« Commentary Magazine Podcast

The Case Against Twitter

2019-04-25 | 🔗
The Commentary podcast explores companion studies on the hopelessly unrepresentative nature of Twitter and its inexplicably disproportionate influence over American political discourse. As Joe Biden enters the race as something of the anti-Twitter candidate, can he appeal to the middle without alienating the Twitterati left?
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Some guy well to the commentary magazine. Podcast today is Thursday April twenty fifth, twenty nineteen, I'm John Paul towards the editor of Commentary me as always senior editor, a Ringwald high aim. I jump Associate letter no Rossman making a face about his coffee. I don't know why you will have it. All of this is not good coffee, bad coffee, coffee and in Washington, Senor Writer, Christine rose and high. Christine I got comedy
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Do something a little different today, rather than focus on the entry into the presidential race of Joe Biden, about which we have already spoken incessantly and will probably continue to speak incessantly over the course of the year. We were all. Ah, although I think we can reflect some of what happened with with buying them his decision to enter the race from what we're gonna talk about, which is this a remarkable survey by the Pew Research Centre on the twitter and the use of twitter, where Pew surveyed, almost three thousand adult twitter users willing to share their twitter, handles and discovered that, basically, what we have all
Thought was. The case is the case, which is that the the world of Twitter is wildly on representative of America as a whole that twenty two percent of american adults who use twitter are young. That's the number of Americans who so who use twitter. They are younger, more likely to identify as Democrats more highly educated have higher incomes in- U Dot S adults overall, more likely to say that immigrants strengthen rather than week in the country and to see evidence of racial and gender based inequalities in society. They are not overwhelmingly but predominantly okay. The most the most active users are predominantly female.
More left wing, then the overall universe of twitter users and more activist. So what you get here is a world in which the entire political class and the entire commentariat has subsumed itself and save lives at least part of the time. Literally, let me not lives, but TED, but sort of thumb works or a sort of via cultivates, the vineyard of Twitter on a daily basis and is having conversations between themselves and all that and that they are experiencing is a world that does not reflect the predominant American
society were, the the true nature of american political opinion, and they are therefore one can assume unconsciously, constantly pushed in the direction of the most activists. To there's an imagine falsely that there can turns and obsessions more precisely reflect the beliefs and views of all Americans than they do. Christine as our resident luddite and end up so the hostile to social media most, I still do social media. Perhaps do you want a word dilate, a little one? More of us sure I think in this report is asking for a number of reasons, and me we ve talked before on the
cast about how Twitter can be extremely efficient machine for character assassination, for example, and if the most fascinating there to take away from the report that I found in seeing the first is that, as you mentioned, eighty percent of the tweets come from ten percent of the users right. The highest level. Users is just ten percent of those users are producing the vast majority of two and of those high intensity. These are sixty. Five percent of the most active users are women right. So, if you're worried about you know, if we ve had these various twitter scandals with harassment and gamer gay, these are all driven by women complaining about how they treat on twitter, but there the majority on twitter their technically setting the tone, rights of character, assassination and harassment or a problem on Twitter. I think there needs to be less victim mongering by
women who dominate on this on this platform and more efforts to look a little bit more critically at their own behaviour. The second thing I would note is that there was an interesting statistic buried in there that twitter, their active twitter users were somewhat less likely to report being very attached to their local communities. It was a small difference. Twelve percent versus seventy percent in a more broadly among american adults, but that to me also was striking because I think a lot of these very active users on Twitter, who are you said not like the rest of America. They find a community on twitter and there's a lot of praise for that in in among people who are active on social media platforms, but given what we know about twitters power and reach and again the character assassination issue, maybe that's not the best form of community, and maybe these active users actually should be making more efforts to become attached to more local communities, ones that might give work little more perspective.
Worse. It's like an anti community yet It's it's a community that that result. Community sentiments and the kind of inhuman like Salem. That's all it's a community like Block Committee in Cuba, but there's no emotional support available to you nothing of the accessibility and Cuba. Where, basically, you know, say the wrong thing right is the wrong eyebrow make a face in the wrong direction and Lee and were set upon there is. There is an act of group enforcement. Through shaming and what we call a cancel culture now, what's the call our cultural? I held her right. It's just well session right, so so there is of theirs. Community by the community is enforced almost entirely negatively. Are the positive and arbitrarily or
a positive aspect of community is the is the positive aspect of social media which is so unnerving, which is just the desperate desire to be like two by people who don't know who you are? I mean that in our literally know, nothing about use, others all question of whether or not you you get it retweet to get enough likes whether your ratio is more fish, the boy in the direction of your legs than of the comments but argument. This is fascinating, because throughout history there were the reward structure was such that you were rewarded for unable to ingratiate yourself into a real community. This is this is an opportunity for those who who, having done that to reap rewards the if, if these are people who are bored not actually close, real communities another there they're out here we are getting their likes in there and their followers and then
but another, getting the reward together rewards, but without the responsibilities that community real community demands right that right, the showing up for others where nude not getting retreated or liked for it I mean that's the part, I think you're, absolutely right, there's they're getting that that dopamine in that emotional reward, but they're not actually having to be responsible either for their behaviour in many cases or towards others. So this dovetails with the Times report that we talked about briefly and Christine you re about it and if they talked about social media, not per se, although I think twitter is really the big dominant force in democratic politics, particularly when it comes to what tax, especially in these talks about Democrats on Twitter and how that, if they differ from Democrats in real life, and so just briefly, some top lines from that study. In twenty nine percent of Democrats,
