Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

#MemeOfTheWeek: Picking Better Presidential Candidates ... Like A Chicken

A chicken wearing pants was proposed as one presidential alternative to Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.
Getty Images
A chicken wearing pants was proposed as one presidential alternative to Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.

One glaring reality of Election 2016 is the lingering and extremely high unpopularity of the Republican and Democratic Party nominees. A recent Fox News poll found that both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are disliked by more voters than they are liked. And it's been this way for a while. As we and many other news outlets have previously reported, Trump and Clinton are the most unliked presidential candidates in recent history.

So, with all that baggage, a hashtag like #BetterPOTUSCandidates was bound to take off, with many online chiming in with suggestions of who, or what, might make better presidential candidates than Clinton or Trump. Not even the Olympics, with all its athletic, patriotic joy could squash all the dislike in American voters' hearts. By the middle of this week, #BetterPOTUSCandidates was trending nationally.

And as memes go, this one kind of had everything: sarcasm, anger, Harambe jokes, GIFs of animals in people's clothing, Mean Girls references, shout outs to Bernie Sanders and some third party candidates, and even a Rick Roll.

Of course, throughout this election year, critics of Trump and Clinton have posited several theories on how to actually remove either or both of them from their place as nominees: a brokered convention, an FBI indictment, or ongoing rumors that at least one of them might just decide to drop out.

None of those things have come true, and it is very unlikely that will change before Election Day. It also quite likely that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will reach the finish line in November with their unfavorables still astronomically high.

That's probably not a good thing to some voters, but maybe #BetterPOTUSCandidates represents a way to cope. Maybe the only way we'll get through this election is by making ourselves laugh about it.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit

Sam worked at Vermont Public Radio from October 1978 to September 2017 in various capacities – almost always involving audio engineering. He excels at sound engineering for live performances.
Sam Sanders
Sam Sanders is a correspondent and host of It's Been a Minute with Sam Sanders at NPR. In the show, Sanders engages with journalists, actors, musicians, and listeners to gain the kind of understanding about news and popular culture that can only be reached through conversation. The podcast releases two episodes each week: a "deep dive" interview on Tuesdays, as well as a Friday wrap of the week's news.