These Debate TikToks Won’t Help At All, But Maybe You’ll Laugh

Photographed by Lauren Maccabbee.
Tuesday's first presidential debate offered a shining example of how internet culture — with its memes and its slang — helps us process politics today. It gave CNN's Jake Tapper the words to describe the debate as he saw it: "a hot mess inside of a dumpster fire." On Twitter, months of virtual learning have led many, including The Daily Show's Trevor Noah, to conclude that a kindergarten teacher would do a stellar job of moderating this debate. TikTokers, too, were grappling with last night's event the best way they know how.
Earlier this week TikTok skirted Trump's ban by arguing that the platform had become a "modern-day version of a town square." And as this election cycle proves, it is as much a virtual town square as Twitter and Instagram, especially for young people.
So naturally, TikTokers gathered on the app to react, process, and crack jokes after last night's debate. These jokes are at times outrageous. They are very thirsty and certainly horny, and my For You Page was full of TikTok's funniest, most irreverent minds and their takes on the debate.
The truth is, we don't get a gold star for enduring politics. The debate is but the tip of the iceberg of all the pain and suffering government and politics put us through. So do not consider the following TikToks a reward. Instead, consider them something to rub into your eyes after staring into the trash fire and keep going.

More from Tech

R29 Original Series