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Well, conservatives, we can rest assured now. A recent Pew Research Survey confirms what we’ve long suspected: Twitter is not remotely representative of American public opinion.
According to the survey, the median Twitter user is younger, better-educated, more affluent, and more inclined to lean leftward politically than the average American.
When it comes to the most prolific of Twitter users—the top 10 percent in terms of content and activity who account for 80 percent of the activity we see from U.S. Twitter users, the statistics skew even further from the norm.
In other words, Twitter overwhelmingly is populated by far Left activists, woke academics, political commentators, and pundits who have nothing better to do than fire off angry blurb after angry blurb, composed in no more than 280 characters. It is an echo chamber where leftist malcontents in the press, entertainment, other media, and the hallowed halls of higher education vent their spleens at all things “right” and “good,” in defiance of the views of mainstream America.
So what’s the fuss? We’ve nothing to worry about. There are more of “us” than there are of “them.” Let them have the benighted place! Who needs it? It’s not as if Twitter matters in the real world. Right?
Many mature conservatives argue Twitter is an acrimonious cesspool that offers little of value to society as a whole. They’re not wrong.
But filthy as it is, what happens on Twitter deserves deeper scrutiny from those on the Right because what happens on Twitter impacts real people, in their real lives, in the real world. And it isn’t pretty.
People—real people, conservative people—are targeted, harassed, doxxed, and deplatformed on Twitter by far leftist activists who are “not representative” of the American view. Every. Single. Day.
Those silenced are mothers. They are fathers. They are wives and husbands. Sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, co-workers and friends. These are not “political pundits.” They’re not “provocateurs.” Nor “conspiracy theorists.” Nor “trolls.”
They’re people who lose their jobs. They’re thrown out of school. They are censured by their own families and social circles. They are denied housing. They have their bank accounts closed, and their credit cards cancelled. Businesses they’ve sacrificed for and built from the ground up are destroyed.
They’re spat upon, assaulted, and chased by shouting mobs from public spaces as though they had no right to be there. Here. In America. Of all places.
And this type of activity is not limited to people from whom you’d expect such reprehensible and dangerous behavior. People such as members of Antifa and groups like It’s Going Down, which are notorious for doxxing and harassing their political opponents. It’s also encouraged by so-called journalists who work for outlets like Huffington Post, which doxxed a New York woman and her entire family because a writer found her Twitter account, which is highly critical of Islam, to be “prolific and prejudiced.”
And from publications such as the Daily Beast, which allowed one of its writers to doxx the adult daughters of Pamela Geller, a woman who has a literal fatwa on her head, endangering innocent young women for no reason other than that the folks at the Beast don’t agree with Geller’s politics.
Lindsey Shepard is fortunate that she was blasted by her employers at Wilfrid Laurier University for sharing a video by Jordan Peterson—a man with a substantial global profile which brought the bright light of public scrutiny to her situation. Otherwise the regressive Left would have taken her scalp, too.
I’m sure it must be comforting to the Proud Boys who have been fired from their jobs and evicted from their apartments to hear that the Twitter mobs which doxxed them and destroyed their lives, leaving them with no way to feed and house their children, are not “representative” of the way most Americans think.
I’m sure Laura Loomer, 26 years old and just starting out in life, is reassured by the fact that most Americans share her political ideology, rather than that of the Twitter mob that encouraged Chase bank to shut down her bank account and bullied Paypal and Patreon into throwing her off their platforms, so she has no way now to earn an income nor anywhere to keep it if she did!
And I’m absolutely positive that Milo Yiannopoulos must sleep like a baby knowing that despite all the money he has lost watching venture after venture and event after event shut down by leftist mobs, it’s all actually fine because more people agree with him than the mob.
Well, great. Where are they when it matters?
If more Americans agree with Milo than they do with the Twitter mob, then financial ruin is just an unfortunate byproduct of engaging with the cesspool, isn’t it? What really matters is being “right.” The bills will pay themselves. Somehow.