social media identify as moderates or conservatives fifty three percent of them. It's in the real world do so forty, eight percent of them. That's on social media, say political correctness is a problem in the United States. Seventy percent of actual Democrats agree with that sentiment and twenty seven percent of democratic and social media. They don't follow the news all that much, whereas fifty nine percent of Democrats in the universe of democratic voters said as much. Ok, so this is, I think, the ultimate question about twitter as we go into the twenty nineteen twenty political season. This is a point that I made my article in the May issue of commentary. Using the analogy, I'm sorry one SEC, using the analogy that I've made before on this on this podcast
who played those allegory of the cave. So if you remember the split his allegory of the cave, he postulates that there are people who are forced in life to sit in a in a fixed position unable to swivel, their heads and all they can see the light from the sun areas are ahead of so in the end all they can see or shadows, and they have no perspective on which to judge whether the shadows wherefore, they believe the shadows to be real, and so they they don't know that, depending on the position of the sun, a shadow can be ten times larger than the object that it is. You know casting off of or not so they have no sense
so the real world and then, when you introduce them to the real you release them from this position of bondage, and you take them out and say look. This is what the world is really like. They don't I like to know that, because they ve therein, air, cosmology and understanding of the universe is based. This lived experience of how they ve seen the shadows and they want to leave in the shadows. They don't want to believe in the reality, because it that the changes to upsetting. So using this analogy, which is about you, know, wisdom and lived experience as opposed to fixed ideas in one's head. Does political world is the political world and the commentariat living in Plato's cave on Twitter that what they are seen are reflected shadows that over over Esther
the size of the political activists class, the opinions of the political activists class and that every time what emerges is released from this? Somehow, oh by the New York Times story this Pew survey or if you live in peace, the text by the actual lived reality of what people are telling you around the country like an twenty eighteen, when people are saying talk about health care, don't talk about impeachment talk about healthcare, that's the best thing for them cigarette. If you want to win in November they're all they want to go back in the cave, they they don't. They want to live in the world of twitter, and is this harmful or an ape? This is where you need to get into this. Are they the vanguard? Are they right to believe in the shadow world because the shadow world becomes over time the real work,
although some of this divergence? That Christie was so we are talking about about the numbers? It's not that twitter world is in conflict with the realities of american politics, it just its further to the left of it. But then the question is: is that the direction that the country is going right? So there's a section of the pupil where the headings twitter users have somewhat different attitudes in the general population, so they know example a larger share of twitter users, who is noted more likely to identify as democrats say that blacks are treated less fairly than whites, that sixty four percent of twitter users verse fifty four percent of Americans. They are also more likely to say that the? U S general public memorial, they do say them. Then then, is the Eu S General public, that immigrant strengthen the? U s that sixty six percent of twitter users, as opposed to fifty seven percent of the general public,
that barriers exist in society that make it harder for women to get ahead, that sixty two percent of twitter users and fifty six percent of the general public. These aren't huge gaps they are. They are. I think it's like that. Twitter users are the sort of the dead, the spearhead of of the of the left. In some sense, what trusting to me about this is isn't is also kind of just a version of what happened in twenty. Sixteen. What what about the bubble that that the Democrats were heads determined that they were living in that didn't to most Americans all those years ago? I mean: isn't this isn't this? If, if that's, if there was a bubble, then isn't it it isn't this a bubble? Now, if it's a bubble, I mean, if it's the same problem right, whether its twitter or whether it the dead, the the general media.
Did you know the actual media its Bristol talking about the same gap, but I dont know that it's a cap is, is, I think, my ultimate point here? Well, it's a gap, but yours you're. So what you're suggesting is that the other the that these. That the twitter users, representative of an american Vanguard that they are right there reflecting a journey now the here's, the other shadow quest and which always goes to appalling, which is, is it that the twitter activists class believes in these ideas, but that the public, when pulled about them, no who's that they're supposed to knows what they're supposed to say. You know that that there supposed to say it's hard for women to get ahead with whatever that, but because they are
created enough and cultural realities by pop culture and other things to know what the thing is that you're supposed to think, but they don't really think it or it doesn't mean anything or it's not what they vote on or it's not what they care about, will untrue that mean actually it. And if you look at the actual questions that I just I just write off, they are kind of vague and not terribly controversial sentiments. I mean the idea that than that it is more unfair for blacks and whites in America is not that's not saying something crazy. The idea that there are barriers for certain segments of the population or it or that or that immigration is good news. Mr babies, aren't these aren't wild stances right there, there sort of generally
liberal sort of attitude. It would then reflect a failure of the Trump Revolution if what I'm saying is right and that people are just serve echoing appropriate what they believe to be appropriate sentiment on matters that is better of of little moment to them that it's a failure of the Trump Revolution to make to make any cultural gains which was partially this you now, that's how you got tromp bright is that they, you know the there's this enforced orthodoxy, that silences people and makes it impossible to talk about. What's real and Trump is you know letting the Genie out of the bottle, letting people say what they think and believe what they believe in all of that
