Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Twitter Threats to Riot – Campaign Directed? – Twitter Members Post To Start a Riot if Romney Wins Election – Real or Desperate Campaign Tactics?

The above screenshot from Infowars.com, consistent in the language and message

Yesterday, the website info war, ran an article entitled “New Threats to Riot if Obama Loses Election”, the gist: twitter has recently seen a spike in both death threats to Candidate Mitt Romney as well as promises to riot in the event that President Obama loses the election. (Worth the read and available at www.infowars.com). That said, taking nothing for granted, when one searches Twitter for “Romney-Riot” there are hundreds of tweets suggesting a riot should take place if the incumbent is not reelected. The Twitters appear to be from a broad background, more anarchist than racial in tone – and the messaging is all so very similar. It is the similarity that is what is at question. Would thousands of individuals come up with the same idea and words to suggest a riot as a result of the outcome of a Presidential race?

Although one might point to the rhetoric of Luis Farrakhan, suggesting that race is the motivating factor to elect, Mitt Romney President. The aging “Nation of Islam” leader is backing the President as he did in 2008, using race as a factor. (McClatchy). That said, the “tweets” following the theme of alleged anarchy, possibly in the hopes of national media attention, rather than someone expressing what might be an actual sentiment (a la Susan Sarandon’s threat to leave the country if Bush was elected – she stayed), or as most individuals express either disappointment or outright depression if their chosen candidate does not win. It’s worked a bit, and made the Drudge Report Headlines, linking to the InfoWar site.

When one looks at who’s “tweeting” about a Romney win riot – it appears there are approximately thirty or so that pop up, but the repetition and the colloquial don’t “jive” – given the popular “hip hop” slant on some of the messages, while the others are somewhat “suburban housewife”. One might almost think that the “tweets” are part of a last ditch campaign strategy, a team with an alleged lock on only ten states, less than a month before the election, has to know that there is no way to crawl back into “first”. There’s something about the final waning moments of a Presidential campaign, where that point starts is now, in mid-October. That is the time when those die-hard partisan’s and supporters, no matter how much they wish things were different realize the game is over. Not unlike football, there is the final two minute warning, the quarterback has been sacked too often to be useful, the defense is falling apart, and when the special team is called in to stop the bleeding, they implode into giggles and grins. The opposition has the ball, they know how to run out the clock and there is nothing one can do but sit there and watch the final field goal (or touchdown in this case). Sometimes the losing team will try to Psyche out the opposition or its’ supporters, and with the David Axelrod at the helm of the campaign, looking for frazzled by the day, stammering in news conferences, and frustrated, one can imagine a last ditch of “threaten a race riot, and they either won’t vote, or they’ll not want to be labeled a racist” tactic. After all, race and division have been the one contestant them of this administration since day one, therefore that lends to the obvious question: how many were paid to tweet, and how many are jumping on the bandwagon as an actual excuse to riot – that might be difficult to tell.

One might take this with a grain of salt, or as an incentive to vote for Romney, especially if one is an independent and sick of the division.

The riot as part of election strategy might be a bit of a stretch – however, one would expect that the “angry” twitters are not down and out to the point where they have no iphone, or ipad, or similar device to post these tweets. Therefore, one might be tempted to think: these are either party operatives, or students, or sympathizers who are so vested in a candidate that they are expressing their feeling about rioting, simply because they are not Susan Sarandon and have no passport to take them elsewhere, or that might be “passé”. Understanding from Infowars that some were concerned about losing their government assistance – would not someone how knows how to work the system for government assistance be aware that partaking in a riot, as a criminal offence, would facilitate that loss? Or again, it goes back to the “campaign” – example from the Infowars article: Tweeter Pat 47% Entitled, suggests: “if every action IS met with an equal and opposite reaction .what should workers do to employers if Romney's elected? #Riot in the streets!!” That is not a racist sentiment, that is a union sentiment. Going back to the losing team for a moment – If one is reading internal polls that tell them even Massachusetts is in play, then one has nothing left but to start a division. However, one can bet the house, that if Romney is elected, the general public, just as when Reagan and Bush were elected, suffer no consequences, and the riots? They will be nothing more than a tweet, as the community organizers and union members get back to the business of organizing for the next election. Of course, the above is strictly hypothesis; however, given the pattern of not quite up to Machiavellian standards used in the past by this campaign, it might not be out of the question.

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