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If the original Pepe was apolitical while still coming from the left wing authorial intent of Furie, then it has to be apolitical due to the lack of an overtly political message in the image itself. Common Pepes also do not contain overtly political messages, they're simply Pepes. So they're apolitical.
The swastika still is a common religious symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism, based on how it's used.
I'm not struggling with that at all. The problem is you're inferring the intent behind every Pepe, Apu and Honkler. Which is obviously incorrect as they're sometimes used to mean other things, for example people innocently use Apu when they're feeling infantile, or Pepe as a symbol of anti-authoritarianism, or Honkler to illustrate you being wrong.
Not to mention that the thesis statement is "The left can't meme" and not "The left can't political meme"; Matt Furie meme'd, Matt Furie is left, therefore the left meme'd. The meme itself being political or not is irrelevant.