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25 Aug, 2018 01:46

Is ‘Assad curse’ to blame for Aussie PM Turnbull’s ousting? Meme-magic strikes again…

Is ‘Assad curse’ to blame for Aussie PM Turnbull’s ousting? Meme-magic strikes again…

Malcolm Turnbull’s sudden exit as Australia’s prime minister has resurrected a popular internet meme which honors all the world leaders who demanded that Syria’s Bashar Assad “must go,” only to been shown the door themselves.

A supporter of the US-led ‘anti-terrorist intervention’ in Syria, Turnbull had on several occasions called for a regime change in Syria and for a “transition from Mr Assad and from his leadership.”

Now, it’s Turnbull who’ll be packing his bags, after being usurped by fellow Liberal Party MP Scott Morrison on Friday. But was Turnbull’s ignominious exit the result of poor polling and a rebellion within the party? Or is Bashar al-Assad harboring some weapons-grade meme magic?

According to certain corners of the internet, it’s the latter. The classic ‘Who must go?’ meme has kept a running tally of the multifarious American, European and Gulf leaders who over the past seven years have called for Assad’s ousting, and will now need to be updated.

Turnbull takes his place alongside former leaders like the UK’s David Cameron, France’s Francois Hollande and the US’ Barack Obama, who all left office or suffered defeat and embarrassment at the polls after issuing the familiar refrain “Assad must go.”

The Assad ‘curse’ does not discriminate between those in power and those looking to get in. Hillary Clinton might as well have called off her campaign four years before her eventual defeat at the hands of Donald Trump when she said in 2012 “The world will not waver, Assad must go.”

Was Barack Obama’s departure from the White House the result of constitutionally-defined presidential term limits? Nope, classic Assad.

The only question remaining is where the Syrian leader could possibly have acquired such powerful meme-weaponry? From none other than Donald Trump himself, obviously. According to some basement-dwelling 4chan users, Trump was elected after his supporters harnessed the power of meme magic, mostly by sharing pictures of a cartoon frog called Pepe.

READ MORE: ‘Pepe the Frog’ classed as a hate symbol

Since then, they’ve noted that Trump’s opponents can’t seem to stump him. Trump’s supporters on reddit compiled a massive list of every time an opponent tried to defeat or embarrass Trump, only to wind up losing. For example, when actor Kevin Spacey called Trump a “disease” in 2016, it was clearly the Trump curse that led to him being accused of sexual assault and made a Hollywood pariah. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg losing $17 billion in one day? The Trump curse. Stormy Daniels filing for divorce? The Trump curse strikes again.

The message is clear. Mess with meme magic at your own peril.