Yeah…the desperation levels have gone way up since the primary.
You can see this clearly on Montana’s premier political social media platform, Twitter’s #mtpol.
Political humdingers and gotchas don’t happen on Facebook or Instagram here in the Treasure State.
Nope, they happen on Twitter.
Haven’t noticed? Don’t worry – most residents of the state haven’t either.
Still, let’s take a look at some of these tweets, and what they may tell us about the next few months coming forward.
Here’s a good image from Matt Rosendale. I fully expect I’ll be using this image in my 7th and final volume of Montana history when I publish it in 2020.
It’s a great image – you have what’ll likely be our two GOP senators and our sole GOP U.S. House member.
And my…look at those likes – over 2,600 in just the past 14 hours!
When I go back through Senator Tester’s personal twitter profile, the closest number of likes I see are from this June 8 retweet of Steve Bullock tweet:
Tester managed to get 403 likes on that.
That’s about 2,000 fewer likes than Rosendale got on his tweet.
Sure…the president’s son is tagged in Rosendale’s tweet, and that probably gave the post more legs (when Rosendale sent out a tweet without mentioning Trump, Jr’s twitter handle, he got just 120 likes).
But really…2,600 vs. 400?
If you’re Tester or one of the flunkies working for him, it’s isn’t a good sign.
And what do Democrats do when they get a bad sign?
Ha! We know the answer to that one – ignore it, pretend it doesn’t exist, and God-forbid if you do have to acknowledge it, just attack the hell out of it hope the PAC money can see you through.
Last time we looked, Tester had more PAC money than anyone.
Let’s turn our attention to Williams for a moment.
The primary win was a big boost for her, both politically and on social media. For instance, I’m sure she got a lot more followers after the election.
Ahh…if only followers translated into election victory in November. But they don’t. In fact, many of the followers that our political folks get aren’t even living in Montana.
Helluva lot of good they’ll do you come voting day, eh?
The most popular tweet that Williams has sent out since the primary is this one…a retweet from Governor Bullock:
Williams managed to get 232 likes on that.
The second-most popular tweet she sent out this month is another retweet, this time from Denise Juneau:
There’s been a lot of hoopla in Montana over the past month in regard to Juneau getting that cushy, $295,000 a year job to head up the Queen City’s schools.
Remember, this was a woman that admitted to falsifying ACT test reports.
Oh well. Her political career has already ended in Montana. Mostly, if this is the best that Kathleen Williams can do on Twitter, then she’s got her work cut out for her.
The most popular, original post that Williams has had since the primary is this one:
Yep, another Dem trying to ride the coattails of the nation’s immigration policies.
Imagine if Democrats actually had to come up with their own policy ideas, and didn’t just spend all their time reacting to what the Republicans are doing.
Yeah, I can’t imagine it either.
I really liked this tweet from Matt Rosendale’s communications director, Kyle Shmauch.
He brings up Tester’s $1 million District of Criminals home.
I loved watching Dems justify this home last week. To them, owning a home in D.C. that’s worth more than 18 times the price of a home in Big Sandy is perfectly fine.
I guess they don’t understand the optics of it, and how Democrats were supposedly the ‘Party of the People’ and the ‘benefactors of the working man.’
Yeah, right…all from the comfy perches of their million-dollar homes?
Mostly, Democrats hate Shmauch.
The reason is simple – he continually sees through their bullshit, calls them out on it, and then stands up for himself when the anonymous Twitter accounts begin to mock him.
Schmauch is comfortable enough and confident enough in his own skin to take this. He knows that he’s using his real name, while most of those that mock him do not.
It really is an issue of courage.
Sure, some will say that they don’t want to use their real name as it might hurt their career or something.
Mostly, though, I think it’s because it’s easier to throw stones from behind a mask of anonymity than it is when you’re open and honest about who you are.
James Conner over at Flathead Memo had a darn good tweet yesterday.
Imagine Montana Democrats actually talking up their candidates instead of tearing down the other guy.
Yeah, it doesn’t happen too often.
Conner got 12 likes on that Tweet, and even a couple from Democrats.
Yep – Democrats know they have a problem. Anyone that reads the constant attack posts on Cowgirl and ID knows this.
Personally, I can see plenty of reasons to not vote for Republicans like Rosendale and Gianforte.
I have no idea why I should vote for Tester or Williams, however, and this shows no signs of changing.
Even if Dems do put up a feel-good post about either Tester or Williams one day, you know the next week’s-worth of posts will just be more of the same – constant attacks, more foaming at the mouth.
It really is sad.
You can see quite clearly how wildly off-message and disparate the Dem attacks are in Montana when you look at the tweets surrounding the news that Daines will go to Russia in two weeks.
News flash – Daines ain’t up for reelection for another cycle yet, not until 2020.
But hey…if the Dem diehards want to spend a day attacking him, go head.
I doubt Daines cares. He’s smart enough to know that what happens on Twitter doesn’t really mean much in the real world, or to common, everyday people.
Stories like this come and go. Whether it’s Trump vs. the porn star or Daines and Russia or Zinke and brewery developers, few of these stories ever stick.
Now let’s take a look at some of the silly tweets, which are mostly coming from the anonymous accounts.
These ‘people’ don’t matter.
They have neither the courage nor the conviction to put their real names on their attacks.
And it sure is easier to be a coward. We know that 53% of anonymous news site comments are “uncivil,” compared with the 29% that come from named accounts.
Here are a few other facts about news site articles and comments:
- “We tend to dehumanize each other online.”
- “The lack of eye contact online has also been proven to stir up aggressive behaviors.”
- “Negative comments make articles less persuasive.”
- “The high number of likes received by some articles didn’t enhance their persuasive value for the readers.”
- “Abusive comments tend to produce more abusive comments, and eventually led to avalanches of online aggression.”
Aside from that, we know that “four of the five most popular forms of social media harm young people’s mental health.”
We also know that Twitter fuels anxiety, and smartphones only make it worse.
- “Twitter draws users back for more and more and more. Smartphones are designed to provide instant gratification, and many of Twitter’s features depend on our biological fear of scarcity.”
- “Twitter provides a platform for neurotic people to share their fears.”
- “If you’re checking Twitter a hundred times a day, what are you avoiding doing?...That’s where you need cognitive override, or the ability to step out of the moment at hand and evaluate how realistic your feelings are given your use of this technology.”
I wish some of the nitwits on Twitter would ‘step out of the moment’ and evaluate what they’re doing.
Is this really what you wanted to do with your life…sending out snide and ill-tasting tweets that a few dozen people see?
I sure hope not.
Sadly, when you go to Twitter in Montana you see a lot of that.
Remember, just 69 million Americans actively use Twitter each month.
Montanans don’t use the network too much, though we do know that residents here get 49% of their news online, and that 53% access news articles via social media.
Yes, “many Montanans do tend to live in an internet news echo chamber.”
But don’t feel bad – the last time we had a Census it was determined that Montana ranked 44th for the number of Twitter users.
And unless you’re Katy Perry – who has the most Twitter followers of anyone, with 108 million – most people don’t give a damn what you say or think on the platform…or if they do, chances are good they’re in your own little bubble, that echo chamber you love to hang out in.
My how that wins elections!