currently, if that was an aspect of the Trump revolution which I'm very doubtful of actually in certain ways accept within the Republican Party in its own negotiations with itself, then he's got nowhere, but that's that's an reflected a little bit in the peer survey because there's I dont have this into actual statistic in front of me at that very few of a very small percentage of the people who are certainly do active entered a written on Twitter in General will identify themselves, is very conservative. So it's not a space where conservatives are all that active. As a rule I mean Donald Trump has actually outlier in that visa. He's sinner, the leader of the Republican Party right now in very active on twitter, and if news reports are correct, was complaining,
Jack Dorsey this week about how you know his right does the sea of to arrive at so. But I do think one of the things that I think you could both be rightness. Ants right, if you look at it, we ve talked about this before about attitudes towards a lot of these identity politics issues among younger voters that is reflected in twitter right, I mean people on Twitter are, on average younger, that users are younger younger. These are moving more towards the left on a lot of these identity politics, and I think that was the other fastening take takeaway and why, I should add
but it is red Nose book adjust its race, gender and immigration. Race engender in particular fuel, so many of the twitter wars that that go on a daily basis, and I think that concern is that so many of these active users are media right, these other writers, the editors, the producers and they are fuelling a cultural, Comte de Cultural conversation above and beyond whether you're on twitter, or not many of the date that the things that end up on Fox and friends and CNN some of those start on Twitter is controversy. So I think we shouldn't, even if you're not on Twitter the DE downstream effective twitter is, is quite large in our political culture. These days gone by the way, I think it's worth dwelling on the fact of this, report, says nothing really about right, wing, twitter and as end especially sort of scary, bigoted, racist rightwing, twitter, which which, which is shocking, because that was something that all of us we ve written about it here, and
we should try to find a way to quantify how many racist all writers were out there and how and whether or not they were representative of the the right at large. And what sort of a threat to their today, the towards society that they represent. And then we should have don't know anything about that from this right. What One. Other aspect of this is some
does associate I've just by demographically rights of Christians, as there are very few very conservative, twitter users, but we know, as the most active twitter users are young and the most conservative voters in the United States are old right at some of the white over fifty were the were the other part and soul of the Trump electorate and less educated whites, and we know the twitter is had more educated than the public as a whole and all that, so it makes logical sense that rightwing twitter is not reflected because rightwing twitter is a very, very very much smaller component of this ecosystem. You deserts Facebook study them. We're gonna, get the right wing grades, yeah yeah, yeah yeah, I'm in also. We that's part of the interesting thing about twitter social media in general. As we talk about twitter and Facebook,
snap judgments rammers though there all as other all sort of like want one, a part of, all part of the same phenomenon and their there really not for one thing, Facebook is ten times the size of twitter and yet Twitter as more culture, intellectual and media purchase then than Facebook does on the not in business terms because of all of media sold itself solve it older facebook three years ago and then got totally screwed when Facebook chat the system that it had sort of gin up to get them all to him their subscriptions and readers, but facebook is vastly larger, but it's not as intense and the secret of twitter, which I think goes to the statistic that eighty percent that the ten percent of the of the twitters do. Eighty percent of the tweets intensity is the is the secret hallmark of
whether this this also? This makes sense for those of us who at least read a lot of twitter, if don't, if done, Tweedle on actively no in and that's it so much of become an occasion on twitter ends up being so inside. All these personal professional grudges that play out. Sometimes it can be hard to even follow what what the he. What the pudding point of an argument was the opposite: a lot of back scratching right, that's right, licit job, implicit request, switch litter views. You know sort of buttering people up. I have a great example of this way, so I actually want to pull up this quote because its indicative of this phenomenon reporting, culture and particular reporters there's, maybe six hundred of them that spend their life on twitter and the circular conversation, which is very self reinforcing,
and one of the things that we have seen a lot is how Elizabeth. Warren is fantastic on the stump. You know, maybe not getting a lot attraction poles, but you just haven't seen her speak man could she has commanded that audience and she knows the issues we already talked to you last week about how her commanded the issues contained consist of telling what whatever they want to hear embracing impeachment hurt her. Obviously, unconstitutional wealth tax proposal and her extremely in eight of notion of just bailing out taxpayers, who are over a bit with taxpayer funds debtors who are over their head right, innovative stuff, so she's on the star Yesterday at she, the people, twenty twenty conference and one of these really fantastic lines that just killed is the following when your ears are stuffed with money. You can't hear well let that simmer for a second there. Is how fantastic she is at those campaigning game, this
self reinforcing. No, you can't dissent from that notion, or else you or your contradicting the hive mind here, but this is self evidently awful, she's, terrible, that's horrible. I wouldn't they that and get a laugh from my four year old right. So so I think in particular, woods. Interesting in the solid cystic world of media are the ways in which people who report on the media for the media are an object of intense our objects of intense fascination, retweeting argumentation, all of that on Twitter, because it's like Twitter is like a daily convention
where the mainstream media very vivid convention. It's, like you know it's just a way of having conversations. Look. I've worked at seven or eight news organisations and magazines among so that which is a lot, and so I know hundreds of people in the press. And when I went on Twitter, I followed a lot of people that I know and it's like running into them at the bus, stop or bump on the subway or something like that to see a tweet of theirs and then you kind of like send a joking tweet Well then, you have that's me, I'm fifty eight years old I been in this business for almost forty years, and so I know how to people, and then you have the people who want to be in this world and so one of the wood they can try to forge and and and create at least in their own heads of intimacy with people that they don't know them.