Mainstream conservatives at places like the now (happily) defunct Weekly Standard and National Review will continue to celebrate as “fringe” conservatives and their followers are deplatformed and starved. They’ll bloviate that Twitter and other social media platforms “don’t matter” because muh electoral map.
They’ll do so until the mob comes for them. And it will. It’s just a matter of time.
When that time comes, don’t be surprised to see them cave to the mob in order to save their own hides. The “conservative” Daily Caller did just that in smearing Milo Yiannopoulos, a gay immigrant of Jewish descent who happens to be married to an African American man, as a “white supremacist”—a craven concession meant to avoid offending some left-leaning journalist at The Guardian.
Such “conservatives” are cowards. They will leave us all to burn.
But, in the meantime, they are quite happy to remind us that “most” Americans hold “conservative” views. So when you vote, “make sure you vote Republican! Because we are on your side!”
An esteemed professor of English once asked me what I know about social media that most “mature,” mainstream Republicans “don’t get.”
Well, I know that most “mature” mainstream Republicans hold that social media platforms like Twitter “don’t matter” because they’re not “real life” and that, in “real life,” there are more of “us” than there are of “them” and that’s what wins elections. As a result, the majority of “mature” mainstream Republicans don’t bother with Twitter.
So do social media platforms like Twitter “matter”?
Perhaps. If only insofar as conservatives have ceded these platforms to the Left almost without a fight. With disdain, even. Like we did with Hollywood. Like we did with academia. Like we’ve done with every single forum in American culture. Bar none.
Remember when the “dope-smoking, communist hippie professor” was a joke? Laughed at and ridiculed by middle America because he/she was an outlier sequestered in the halls of Academia, rather than out here in the “real world” where it mattered.
I’d guess that the percentage of lefty professors in Western universities and colleges across the globe largely reflects the percentage of lefty “activists” who are most active on Twitter and other social media. And none of their views reflect the views of most Americans either.
So does academia matter in that sense?
Gee, I dunno. But when you consider that it’s the left-wing professors who dominate the academy and who are the ones churning out the left-wing activists who dominate social media and who are now gleefully doxxing and deplatforming conservatives on a daily basis . . .
You have to at least begin to wonder. Don’t you?
So we, as “mature” conservatives, can sit back and turn our noses up at social media platforms like Twitter because they “don’t matter.”
Until, of course, they do. But, by then, it’s too late. Isn’t it?
Here’s what else I know: The “elites” at legacy conservative publications such as National Review look down their noses on the few brash, loud, dissident Americans on the Right who are shouting into the wind on Twitter and other such places.
How rude! How undignified! How gauche and “unhelpful to the conversation.” After all, we don’t have to be loud. We are the majority. The “silent majority.” The peaceful majority.
Well, as Brigitte Gabriel might say: “The peaceful majority is irrelevant.”
Our numbers don’t matter, because the Left has the stage. And they have the bullhorn. And they have the passion. And the fact of the matter is that they have these things because we never even bothered to put up a fight.
And do you know what else they have?
They have the audacity to use all three while conservatives shrink back in distaste, too dignified and too “principled” to lower themselves to engage in such vulgar displays.
Conservatives are fools. The Left is mobilizing. They are networking while we sit around smugly, secure in the knowledge that yet another election year is right around the corner. And then we’ll make our voices heard in the same place historically we have always done: the ballot box.
But is that enough?
Because, let’s face it, former bastions of conservatism are being infiltrated by progressive voters. And it’s not because they have better ideas or any real solutions. They don’t. They never have.
What they do have is boots on the ground and skin in the game. Two things that conservatives refuse to offer up for the cause.
And until the Right can be bothered to match the Left in its passion, we will continue to lose ground in the culture war and on the electoral map. And as they pick off our best and brightest—those few who will stand on the front lines and take all the fire without fear of being viewed as “undignified” or “offensive”—we will grow weaker and weaker. And when we have no champions left?
They will come for us, the lowly soldiers and townspeople.
The random laypersons.
All of us.
And we’ll have no one to blame but ourselves.
Photo Credit: David Becker/Getty Images