain Professor Eggman
Ok u can have a little emerald 🤹🏻♂️ pic.twitter.com/3LzPe4aG4B
Musk posted this meme the night after Bernie Sanders won the New Hampshire primaries, the same night Yang dropped out of the race.
It draws on a popular Sanders meme format that builds on a still from a Sanders promotional video in which the senator says “I am once again asking for your financial support.”
This meme is more heavily edited than the usual meme format however to depict Sanders as Professor Eggman, a main antagonist from the “Sonic the Hedgehog” game franchise. In the “Sonic” games, chaos emeralds are frequently coveted by Eggman.
February 13: Bernie Sanders explaining the end of a beloved anime series
💘 be still my beating heart 💘 pic.twitter.com/Fnly6DNLIC
“Neon Genesis Evangelion” is a popular anime series with a famously ambiguous and complicated ending, and there is a cottage industry of YouTube videos attempting to explain it. Musk is on the record as a fan of anime, and has posted references to “Evangelion” before.
March 3: Musk turns Sanders’ tax rates into a sex joke
Bernie’s tax rate is 0.2% too high! pic.twitter.com/ESAqAYl9xB
In this instance Musk isn’t posting an existing Bernie meme. Instead he is linking Bernie Sanders’ supposed 69.2% marginal tax rate (the figure appears to be based on analysis) to the number 69 — which has become a meme in and of itself as it is commonly used as a joke in reference to the sexual position. According to Know Your Meme, it is sometimes known simply as “The Sex Number.”