Since the election, the internet has been totally obsessed with Joe Biden memes. In popular culture, the Vice President loves pranking Donald Trump and hanging out with Barack Obama, but the real man behind the memes is still an anomaly in certain ways. If anything, these memes are a demographic fantasy: The people sharing them connect to Biden’s internet image even though the real person doesn’t represent them.
Biden is perhaps one of the most likable politicians around. His wry smile and buddy-buddy relationship with Obama have undoubtedly contributed to the rise of the memes about him. Because on the surface, Biden is just another old, rich, white dude in politics. There’s nothing about him that would immediately scream meme-able.
At 73, he’s part of an age demographic that has recently become outnumbered by millennials, the most racially diverse generation the United States has ever seen, with about 43 percent being non-white. And he certainly isn’t poor either. As Vice President, he makes $230,700 a year — his net worth is less than many other politicians, but it’s not like he’s just scraping by.
Under a little scrutiny, Biden isn’t quite as accessible. That doesn’t take away from any of the hard work he’s done in politics or just being the generally cool guy that everyone thinks him out to be. He just comes from a different place than a lot of the people that are sharing the memes of him. Millennials that have created memes of the veep perhaps haven’t based them off the true Biden, but who they think Biden is. There’s definitely a connection between his public image and his true identity, but these memes don’t necessarily discern that.
At the end of the day, these memes have encapsulated many people’s feelings about Trump’s transition into the White House and have been projected onto Biden. While the Biden in these memes might be the idea of him perpetuated by online communities that are actually disconnected from him, the fantasy serves as a vehicle for people to express their very true emotions.