The comment section for any conservative's Facebook page or replies on Twitter are usually hotspots for absolutely crazy shit. Conspiracy, subtle (or sometimes blatant) racism, and an awful victim complex runs amok in these dark sections of the Internet. In many ways this incapsulates that common thoughts and feelings that conservatives experience, but have no other platform to express them. Could you believe if some of these things were mentioned on old media the firestorm that would erupt?
Social media is becoming ever more a building block for how people interact with candidates and their elected officials. It can also widely influence public perception on movements and individuals. As I noted in a previous diary, a big objective for those on the Right are attempts to win over the support of the growing and increasingly influential Millennial generation. At least one study showed that one's social media preferences can provide insight into how one may lean politically. Considering this generation's immersion on the Internet, such preferences can matter greatly to campaigns and interest groups. For example, how a conservative movement may present itself on Tumblr – widely considered to be largely very liberal – may be different than how it presents itself to its base on Facebook or Twitter.
Because of this, the way people interact with these campaigns on various social media platforms may be one of the few engagements most of us will ever have with people of opposing political views. I know that on silly things that I have friends share from conservative pages on Facebook are among the very few times that I can get an insight to what that community of people are like – I'm sure the same can be said for those on the opposite end of the spectrum. To me at least, sometimes viewing these comment sections only solidify my ideology and reinforce what I believe. At other times, some topics provide a gruesome perspective into those who have opinions on those topics.
Occasionally, I will be exploring conservatism on social media and what kind of responses that it generates from their base. Really this is mostly in humor due to the outrageous statements I'm likely to find, but also demonstrates two important points:
• Those most vocal in among conservative circles on social media – again a setting very important to the engagement of the now lucrative Millennial generation voters – tend to be the most insane. This contributed greatly to the reputation that the Right has for being willfully ignorant, out of touch with reality, anti-science, misogynist, and racist. The fact that I will likely not have to look very far to get examples of all of these should be concerning to them.
• Conservative priorities and thinking processes are grossly out of step with the reality of most situations. The examples below the fold will speak for themselves.
This first installment of #tcot and Millennials, as subsequent installments will focus on, are about issues identified by conservatives as issues that this generation tend to support. Those positions, to them, are viewed as "troubling". Here I will present their efforts to engage those issues via social media and how their base is responding to it. If the Right hopes to get those under 30 on their side, good luck.
Among these issues are:
• Ensuring everyone is guaranteed a college education.
• Pushing to do more to assist the homeless or working class, even if it means raising taxes.
• Having everyone covered by some kind of health insurance.
• Maintaining our decaying infrastructure.
• Raise the minimum wage and work to guarantee a living wage for all Americans.
FROM SENATOR TED CRUZ (Facebook)
That's right, in Conservaland™, if you don't like your insurance, just get another job! Be responsible and pay for your own insurance out of your pocket. No money? Well obviously you're undeserving of any kind of healthcare and deserve to suffer until you get your butt into gear and work.
I'm sure this is an excellent message that Millennials will want to see considering youth unemployment is at 15.5% as of April (and that's using a conservative's interpretation of the numbers).