The most extreme fashion. That's what leads people to follow: celebrities on Twitter, whoever you know twenty million followers and never see a single tweet than anybody tweeted them, because all professional pr operation, but you have this- really hung hunger to be part of that community and Anne and therefore Jake Tapir, who I would say if seen and who I would say it was the person who best use twitter in its early years to establish a reputation among people who, for he had a show of his own. All of that he was very active. He's witty he's funny has actually come. You, nice, guy, smart, and so he developed a kind of reputation, for his personality on Twitter. That I'm sure was extremely helpful to his
career at sea. It in you know he served use. Did he used his natural charm and kind of less ideological anger when the fact that he's not for that biological to kind of building an audience for himself? That see then surely said boy that you know. Jake really is somebody who connects with people to briefly to the term Platos Kay analyses again, so we were getting to see this as being tested now in the presidential race from where you have you have, though, the really the weakest candidates, the most progressive candidates and the dissenters hoard, aiming to it's the general election and the dissenters who are essentially revolting from that. The notion that you have to appeal to the twitter audience are beginning to get some push back sort of,
shame pushed back. There was a peace and the Associated Press yesterday, talking about the the quote, woke litmus test that is imposed on candidates who are especially white male candidates, who are expected to withdraw from certain fora and too selfish self a base. And then they took singled Biden out for criticism in Bernie Sanders to a lesser extent, for waging campaign that is quote aimed at winning back working class white voters who swung to Trump and twenty sixteen subtext. There is those voters are not worth getting and to appeal to them in the sense that Bernice prison, Joe Biden, are very different ways in policy terms, but also expressly and explicitly appealing to them is morally compromising companion, peace and in national public radio talked about Elect ability, also singling Joe Biden of criticism, because the notion that he is electable and twenty
Twenty is itself a little suspect because, by virtue of asking yourself that question you are to quote an expert quote: erecting post, hawk rationalization for the fact that you are harbouring sexist biases or homophobic, biases and case of people to judge or anti minority biases, because you're not supporting the candidates in the race or women, minorities are gay right now. Here's was interesting about that. We re we on the right. No, this intimately because you'll, remember Jim demand, Senator from South Carolina who then became Heather Urge Foundation say seriously. He rather have thirty good cons. Relatives in the Senate than sixty Republicans of all ideological make up right. That's deranged that politically, that was deranged. Thirty Republicans in the Senate. Stop can't filibuster they can't and prevent
closer. There is nothing that they can do, and yet the idea that the ideological purity of the right needed to be reflected in the electoral bodies, that would that would be preferable to the compromises that would need to be made if there was greater ideological read in the party and that fight went on during the tea party years, for it was like no, we don't pick toddy he came in Missouri he's crazy and it's like. Well, you say it's crazy. Well, he's you know good on the issues like that and then you lose the seed Democrats are, tempted all Ebay logs are tempted by the idea that what they most need to do is p refined their own side before I can go out and you know, runs cause. If they run things without revolutionizing themselves,
then an radicalizing themselves, then they will become eyes and they will do terrible horrible things. So, having said that, the fights within the Republican Party from TAT ten to twenty fifteen, obviously soften the ground for Donald Trump, the one thing they about Donald Trump as he was an ideologically pure. You know I'm on anything when issues, although, as president, you know, let's face it, the tea party doesn't care much about trade trade as an elite issue right, but the tea party you know certainly cared about abortion and cared as you know, is very such things and Trump has been
very good on. You know them on the right. Let there's the distinction there, thou so again, Donald Trump inherited a republican party that was conservative. There was no intellectual infrastructure from trumpets whatever. That was right, with the exception of maybe Stephen Miller and light highs, her train immigration respectively. Every other issue is dominated by pretty much boilerplate conservatives and you had an essentially boilerplate conservative administration. That's not the case for Democrats. There is an intellectual infrastructure for progressive ISM and a democratic administration, even if it was Joe Binds administration would be populated by a lot of progressive Eddie allows far left it. He loves. That's that's exactly right away, you could say the same, so we it is the same ultimately saying when Trump came in as well as we ve been saying since twenty seventeen, with the exception of his own rhetoric and personal saviour and trade, primarily and some of the ideas on foreign policy,
He has run a relatively conventional republican administration. Yes, MA am my contention. Is the Joe Biden would run a very progressive administration by virtue of that without the staff it with caress, but in other words he would run a very conventional democratic administration, given the fact that that that was the Obama and another. What we have here is this idea that I mean it's. It is, though, Obama has turned into George W Bush for them for the party they're, not looking at Obama, saying boy, you know he's rude us: they should by some are larded yet another the others programme. Democratic socialists are explicitly revision right, but but I'm SAM most mostly it does not appear as though of ITALY. I dont think that we'll have a major democratic candidate who will run on the grounds that Barack Obama drove the Democratic Party into the ground, though he did. He far more.
A bush drove the Democratic Party over the ground and we ve gone over this ten thousand times right that by the time Obama left office, they lost the house, they lost the Senate, they lost thirty, you know they did. They lost the thousand legislative seeds and all that, but I don't think he's not be able. If he's viewed fondly and even policy terms should be viewed fondly I mean you know, okay, so he didn't do single payer healthcare, but you know how is in the right place. He did love at an up. The whole thing is a little silly and before we go on, I want us. I just want to stop and talk to you about stress cause stresses a worldwide epidemic. You know we're working longer. Hours were inundated with constant new cycle and were more connected than ever before. Stresses a court of but it can very easily affect our overall. Well being that's why we're partners with calm the number one apt to help reduce your anxiety and stress and help you sleep better. More than forty
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get unlimited access to all comes condemn today, of calm dot com, slash commentary, get com and stop stressing. So Joe Biden has been announced today right and so here's the phenomena of Joe Biden Joe Biden is, he goes to the right. He enters the race in a very strong position. The strongest position of anybody entering the race, not entering a race in a strong position does any good to. You necessarily has obviously he'll reckless entered the race in a strong position in two thousand and seven in Lhasa. In two thousand eight. I have said that you rather have twenty to thirty percent nationally in the polls and- and I were in New Hampshire than not have the right that mean by definition like you, prefer not to be a two percent and so in the twitter ecosystem. However,
