Abstract

Throughout the course of the 2016 US presidential election, hundreds of jokes dealing with the topic appeared on the English-speaking internet. While Russian folklore could have simply exploited translations of existing American texts, representing Trump as incompetant, a statistical and semantic analysis of the corpus of jokes that appeared on Russian social media during the 2 weeks following the election shows that a different type of joke, one juxtaposing the election systems in the United States and Russia, was much more popular. Yet 70 percent of the reposts of the jokes suggested an unrelated base meaning—the idea that Russia and the United States exist in a state of constant competition, trying to influence each other’s internal and international policies. For the audience that opposes the Russian president and the loyalist mass media, Trumplore becomes a way to laugh not at the American president-elect, but at Russia’s own administration.

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