Flat White

Why the Twits cannot be taken seriously

23 June 2021

7:09 PM

23 June 2021

7:09 PM

Did you see the recent Pew surveys in the United States about Twitter?  Twitter users make up under a tenth of the voting population. Those Twitter users, in American voting terms, lean Democrat by +15 points. That means they would tie the two most liberal states, Hawaii and Vermont, in terms of where they are positioned on the American political spectrum. 

It gets better, or worse (according to taste).  Of Twitter users, some 10 per cent post 92 per cent of all tweets. In other words, for those who use Twitter, we are now talking about almost everything you read there. And what you read there is written by people who lean Democrat by +43 points. So in terms of the 435 seats in the US House of Representatives that would make the active Twitter crowd the 2nd most left-leaning district of all 435 House seats in the United States. That, dear readers, is the imbalance, partiality and skew of what you read on Twitter.  Only ‘our’ ABC could aspire to that sort of one-sidedness. 

And yet big corporations –- their boards, CEOs and marketing teams -– more and more treat Twitter as if it were the voice of the average voter. Look at the attempts going on right now in Britain to ‘cancel’ any company that advertises on the new, deliberately non-woke GB News station. It is Twitter driving the attacks on companies that advertise there. And those attacks are having some effect because of one of two things. Either A) the corporate boards and CEOs are gutless, spineless, stupid people who think the Twitterati speak for the vast preponderance of people (a lie, see above); or B) the boards and CEOs actually are themselves woke, +43 Dem-Lefties looking for a half-decent excuse to act on these views. 

Come on!  Ignore Twitter’s latest woke rantings for three or four days and it’ll completely dissipate.  What is wrong with the upper end corporate class in the West today?  What is wrong with supposedly conservative politicians? 

A different US poll also caught my eye, this one by Monmouth.  It was a random poll of 810 adults, weighted as follows:  44% Independents (which in the US means people who have not joined either major party); 32% Democrats; and 24% Republicans; 49% male and 51% female; and 63% white, 13% black, 16% Hispanic and 9% Asian.   Of this group as a whole, four-fifths support the need for photo ID in order to vote –- what President Joe Biden describes as a Jim Crow law -– while 18% oppose it and 2% are undecided.  That four-fifths support breaks down as 91% of Republicans favour the need for photo ID; 87% of Independents; and 62% of Democrats – making nearly two-thirds of Mr Biden’s own supporters, in his terms, Jim Crow proponents.  At the same time, these people who were polled think voter disenfranchisement is a bigger problem than voter fraud – 50% for the former to 37% for the latter.  On the other hand, two-thirds of Republicans say that voter fraud is not just a problem but a major problem, up 13% in eight years.   

In a world where you need to show photo ID for everything, even to get a Covid vaccination, I have never seen the problem with asking for ID in order to vote. Remember, most of the world, including the US, has voluntary voting. Somewhere around two-fifths of voters or more will not vote. That is an awful lot of people whose spot can be filled in a fraudulent way. Meanwhile, there is basically no one in the US or elsewhere who is honestly unable to produce a single piece of photo ID (it does not have to be a driver’s license). Even the perambulating fictional Jack Reacher can produce his passport. So if asking for that amounts to ‘voter suppression, the usual retort, then we have welfare benefits suppression, vaccine suppression, visiting the doctor suppression, buying medicine suppression, having a bank account suppression, indeed it is suppression stacked on suppression as far as the eye can see. 

Now ask yourself what percentage of active Twitter users support photo ID to vote? If we were having an office pool everyone would want a number in the single digits.  Possibly it would be under 5 per cent, such is the skew or bias of Twitter. 

All of this goes to show how truly stupid today’s politicians and corporate elites are to allow themselves to be influenced in any way at all by the sewer that is Twitter. Ignore it. Never, ever, ever apologise for anything that the Twitter mob alleges just to try to buy yourself an easier life. It never works.

Indeed the US legal academic Cass Sunstein, a man of the political left though that almost goes without saying in today’s university world, ran a study published in a law review that showed that people think worse of those accused by Twitter of malfeasance when they apologise.

It sort of feeds the frenzy of indignation. Don’t do it.

UPDATE, 24 JUNE: Yesterday in the Democratic primary for NYC Mayor — so all lefties voting — the guy with 1.9 million Twitter followers, Andrew Yang, was slaughtered by the guy with fewer than 20,000, Eric Adams.

James Allan is Garrick Professor of Law at the University of Queensland.

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