the bias of youth and the boy eyes toward novelty and the biased towards women and the biased towards minorities has, I believe, as I watch this created a weird there's, a kind of hostility towards by them. People not like us, we may be were hostile abiden for various other reasons, but still need abiden that scene almost mode of lists. Malignity, like you, there's nothing that he does Seth, maybe for being hands ii or has represent our high representative in his voting record in the Senate, with the exception of one in the seventies and one in the nineties right round criminal justice issues and bussing, but that's it and various other things. There is very little in his record that would leave
progressive to say he betrays everything we stand for, but they just don't seem to like him that much because he's not fresh and he doesn't have the an added on of identity. Of of the right end of identity politics. I keep thinking when eight when I see him and when I watch the video this morning, it's like if Johnny Arson were too suddenly enter that the late night game. Now you know it's it's, that is the second Carson retired. I thought I thought course he retired or where we are in a different age. By is this. You know sort of like leap back in time chronologically not so long ago, but seemingly ideal, logically entirely different and if general, whose seen the his video this morning, but one of the things that
drop me was it he, he has to know sort of pre empt. Every potential dig that the progressives can get at him. So he his main messages, is about restoring the country to be the noble pursuit of its ideals after it scary aberration of Donald Trump, and he was in talking about the founders. He had two at some point serve this caviar. He had to knock Jefferson for not living up to two. This did this art our great ideals at all times, something that is its an aside sort of footnote that I think that you never would have seen up until this year through line of Joe Biden candidacy. So are you running for president for months has been colonizing on issues of race. All
I support the need to heal hearings. He's been apologising for the nineteen. Eighty four crime bill is about the thereof mass incarceration targeting disproportionately african american men. His effort enlist Stacy Abrams as the VP is about race and his most of these various centres on. Obviously, as you said, Thomas Jefferson Slaveholding, an Charlottesville MAX. You is aware that his Boniface and on the progressive left is threatened almost explicitly by rates and the bussing as you, by the way that the crumbling bussing was a disaster, is an absolute failure. Failed on its own merits, alienated its islands. Crime bill was product story was a was a history. A game changer in the United States, part of a series of changes, most of them by the way here in Europe, I mean you an enormous amount of the change in the american attitude toward crime, but also
sheer numbers of tripe crimes came literally from one city from from New York, but the Crimea was part of a united seventy five percent drop in crime over the last twenty five years, which of course amnesia now requires us to forget I am Time Twitter Warren Context, but that this is the point here is that this is this is the cave, ruining that this is a conversation within an exclusively for the cave right? Well, let us let us let me point out if I can, whereas this the tweet of the the tweet of the millennium, I believe, which was issued this earlier this week by Alexandria, cause your quarters the chief of staff, sigh hot shot, her party in relation to the question asked on the town Hall of Bernie Sanders about whether or not he would he believed in giving felons
writers, there's an issue right in Florida, like Ex cons, have now been given the right of ex cons. Exasperation down there was someone asked shoe and by the way, with vellum means you're horror with her income north, you can be a phelan even after you been released unless its development from your record right, your Phelan right, but anyway, so apparently so coarse from right, so that so the general idea right is that is that x, com having served their debt society should get a vote after you know, after they are released representatives or with our proposal, which is an art, the oral question. We can talk about whether or not you now the debtors society is ever paid. No all that by parties agreement on that this is a republican legislator in southern governors, plenty of people. I know who don't agree with this, but none the less. Nonetheless, we can say that this is the outcome, but then Bertie Centres, that of the town hall about letting current felons vote- and he says we
if you look at it- and then somebody says this thing about what about that certainly has the Boston bombers and he said we need to look at it. So, Alexander, as a cycle chocolate party said the following on Twitter, which my twitter is valuable. Ok, then there is the question of what twitters value is and we can get that that in a minute, what's the real not to let incarcerated people vote shouldn't the people most affected by unjust laws have some say in electing people to change them. So let's follow this logic out cause you're Cortez, the chief of staff is saying that incarceration is itself unjust and that law, as that lead to people being incarcerated, should cannon should be challenged by the people who are incarcerated, since the laws are unjust. Your laws against boy, her glory, avatar inner, and you know that sort of thing, so
there's a moment in a bad Woody Allen will be called. Everyone says I love you and which Goldie Hon plays a very liberal, New Yorker and she talks about how four issues- criminal justice reform and it's one of the four it she wants. Air in addition, cells that there should be locks on the doors of prison cells and- and you know they should all be allowed to pay ain't into ballet and stuff like that. So that is the that was Woody Allen, trying to come up with how to make fun of veto. Rich, liberal, New Yorkers and hears site a chuckle party like saying all laws that incarcerate people are unjust and you know they should be voted on. I think the following tweeting: that threat was about how the constitution conveys rights to everyone, including the second amendment right, so he so he's that wants to Arthur eight Adele. Yet we should arm people currently in prison, but this is legit not to get to the point at the front of animal point here, as we deny felons the right to vote because deny them all their rights,
they have no, but they have been imprisoned. They don't have the right to free speech. They don't have the right to free assembly. They dont have the right to nuthin because they have violated and attempted to introduce all of the norms and laws of our society right. Ok, everything I'm says is this is it? This is a perfect example of how Twitter has changed the political, cultural and political conversation as if this is to me, did me. The Ducas rate question remember whose ass? What would you do if your wife was raped and he kind of, but he completely bungle? They ready, tried to look up at the? U basically gave a version of it answer. But the difference today is that- and this is especially true of the progressive left which is very active on Twitter- is that they constantly mistake, impatience and ignorance for energy right. It's like what we just got: we're going to move faster, break things and in the face for problems, but they either there there. This is. This speaks to what's going on with binding to rights. If you look at the actual democratic voter,
especially of the studies that we're trying by earlier all Biden has to do to win. The primary is not bring the crazy right just be just be himself, be it be a pretty dispute Democrat, but what the progressive left fuelled with the attention it gets twitter is going to insist upon is the opposite right like push him as far to the extreme, especially on these identity politics issues as they can and has no they ve been doing not already even before his official announcement. So I think that that this idea that that this is the way I think the twitter is detrimental to our political discussions, because it kind of forces the hand of of people who actually have more experience and an interesting compromise in and political culture and and says Neue. We are making a list of names it's like. They literally hold these candidates hostage. Every time they put out a tweet because they don't care about felons voting
