If we’ve heard it once we’ve heard it a thousand times: We live in a country that’s deeply divided. We have Republicans on one side and Democrats on the other, and certainly social media has only helped to deepen the divide. But, actually, it’s social media — Twitter, specifically — that is helping to bridge this divide by introducing a third party to the dumpster fire that is 2020: Democrates.
On Monday morning, Twitter user @LiftHimUp68 tweeted a picture of a sign outside an appliance store, notifying “Democrates” that they will be denied service. “Oh goodness. Democrates is going to be heartbroken. I know he had his eye on that stove sitting right there. I wonder if he can pretend he’s Empedocles and snatch it up,” the user wrote, adding the hashtag #PhilosophicalProblems.
Of course, we all know what happened next. Twitter was set ablaze with hilarious reactions to the what is safe-to-be-assumed misspelling of “Democrats.” One user tweeted a picture of a blue crate, writing, “Those blue liberal #democrates.” Another shared a photoshopped picture of Rudy Guiuliani leading a press conference in front of the store, oh-so reminiscent of his Four Seasons debacle. “Fixed it,” the tweet read. And since there used to be an ancient Greek Pythagorean philosopher named Democrates, more than a few Greek sculptures, paintings, and references were made. As Dodgeball’s White Goodman would put it, there was an abundance of “philosophizers” who made their mark on the world of Twitter Discourse™ on Monday.
As to what “Democrates” actually are? Well, your guess is as good as ours, but we do have a few thoughts. Perhaps a Democrate is the box holding all the “fake, fraudulent” ballots the Trump legal team claims exist (they don’t, because those ballots aren’t real). Perhaps it’s the podium Guiliani will stand behind at the next press conference he hosts in front of a 7/11. Maybe it’s the name of New York’s hottest club. Maybe Democrates is the name of the mastermind who carried out the Bowling Green Massacre, the completely made-up terrorist attack former adviser to the president Kellyanne Conway cited in defense of Trump’s Muslim travel ban.
Or perhaps it’s the kind of spelling error that we know we shouldn’t be making too much fun of (we make typos all the time), but also know that, considering how close our democracy came to crumbling, feels like fair game for a Monday in December, more than one month after the sitting president lost the election he still refuses to concede.
A lot happened in the country today. The Electoral College cast their ballots and officially elected Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States. The U.S. surpassed 300,000 COVID-19 deaths. The first coronavirus vaccine was administered to a frontline health care worker in New York City. And in the midst of it all, the internet dragged a business owner for misspelling “Democrats.” It’s not the best or worst thing that happened today. But it’s still something of a mystery. And don’t we all need frivolous distractions sometimes?