what is the constituency for Phelan firm Pearl incarcerated been voting, the people advocating for it don't even care about it. It does you I like away to a states like away to establish you're uniqueness, but it's the opposite. In other words, if you want the democratic I'm not talking about whether or not return, my political correctness or anything like that, if you want the Democratic Party, women, twenty twenty, you do not want the democratic parties Vanguard to be advocating for the notion that laws incarcerate people are unjust. That is just handing Donald Trump. You know a gigantic mallet with which to whack you over the head with precise, please those hundred thousand voters in the in the three midwestern, and do you know of formerly industrialized states or post industrial states, whatever you want to call them together
the poles and vote for him again, which is again. This is the interesting thing about by binds Biden this to appeals right. So Ireland's appeal is, he is famous SAM. He was vice president and he's an old hand end why demeanor and carriage all that is somebody who can go up against Trump Toto because he like Trump only he was poorer, so he can hit from for being rich right. That's for one in number two is that, for all these reasons he has a particular demographic. He he can appeal to the debt graphic. They dont need very many of them. They only need a hundred thousand of them in three states. He they need to go and vote for the devil rats instead of voting for Trump right. Twenty two thousand people in Michigan
how many people in Pennsylvania how many people in in Wisconsin right? So that's his appeal and he that's the elect ability peel and it has nothing to do with then there's all the problems that by now right he's an idiot trees allowed mouth. He can't stop talking. He makes gaffes constantly. You know he people flee. They see him because he is so tiresome. You know whether he can suppress all that freight dino for before the necessary seventy eighteen months in order to win the election is an interesting test of you know what it is to be assessed: six, seventy seven year old man and be able to strain your worst impulses but so he's got a lotta negatives, but he has that this positive any is one more positive, which is the message that he is peddling is not
vote for me, because I will bring single pair vote for me, because I will this loafer, because that any change it is that this is a fight for the future soul of our nation. Do we want to be the nation that Donald Trump wants us to be, or do we want to forge a different, more humane, more, you know as written package and a pat rise, not its old aunts format, its both restorative, and it is transformative in the sense that it transforms, is that it is that it tat it puts trumpet the rearview mirror. So it's a binds messages, make Amerika great again had right, they re exactly so so then the one thing I will say looking at all these other candidacies, as we now have for three months, including mayor pizza, surprising candidacy and which has grown his support ten times over from what it was when he started. Is they don't have a message? What
is you know I'm willing to I'm willing to pander to you know, identity. Politics is the future of America that is based. If there's a message, is that not that it's put that way, somebody is gonna have to find a message to vie with binds message. That's so interesting because I think, because of their identity and left being what it is. Embracing a message is a risky proposal. Now exact, it's like it's a: u have to lock yourself into something that can be attacked from nine billion. You know angles of of social justice and end here, Michael Injustice, its evil. While we sit yeah, that's did very early in the primary process, but the dirty secret of the Democratic party primer so far is that the two candidates who have all but rejected identity politics make up about forty percent of the vote, and why is that? It's very simple, because presidential
campaigns are about big things. Now little things are not about what you're gonna give to this group and what you're gonna give two. That is what Mozart American. That is what comes as support politics is about municipal politics is I'll fix your pod whole I'll, make sure tat Thou make sure that that housing project has go into your neighborhood. You know I'm gonna, I'm gonna subsidize the subways I'm here to deal with the garbage. That's what hand to hand down at the level politics are and what was Trump Trump was. I don't even have any issues except immigration. I got nothin. I make an American Greg in this country. Socks Obama baited, sunken Bush bathed suck how to make it suck less. It's going to be great we're going to win so much you're going to be tired of winning. There was no. There was nothing but big message right so and Twitter, I think, is destructive of that incites inverse right. So Donald Trump was the candy
who embraced at any politics in the republican race. Everybody else didn't and he got about thirty percent of them. Ok, that's another! That is democratic authority is essential. The saying they have about thirty percent of the vote that embraces identity, politics and it's broken up over the course of nineteen other candidates. Ok, An interesting point, although I will say that saying make Amerika great again, is a is a dog whistle about identity politics, whereas the Democrats are it a dog, whistled, they're playing right and middle. See, you know, there's no! You know it's like you. You know a deaf. Some could hear. What did what did Democrats are playing right, but Trot was doing Lee. You know we're not a country any more. We have to be a country, we need borders. We need this weedy that people should speak English. All of these died into way of identity Harry a message of a sword, but they but there's they are. They are Sub Rosa or hate. So where's the sub Rosa aspect of the warrant,
Bachar Harris you don't wear it. The sub rose aspect where what are they saying that will bring all of the identity politics together under one message, you can- and I will say again on twitter, very useful. My tv compare Zerlina Maxwell the other day accused people who support. I repeat, if not understanding, intersection reality because as he doesn't count, but why doesn't count he's gay as this was the count cause he's gay, no cause? If he's white and male, then he can't pay simply count under into so now. Intersection maladies Inter enter intersection out others out. There is now a subset of intersection reality in which a gay person doesn't fit well now that of a white male experiences, less prejudice than a gay man, so that the game part of him experiences a certain amount of prejudice, but the two parts white male,
counteract that prejudice and volt him over the prejudicial threshold. How I wish I knew what you were saying, but I will say this: you guys. I need to you bet Harry shave. Ok,. La very shave, just the very shave yesterday I am, I got some whiskers this morning. I gotta admit because we started early. Here's Harry Story, Harry's founders, retarded paying for razors. There were over price, no reside. New Rachel doesn't come from gimmicks like vibrating heads flex. Balls are handled that look like spaceships tactic said the leading brand is used to raise prices for decades. They fix that by combining a simple, clean design with quality, durables lights, blazing Fairprice Harry's about a world class played factory Germany. It's a big party plates for over ninety five years, they've received over twenty thousand five star reviews of Trustpilot in Google play. Some cartridges is two bucks: each half the price of a Gillette fusion, oh Shield, Harry's blades, come with a hundred percent quality guarantee. If you don't love Roget, let them known will give you full refund joy.
The ten million of dried Harry's, including me, claim your trial offer by going to Harry's dotcom slashed commentary, get a thirteen, Our value trial set that comes with everything you need for a close, confer comfortable shave way there. I'm a five finally razor or the lubricating strip interminable, a rich latherum shave, jail and travel blade cover listeners of our show can redeem their transcended. Harry's dotcom, Slash commentary, make sure you gotta Harry's dotcom slashed commentary to redeem your off and let them know we sent you to help support the show. So let me give a too second monologue here. If I give that's possible, so many of you may know that were not know that I went off twitter permanently last month. This followed a preposterous controversy in which I made a joke at neutron bombing and why you journalism school, knew too bombs for those of you who are under the age of fifty, which was my great mistake here, were, were at low yield nuclear weapon. That's a famously, would kill people but leave buildings and
act. So when they were in this respect the controversy in the early eighties, it was a common joke on all political sides to say if you say liked a building, but you hated its inhabitants that you should trot bomb the building and then you would leave the building standing and I said they should neutron bomb. Why you journalism school, they should put at her. No, I camera who they should put in the way of our house landed. What's his name, other varsity boys get yeah yeah right, ok, so like so, he should run of side door, brain system, and so I was it was the wanting to killed journalists that mass murder, journalists- and you know this was that's terrible of me and I'm a monster, I'm hearts. Okay. So I then wrote a mild apology about this on a commentary website the next day, and I decided about an hour after I had done this- that I was gonna go off twitter permanently. Why, after
by the way, I think you know how it said that there was a ten percent of the twitters produced. Eighty percent of the of the tweets really was more like me producing eighty percent of the time I ve been. I think I think I've. In ten years I wrote a hundred and fifty thousand tweets like that so compulsory more than compulsory. I will tell you: why did it so I did it because there was no case. Could I make the case of any single individual tweet than I had ever written was worth defending, as if I read an article, if I write a piece of regret and then I got attacked like them. My hackles I've spent some time of giving some thought. People misrepresent you and claim you say things you didn't and you need to defeat if intellectual honesty and seriousness of intellectual decision requires that you defend yourself and then maybe go on the counter attack. But any
visual tweet that I wrote took me a minute and like I and if it affects hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people, it wasn't worth a minute that I spent doing it because that's not you know, even if I want to be a provocative and I want to amuse people and the people that know me know that I didn't want the mass murder of journalists and what it doesn't matter, and then I thought well. You know this has now happened enough in my experience and has been unpleasant enough. In my experience. That I really need to stop doing this, and it was the third or fourth time that I made this pledge to myself and I went back on the pledge every what was the first time I did it. I did it because I wanted to go on and try to establish the story of what happened to the weakest, hundreds closing, because the people of the weekly standard were under pressure from their former employer
to remain silent in case they could get her a buyer package, and so they we're going to be able to tell the story, but I could tell the story so I needed to go on the minutes that the standard was folded to set the record straight before anybody could lay out the lies about it and then I just went state on and then other things happen. Ok, so I just want to talk about what what this means to me into ways. One is, I feel better, I'm not! I dont get engaged with pointless, meaningless controversies. I'm get stirred up I'm you know my my is clear. I am less, and yet two things, one of which is twitter, was for me a long time. A kind of version of a frustrated stand, comedian and actor and self something the performer of aspect of it was very helpful and getting now that side of my personality- and it was bad because it spoke to my id and give my id access directly to my fingertips into a computer screen, and I said things and did things and would say,
behave in ways that I would never behave with any for thought or you know, or without channeling that. Secondly, I have to say is that I he may have done a certain small but of damage to my career as a public person, because I had a hundred and fifty three twitter followers. I was in fact them all day. Help me get speaking gigs help me do a bunch of other things we develop a reputation among people who don't read things on the right and all that and now on from that and that ecosystem living and play those cave if you're in place came with a lot of other people in places cave that can be useful to you. I dont think that any of that justify his or merits the no emotional immaturity that is encouraged
by the twitter dopamine Rush that Christine talked about. I dont think its evil. I don't think Twitter is evil. I really don't think Facebook is evil which most people have now decided that Facebook is evil. Twitter is way worse than Facebook, but I do think that for a certain type of personality, particularly somebody who has a combative streak and also enjoys some version as a lot of people do as some kind of gets a certain kind of rush from bullying, which is a real thing that it's it's bad Christine. You fought a lot about this you're writing a book about this. Look it's designed to do all its designs to others targets! That's exactly what its designs
it is designed to keep coming back. I disagree. I should think Facebook is more evil than twitter, because it's more send its tentacles reach further than than twitters do as this data suggest, but look at it it. It rewards instantaneous reaction rather than thought. You know, information, not knowledge. The same old discussions, people than having it is. It can be extremely useful for sharing information. Look. I have to give total kudos too a ban Noah, because the only reason anyone on Twitter knows I write anything on commentaries they tweeted out for me because I don't have a twitter account. So there's a kind
heard immunity, I've gotten as a result of working with people who are good on Twitter and you tweet, ossified written when when you were so on twitter, so, but I think that it is, I do see more and more people having the the the insight that you ve had, which is it it if it starts to bring out your worst self? It's not something you should be doing. I mean I think, that that more people need to have that realisation and then more people who are in the business of idea, creation and dissemination need to have a very serious think about whether their hearing, everything they should be hearing and listening to many voices are just in annex chamber. That effect is unfortunate. That's justice, you're on the right is, it is on the left and fortunately so it just declared for when we talk about either twitter Facebook being evil. We we're not talking about the bee corporate that companies necessarily certain necessarily.
We're talking about these well right of Facebook, a little bit right right, race with Facebook right Bob Bob Mossy using- and I mean I don't think I mean I've yet You hear someone make a convincing case to me that that it's good at what, if, if there's a well, the cases that were good have ever longer gases rikers. There is the case that the Terrier square right was a social media revolution and that that was fantastic right will, first of all to swear. I don't know what you want to say about it now, didn't wasn't the great thing right and, of course, the other bring about social. Then you know stuff with with them Purple Revolution in IRAN, and very sad that that, where all the all the positive forward thinking you touristic. This is a new way to organise and do things stuff seem to have come croppers to the extent that
people were celebrating the fact that shrink Uncle shut off social media in the wake of the horrific Easter bombings in order to prevent copycats conveying messages to each other over over social meeting. That was the book employment for hashtag activism. I think that's yap exactly and people were like well that that that makes perfect sense. They gotta do what they can to make sure that ISIS Ism communicating YO, isn't communicating in in this way, one until one last story, if I can I heard yesterday, so I had done- I'd lunch with a friend of mine who is a columnist, and I haven't seen her in a while and she's. We were talking about twitter and stuff like that. She's again, drives people crazy, and I said I know- and she said well. You know there was this thing that happened with you, and I said what do you talk and she said? Well, you know
this column, bad Jeff Lake and you tweet it out, and so the dumbest thing you ever read, you didn't do it, you didn't want. You didn't do a once. You do twice and I was talking a third mutual friend of ours and you know I said to hey. You know I was just my house for dinner two weeks ago, like what is he doing, and I said- and this is too I absolutely no memory of this. I have no memory of having done this. I this again. This was like two year and a half ago. Two years ago I have no memory. I can't believe I did that and she said well. Twitter was making you crazy and she was right like I don't. I didn't even remember the peace that she was talking about, let alone that I had reacted. That way, let alone that I have gone public with it when I can a friend not a close friend. Obviously, since I haven't seen her and you know a year and a half- and I felt just absolutely test
well, but there is this kind of them demonic, quality by demonic Otto mean that I was possessed by a demon. I mean demonic in the in the observe Greek said like your. It is possible or a bad self part of you to emerge in Seoul. Maybe the reason I say Facebook isn't as evil is that I just think that social costs of being ugly on on face are much worse. You were rewarded for being ugly to some extent on on Twitter. I dont know that you are worded that much forming of land Facebook, Facebook corporate we may be much worse- I dont know, is grim grimacing guy, just fine. This book unusable. Generally, though there is this just like I just couldn't navigated after a certain point, it was all about Iceland's and other unfounded nonsense. That was being pushed up by people who
I live in their own world of fake news as it were, so I just found it utterly with us. At least there is some social pressure on you, one twitter. If you were to advance nonsensical propagandistic garbage that isn't founded by anything, then people now come on top of you incorrect you and I don't see them facebook, but don't listen done on Facebook. Camino known goes to Facebook to get no, I don't the threat to democracy, I'm not talkin it. I'm not going to hold hearings over this thing, like some of our colleagues, are in the in the in the Congress, but I just think it's just really worthless. I will finish with this thought, which is that the best thing with Joe Biden could do is ignore twitter nonsense thing about. It is the best thing that he could do is say I am above this medium. I am not engaging with people on
medium, its trumps medium. It's the vulgar medium, it's the it's like people who just wanted. You know me thought. Instead of do real things- and I am not playing- we demonstrated- is not going to do this and are also predict that the sort of okay- if you support one of these two, not a deleterious candidates, thing you're, probably a little bit racist herself wine- that's being bandied about yesterday- is gonna, get a lot more explicit, and you cannot afford to ignore that, if you're in a democratic, Bremmer yeah, but how but here's my question in two hundred- maybe characters how on earth combat it in a very off its. If you put a video to twitter and that's what it's answer, it's it's a charge, that is, by definition, unanswerable, there's no way to despair that there's no way to attack it. Now. The eye, dance values on democratic voters and rural quandary right some say
binds whole hope is that he is a figure that sits above this and talks to everybody and doesn't see too in a filter down to four different identity politics. But no is right, he's not he's he's serve these micromanaging the their his left fly. You know! Well that will you know I mean if three I waited when the camp and what is the classic Miller light problem of presidential candidacies than which twitter witches widens gonna, be everything you always wanted, and a beer, but less right I'll, give you everything you want, but I'm not gonna give it to you, you know, and as hardy and and you know, satisfying a pay as you could get from you, no more send the airy wherefrom Bernie right. Am I
like burning only less that a successful message on another twitter whither the more time that candidates, this, I think, is the ultimate take away from the survey the more time that people take try in who would want to do something that changes the country take egg descending into twitter and trying to manage become up of a master of it, the more dangerous it is to their ambitions. To speak to everybody? Well, look an agency, she was a master of social media and what what is she could have done with it? I mean she's, she's she's become famous right, yeah come that world should become the most famous personal in Congress as far as I can tell, but but but what are we gonna? Do? It will begin, but, but also, but her supporters is isn't, is suffering a media immunity, she's, she's famous with
representing anyone right she, one fifteen thousand votes in New York City was rushed, though that was an appeal Yet what will see she's a you know, we're sure support is suffering when she runs again again. It will be. When one of these she'll be running against somebody and they won't even be able to forestall she's a democratic, democratic district. Unless someone primaries her she's got that seat forever, but she's a sort of. She is the b square root of the pupils idea of Heidi Hydrostatics right. That's right, right, educational, ideal, email, very well right! Yet so
no wonder it's her media and trumps because, as you know, you know, he's very well educated and try to educate. He went toward the notion of the best tat he has any, as he has already has a higher income than most people any hate with that we will bring this to a close for Christine Noah and Abraham John put words, keep the candle burning.
Transcript generated on 2019-12-07.